Out of the several mp3 players (generic term) I have to say that if I exclude the iPhone and iTouch and other mainstream devices, then the toshiba Gigabeat is definitely my favourite.
Originally, my first proper mp3 player was the Creative Zen. I went through 2 of these, both suffering from the same fault. (more on that in a review coming soon)
Eventually I got sick of having to return the device, and instead traded it in to get a different one, I had the option of an iPod or a Gigabeat, and because as the time I swore that Apple was evil, I chose to get the gigabeat, and I must say I was and still am impressed with the device.
I think the thing that pulled me to the device was the full colour screen, without a doubt that was my ultimate reasoning behind getting the gigabeat because the iPod I was being offered at the time was the old 30gb one that had the old style screen with only basic menu's etc.
Once I opened up the box I was greeted with a very colourful red box, a software CD, a purpose build dock for the gigabeat to sit in during data transfers and charging. Another feature that caught my attention was its ability send data (be it music or photos) directly to CD. I will say I never had the need to use this function but it was nice to know that it was there should I have ever needed it.
The box also came with all the wires that you needed to do the various tasks the cradle/dock was capable of, and also a set of headphones, which while the sound quality was superb (I found) they did not fit my ears very well, my ears are very fussy with headphones, however this was not much of a problem as I had plenty of alternatives lying around and because the device takes the normal 3.5mm jack, you can use any standard headphones you want.
The battery life on this monster I have to say was superb, we are talking days of more than moderate use before a re-charge.
The controls are not all that different to an iPod if I am honest so if you are looking for a cheaper alternative then this is definitely your boy, a couple of differences though are that the volume control is on the side rather than controlled from the scroll-wheel-like cross on the front. That is used to navigate menu's with the centre of the cross being used to "enter" most menu's and the ones where it isnt, then a push on the right cross will do.
Overall this device is a monster, far more rugged than an iPod, I dont think the older generation, or indeed the newer generation iPods/iTouch's/iPhones would put up with the amount of abuse that this device got from me.
On the back of mine you can actually see where the metal casing of the device has bent and molded its self to the shape of my leg, actually pressing against the hard-drive inside, and yet no ill effect on the device's performance.
All in all I love this device and I still have it, but it doesnt quite stand up to the functional ability of the iPhone or the iTouch.
If you are looking for a solid portable music player that has rich vibrant menu's and colout but arent bothered about playing games or having applications, then the Toshiba Gigabeat is your prime candidate.
Last note, I gave it 5*'s for download speed, it cant use the internet but was unfair to mark it down for something thats not applicable.
The styling of Toshiba is quite good and simple, however it does bear a striking resemblance to the typical generic MP3 player which can look rather tacky and cheap. Its size is quite small, whilst still being lightweight. It boost still have a reasonably sized display screen despite its size. But it still is not the ideal player that would be used during sporting activities such as running.
The huge amount of space allows you to store quite a substantial collection of albums, pictures and even videos. When using the supplied headphones, the sound quality is slightly above average, with accurate highs and clear treble. Given this, the player's sound performance is better when playing classical songs rather than songs that are heavy in bass such as rock. Upon using an additional pair of headphones, it retained the clarity of playing classical tunes, whilst being able to play the bass consistently thanks to a higher output power.
The player is quite user friendly, with sensitive keys, making it easy to control the player without much hassle. However, it does lack having basic features such as repeat or resume capabilities. The file transfer method is quite straight forward and simple, just by dragging and dropping the files simply by using Windows Explorer. Its battery stamina is only typical, and it takes quite a while to fully charge the player.
Sadly, the player does lack extra functions such as a voice recorder or radio capabilities. Furthermore no pouches or cases are included.
In terms of file transfer, it is quite fast, and it will even show a progress bar which is quite nice, especially for people that might be impatient at times. The only operating systems that the player is compatible with is Windows Vista and Windows XP. If you want to play videos files you might need to install additional software to convert the video files depending on its format.