Not content with being the number one Christmas gift of 2003, Apple has taken the technology of its large hard drive based machines and created an iPod Mini - a 4Gb device that can hold in the region of 800-1000 songs.

The device, measuring a mere .5” thick weights 2 ounces lighter than the iPod and comes in Silver, Gold, Green, Blue or Pink.

The majority of features and options available to you are the same as the device’s bigger brother and all controlled via the same click wheel and menu system found on the iPod. The additional buttons such as menu, play, fast-forward and rewind have been moved and placed on the click wheel and it is here that the space has been saved.

Like the iPod, the design is small and other features are pretty scarce. A remote port, headphone jack and hold button adorns the top and the screen seems larger (though it’s actually smaller - the optical illusion caused by the rest of the unit being smaller too). It’s no illusion that the screen is brighter and easier to read providing extra benefit to mini users.

Charging the battery takes three hours, and the battery as with the iPod has a life of about 8 hours. Downloading songs to the iPod is very easy and both Mac and Windows versions are shipped with Apple’s iTunes music software. Files can be transferred via the Firewire or USB2.0 cable that is shipped in the box while a docking station can be bought to make this process easier.

Verdict

There is no doubt that new iPod Mini has all the smoothness of the larger version and the Apple brand. There is no doubt that this new version will also be a huge success with Apple users looking for something a little smaller. However, while this new iPod Mini with its five different colours is groovy, suave and sophisticated, this is really only an iPod on a diet.