Toshiba's 60GB Gigabeat X60 is an MP3 player with support for displaying images. Nothing new about that you think. Well, you'd be right. There really isn't anything especially exciting about this player. While it's an improvement on the previous Gigabeat F60, with a larger screen and a smaller frame, the main difference is the lack of features. Accessories which were previously included such as an inline remote and a docking station have now been removed from the package, much like Apple have done with their latest iPods.
- Good screen
- Not enough features, too expensive, poor battery life
If this player had been released a year ago perhaps we’d have had more interest.
Price$ 569.00 (AUD)
Despite this, this sleek X60 is still a decent little player. Weighing in at a touch less than 150g the player is light enough to be carried around without dragging your pocket towards the ground. The X60 has a nice shiny front with the trademark "PlusTouch" cross as the only visible control. Whilst dispensing with other controls and placing them on the side may be aesthetically pleasing, it's a little annoying to have to fiddle round trying to find them. Having said that, almost everything can be operated using the front controls anyway. The back of the unit is finished with a brushed metal effect which is quite good looking, but we still much prefer shiny look of the iPod's.
What really stands out on the X60 is its screen. Large and crisp, and supporting 264,000 colours, images look bright and vivid. One problem that often effects screens is fingerprint smudges and the X60 is no exception, although it's no worse than average. The shiny front surrounding the screen seems to get covered in fingerprints and no amount of careful wiping is going to keep it clear of them.
Connecting the X60 to a computer and transferring files is a breeze. After installing Toshiba's Gigabeat Room software you are presented with a simple interface that links CD ripping and file transfer together. It's so simple even the most hopeless technophobe should find transferring their music easy. The software really is basic; this isn't a fully featured media player like iTunes or Windows Media Player. Files can be transferred using the USB 2.0 cable provided and this doubles as a charger. Toshiba also include an AC adaptor which is useful if you want to listen to your music at the same time as charging the battery. The battery takes about three hours to charge, and in our tests managed to last for a disappointing 12 hours. It's also possible to use the X60 as a hard drive, by simply hooking up the USB cable and dragging your files across. Support for transferring photos from digital cameras is provided, but annoyingly only with the purchase of the Gigabeat dock.
Surprisingly, the X60 doesn't come with many extra features. Unlike its flash based Gigabeat cousins, there is no sign of a radio, voice recorder, microphone or line in connection. These are useful features and we found their omission puzzling, seeing as Toshiba includes them as standard on its cheaper models. The X60 can show a slideshow of your photos accompanied by music, but this is hardly a thrilling inclusion. Sound quality of this unit is fairly good, but to get the most out of the player you'll need to discard the distinctly average headphones that come in the sales package. When using a pair of decent headphones and adjusting the X60's excellent equalizer, the sound is much improved with rich bass and good range - with maximum volume is also respectable.
The X60 is the latest in the line of Gigabeat products, but why Toshiba have bothered with this model is a bit of a mystery. The X60 is due to be superceded in the US by the S60 in the next couple of months. Toshiba are unable to confirm whether or not the player will reach Australian shores, but if it does the X60 will instantly be rendered obsolete. In the past the Gigabeat series has been a good option, as they were fair bit cheaper and had far superior screens to the iPod..With the advent of the fifth generation video iPods that advantage is now void on both fronts. This isn't to say the X60 is a terrible player, but really you'd just be better off getting an iPod, or waiting for the S60 (should it ever arrive).
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