Toshiba last night launched its Gigabeat range of hard drive based digital music players to New Zealand for the first time.
The Gigabeat F-series range directly competes with Apple’s iPod and consists of 20GB, 40GB and 60GB models, which sport 2.2-inch colour screens and are similar in size to their market-leading rival.
Retail pricing for the range starts at $489 for the F20, which will be available to Toshiba’s entire channel, including IT resellers.
The F40 ($589) and F60 ($659) however will at this stage only be sold through Toshiba’s retail partners, Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman.
Callum Eade, country manager for Toshiba’s information systems division, which markets the Gigabeat in New Zealand, says music and photos can downloaded onto the Gigabeat.
“You can load pictures from a camera and view them immediately,” says Eade, taking a subtle jab at the iPod, which requires images to be transferred from a computer before they can be viewed.
Eade says the Gigabeat demonstrates Toshiba’s newfound drive to take full advantage of the technology it has developed instead of licensing it to other manufacturers, as it has done in the past.
“It will stand us in good stead for the growing MP3 player market,” he says.
Toshiba says the Gigabeat delivers up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge and supports MP3, WMA and WAV music files.
The F20 and F40 are available in white, blue, pink and silver, but the F60 comes only in silver.