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Kalliba MP3 PLUS: simple, sexy, and stylish

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The new MP3 PLUS flash-ROM from Kalliba blurs the boundaries between business tool and playtime accessory. ADAM MEGENS plugs in and engages in some serious plug-and-play fun.

They weren’t kidding when they said ‚Plug and Play‚ . Plug the USB cord into the port on your computer, plug the other end into the unit, switch on, and you’re out of the starting blocks. If you are using Windows 98, 2000 or XP, your system will pick up the new hardware and you will be able to store and access data at will. The unit is also compatible with Macintosh operating systems. When unplugged from the USB, the unit requires one AAA battery if you would like to listen to audio tracks, and that ought to provide you with more than ten hours of listening pleasure.

With only three buttons, a hold key and a toggle switch, you can imagine that the beauty of the MP3 PLUS lies embedded in its easy-to-use interface. Press and hold the play button to turn power on and off. The volume buttons are pretty self-explanatory. The Hold key flips from off to on. With the Hold key active, the rest of the buttons are rendered useless. It plays the same role as the key-guard or key-lock on your cellular phone, preventing little mishaps. The toggle switch is used to skip forward and backward through tracks. It also lets you access the menu or setup, from which you can adjust your equaliser, playback mode and backlight. You can also check your memory status, delete files and activate the digital voice recorder. All in all, you will probably find little reason to seek help in an instruction manual.

Deliver it certainly does. The MP3 PLUS is marketed as a memory solution providing data transfer between PCs, notebooks and Macintosh: it’s lightweight and compact and offers great durability and reliability. The marketers also ought to mention that it’s funky, modern, adaptable and elegantly simple. It makes those long hours in the office musically bearable.

Not much. There are other products that offer the same services as this little number. The market is rather competitive in the stakes of ingenuity, and it’s more a case of whether the Kalliba measures up to its competitors (which it does) than whether ground-breaking advances are being made here. On the other hand, this is a high quality, proudly South-African product that shows detailed attention to great design and dependable durability.

There are three models on offer, the 64MB, 128MB, and 256MB. The 64MB retails for R745 and the 128MB for R895. Considering the features on offer here, I think a bargain is well within your grasp. The package includes everything you need to enjoy fully the capabilities of your MP3 PLUS: headphones, software, neck strap, and USB cable connector. I thought a nice edge to finish it all off would be a rechargeable power supply but, admittedly, this would result in a price jump and some sacrifice on size and weight. As we have all come to understand, size does count.

* For more information, visit http://www.kalliba.co.za or phone Kalliba on +27 11 237 7000 or e-mail: info@kalliba.com

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