Sony announces Z series Android-powered Walkman
We first got our hands on Sony's Walkman prototype at IFA in 2011. But at this year's CES the company has finally announced an expected retail date, and estimated US pricing.
The Z100 players come in three capacities, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. They should be going on sale - according to the Sony website - at the start of March. The UK site has no dates as yet, but confirms at least one model is coming to Blighty.
The smallest capacity model, the 8GB NWZ-Z1040, costs $250 (£161), the mid-capacity NWZ-Z1050, 16GB player is $280 (£180) and the largest, the NWZ-Z1060 at 32GB is $330 (£213).
Sony says that the S-Master MX digital amplifier is designed to reduce any unwanted distortion and noise, and will produce a wonderful clean and clear sound. There's a quick launch W button that takes you straight to the music interface, and the player can play music based on your mood, which it manages through categorising music into "channels".
To compete with Apple's Airplay, the Walkman Z series can send video, music and photos to a DLNA compliant TV or other device. This is good news, as unlike Airplay, it doesn't require that you re-invest in a lot of new devices, as DLNA is as old as the hills, and quite widespread now.
Predictably, Sony will also provide access to its Music Unlimited application, which will allow users to buy music through the Sony-branded store. Sony mobile phone users will be aware of this service already, no doubt, and it is rather good, if a little pricey. As this is Android-powered, you also get access to hundreds of thousands of pretty decent third-party apps too, through the Market.
iPod not floating your boat? Considering the Sony?