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    Ultra ULT31102 128MB MP3 player
    Author: jonnyGURU
    Date Posted:19/12/2004 12:18.15
    SLRating: SLRating: 8/10
    Bottom Line: SLCentral reviewed the ULT31102 MP3 player with 128MB of memory from Ultra Products. We liked the small flash memory drive, compact design, sound quality and easy to use buttons. On the other hand it is 128MB and is not expandable, only USB 1.1 and MSRP is a little high.

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    The volume is plenty loud enough, and the dynamic range was very acceptable. The ear-buds became a little uncomfortable after an hour, but any ear-buds under $50 are going to feel weird after prolonged use. I've heard some people complain about the lack of LCD. Come on! It's a sub $60 MP3 player and besides, I put the songs on there in the first place. I think I know what I'm listening to! On that note, I have to admit that I thought the lack of LCD would mean longer life from the battery. No dice. The AAA battery lasted the same 8 hours as the AAA battery used in the other two Ultra MP3 players.

    The biggest drawback is the memory capacity. 128MB is only 2 hours at 128kbps and, unlike the other two Ultra MP3 players, there's no slot to install an SD or MMC card to increase capacity. Also, there's no FM tuner to switch to when you get bored with listening to the same 2 hours of audio. Not a big deal and I can understand the concept of "more circuitry equals more size," but I know you guys have seen the little FM radios that are no bigger than a dime that they sell at the drug store for under $10 or give away as promotional items. I know it can be done, but I also know that the flash memory drive could be 256MB or even 512MB as well.


    • Very small flash memory drive. Two piece design keeps the device compact.
    • Good sound quality.
    • Easy to use buttons.


    • Is only 128MB and is not expandable.
    • Only USB 1.1.
    • MSRP is a little high. Try to get one on sale and look for a rebate.
    • The wire going from the thumb drive to the decoder is way long.

    All and all, I like this little MP3 player. It's small, but despite it's size the controls are good. The sound quality is great and if you can get the device for as little as $39.95 after rebate, jump all over it. Otherwise, if you miss out on the rebate and you're looking in the sub $60 area, there are more affordable choices. Apacer has a similar device for $49.95. Gateway has a device with an FM tuner for only $49.95. I have no personal experience with either of them, so buyer beware. For now, I'm going to give this device an 8 out of 10. Yes, I know I gave the last one a 7 and it had an FM Tuner, e-Mail, voice recorder, an LCD and an SD/MMC slot, but remember that that device also costs 50% more and I didn't like the controls at all. Maybe next year, Ultra will double or triple the memory capacity, but still try to sell it at the same price. If they do, I guarantee this device will gain another star on the SLRating! Make the device in a USB 2.0 version for the same price and we might give it yet another star (hint, hint)....

    SLRating: 8/10

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    1. Introduction
    2. Observations
    3. Conclusions

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