Toshiba announced today its new Gigabeat U series of low-capacity flash DAPs. At first glance, the 1GB U101 ($118) and 2GB U201 ($144) look pretty ordinary. But beneath the 96 x 96 OLED display and inside the 3″ x 1.4″ x 0.4″ casing are actually some refreshingly unique features.
The most notable, from what we can gather from the translated press release, is some sort of high sound quality conversion technology that’s never been used before. Exactly what the digital audio processor does and how it does it isn’t terribly clear, but the bottomline is that Toshiba is pretty pleased with the U series’ output. The players are also equipped with “direct sound recording functions” and FM transmitter capabilities that seem to enable person-to-person sharing. Battery life is rated at 20 hours on a full charge and 3 hours on a 10-minute rapid charge.
The Japan-bound U series will be available in white beginning on March 28, with orange and blue (for U101 only) models to follow on April 7.