new ipod shuffle 2010

Although the new iPod shuffle more closely resembles the second-generation release than its immediate predecessor, it's far from a step backwards.

Instead, it combines the best features offered by the last two models.

We liked:

The combination of VoiceOver for information and a control wheel for navigation makes the new iPod shuffle much easier to use than any previous version.

It looks great too, with a beautifully polished surface and an aluminium unibody design.

We disliked:

The earbuds are down to their usual standard, and what on earth made Apple drop the 4GB version? Were people complaining about having too much storage space?

Not surprisingly, the price is also a bit of a stumbling block. At £39 for 2GB of storage, the new iPod shuffle does not offer much value for money. You can get an 8GB Sansa Clip - which has a screen - for around the same price.

Verdict:

With information served by the VoiceOver button and navigation slaved to the control wheel, the new shuffle is more instinctive than its predecessor and more versatile than the second-gen release.

Apple has taken the best features from two, radically-different models and combined them in the best iPod shuffle to date. However, we had to dock it a star for the insane, ridiculous dropping of the 4GB version and the expensive price tag.