Tosh unwraps top secret movie player

Readers with long memories may recall the day we lauded the Toshiba Gigabeat F-Series as a potential iPod killer. Well, we’ve learned from our mistak

Readers with long memories may recall the day we lauded the Toshiba Gigabeat F-Series as a potential iPod killer.

Well, we’ve learned from our mistakes - this time, we’re pimping the movie-playing S Series Portable Media Center as no more than an iPod maimer.

The weapon foremost in its armoury is support for WMV videos, which means – unlike the iPod - it should be able to play download-to-own movies such as King Kong from next month (story here).

We say ‘should’ because it hasn’t yet been stamped with Microsoft’s all-important Plays For Sure badge for videos – the sign that it’d also allow play BBC shows and Sky Movies later in the year.

Specs include a capacious – by Windows Media portable standards – 60GB hard drive, iPod-rivalling 2.4in screen and 2.5 hour battery life for movie playback. There’s also an FM tuner, which Microsoft’s site bizarrely describes as unique.

Powering things along is the Portable Media Center OS, an interface we thought had long bitten the dust since Creative and Archos concentrated on developing their own. That’s good news for ease of use, but bad tidings for computer-phobes – it won’t be able to record stuff direct from your telly.

There’s no word yet on a UK launch or price, but we reckon its blue, black and white incarnations will arrive this summer. Our reasoning? Microsoft’s site lists a US spring debut and the old F Series Gigabeat did pretty well here. Come on, Tosh, we wants one.

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