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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2. Retail Package

The TEAC MP-350 comes in two versions, one with 512MB and one with 1GB storage capacity. We received the 512MB version, which was black in colour. It is also available in white.

Again, as with the MP-400, the retail package is complete, and you will find a USB2.0 cable with which to connect the MP-350 to a PC, a carry pouch and carrying strap so you can carry it around safely, an AC charger to recharge its Lion battery, a line-in cable to connect it with another audio-in source, and last but not least, high quality earphones to listen to music with.

You will also find a quick user's guide, the device manual and a CD containing drivers for Windows98 as well as the MTV Converter software.

- The device

Like all TEAC's mp3 players, the MP-350 is very small and light weight. As we've already noted, the controls are located below the high resolution screen. The black finish is very impressive, and the menus also use a black background which matches in nicely.

On the right hand side, you will see the mini-USB port which connects the MP-350 to a PC. The image below shows the mini-USB2.0 port. The connecting cable is provided in the package (USB-A to mini-USB).

On the same side, you will also see the earphone and the line-in jacks.

On the back of the MP-350, there are two special slide switches. The "lock" switch, locks the device so that the keys on the MP-350 aren't activated if accidentally pressed. The "power" switch powers the player on and off, but you probably don't need this if you intend to use the MP-350 on a daily basis. The button cuts off power to the circuitry and should only be used if you intend to leave the MP-350 unused for a long time (e.g. weeks or months).

The following pictures show the nifty touch-pad on the MP-350. The "M" button in the center, stands for "Menu". With this key, you can select the playing mode (audio, video, etc), and navigate through the menus with the "next" and "previous" buttons. Holding the "play" button for a few seconds will power on and off the player.

No matter how impressive it looks having a touch-pad on the player, it might be a headache for people with large fingers. The player itself is so small that you'll have a tough time pressing the buttons if your fingers are not small enough. Women will probably love this player :-)

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