Our Verdict 
Carry your entire music collection in uncompressed format – with room for a few movies – and play it back in style, too
For 
Vast capacity for the same money
subtle but stylish new look
even better sonic performance
Against 
Pathetic headphones
Reviewed on

Take the last generation's top-spec iPod, and swap 40GB/80GB capacities for 80GB/160GB without upping the price.

Then add a boosted audio output, an even neater interface and a slimmer, all-metal finish. What's not to like about the new iPod Classic?

With the new iPod touch limited to a maximum 64GB, the Classic is a strategic masterstroke - if you're one of the many who feel compelled to take your entire music collection with you wherever you go, the 160GB Classic is the only dance in town.

We also reckon the Classic will earn a following from those who find the touch a little tricky to operate with one hand (try working an iPod touch in your pocket in a packed train carriage, then a Classic).

More after the break

There are downsides of course: the Classic has a conventional hard drive instead of the touch's solid state storage, which in theory means that it's less resistant to hefty knocks and long-term wear.

And only time will tell if the Classic is free of the battery life issues that afflicted its forebear (again, its spinning hard drive drains more life than the touch's solid state drive).

And although the Classic is immensely capable, it will never enjoy the world of clever functionality you can call upon from your iPod touch. Web surfing, for example, isn't on option.

But let's end on a high: this Apple sounds better than ever (though the 'phones still suck - look for better cans), especially playing uncompressed WAV or Apple Lossless files.

For now, we're off to re-rip all our CDs and enjoy...