Sony’s people were keen to ensure us this flash-memory MP3 player ‘looks like a lipstick’. Well, it is very small, fits pleasingly in the palm and comes in a range of hues, not all of which would make it onto the lips of anyone other than a Cure fan.

It also packs 1GB of memory – 512MB and 2GB versions are also available – plus there’s a 1GB version with a radio tuner for £20 extra. It has an impressive 28-hour battery life, and Sony also makes the alluring claim that a three-minute charge from a USB socket will give you no less than three hours of playback.

Small player, big sound

The display is necessarily small, and is therefore not a patch on some rivals in terms of general usability. But the sound is punchy, reasonably solid of bass, and airy, dynamic and detailed.

The NW-E003 is a neat and stylish little player with a very respectable sonic style: it’s no class leader, but it will suit those who want a portable player that’s solid, tiny and – above all – cute.

Stuff says... 

Sony NW-E003 review

Small, neat and stylish, the NW-E003 is a decent piece of kit, but the ATRAC format is just so irritating.