Apple's iPod is the year's best portable music-player because "it leads the field on account of stunning design, simplicity of use, superb performance and overall value for money," says The Guardian.

But the gap between the iPod and its rivals is starting to narrow. The Guardian credits the Philips HDD100 as "the iPod's most serious competitor", stating that it "matches the iPod in design. It is the same size as its Apple rival and boasts a striking piano black finish".

Despite this the Phillips player is not considered a threat: "At £250 for 15GB, however, it is not as competitively priced as its rival. It is also PC-only."

The Creative Jukebox Zen Xtra wins the value for money accolade for its 60GB of storage for £350. "This works out £50 cheaper than the top-end iPod, which only has 40GB of storage".

The Creative is also credited for its excellent battery life "twice the length of the iPod". But isn't considered "as elegant as its rivals".