Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg and his assistant Katie Boehret have been testing three potential competitors to Apple’s popular iPod mini — Pocket DJ from Dell (US$199), the Rio Carbon ($249), and Creative Zen Micro ($249). The Rio Carbon was released last month, and the Pocket DJ and Zen Micro will be available in November. “In our judgment, the three players are closer in style to competing with Apple’s Mini than competitors have been in the past,” writes Mossberg. “But all three still lag behind badly in simplicity and ease of use — so badly, in fact, that we can’t recommend them over the Apple.”