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[Review] Inno-vation a real turn-on

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For music buffs who need their Coldplay to-go, black could be the new white. In stores this week, Pioneer's sleek XM2Go portable XM Satellite Radio unit, the Inno, combines MP3 power with pocket-size satellite-radio technology, giving both extraterrestrial radio competitor Sirius and Apple's iPod reasons to sweat and hold emergency staff meetings.


With its black and silver body, and optional midnight-colored headset with built-in antenna (sold separately), the Inno has looks that thrill. But even more exciting is what this little thing can do. First and foremost, it's an XM satellite radio unit. It's smaller, though, than previous XM2Go players; it's about the size of an iPod.


It has a color screen, too, and an iPod-like control pad on which users can easily bounce around XM's 170-plus stations. A built-in antenna works well, as do the included earplugs (also included is a home kit; a car kit is sold separately). But if you're going to be out and about a lot, go for Belkin's headphones ($39), which have an antenna built in and sound better than the earbuds.


Secondly, the Inno is an MP3 player, like the iPod. Users can store up to 50 hours of music -- either by recording songs straight from an XM station or by downloading them from their computers. XM and Napster have a hand-in-hand deal that allows Inno users to browse through and purchase songs directly from Napster's Web site.


It's a sturdy little thing, too, unlike an iPod, which is pretty much a goner if you drop it. So, Apple, what time's that meeting?


What it is: XM2Go

Who makes it: Pioneer






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