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Toshiba Gigabeat takes on iPod nano

The competitively priced Toshiba Gigabeat P20K is aimed squarely at the Apple iPod Shuffle

With the Microsoft's Zune today being launched in the US, the MP3 player market is more crowded than ever. As a result, Toshiba 's latest Gigabeat P-Series models really need to hit the ground running when they're released in Japan early next month.

The P10K and P20K are similar to Apple's iPod nanos in that they're small, colourful and use flash memory. However, the similarities end there.

FM radio, voice recorder and custom covers

The display on each 50g player is a 1.1-inch OLED, there's a line-in socket, an internal microphone for voice recording, an FM radio tuner, a 14-hour battery life and support for WMA as well as MP3 and WAV files. Both models come with swappable faceplates, so pink and white aren't the only options.

Aside from the slightly inferior battery life, the only downside to the new Gigabeats is that their capacity tops out at 2GB, which is starting to look a little cramped now that the nano goes up to 8GB.

Still, pricing is competitive - the 1GB P10K will cost ¥13,980 (£62) and the 2GB P20K ¥17,980 (£80). There are no plans for now to release the new P-Series players outside Japan.