Hands-On With the Sony X-Series Walkman

Sony X-Series Walkman
Sony's finally taken the wraps off its latest addition to the infamous Walkman family, the X-Series. We first saw a glimpse of the X-series OLED Walkman in a glass case at CES. An OLED touchscreen display? Integrated noise cancellation technology? The specs seemed almost too good to be true. I got some hands-on time with the X-series and I was definitely impressed with what I saw.

Some of the previous Walkman models felt a bit cheap in build, so I was initially disappointed when I saw press photos of the X-Series. Its geode encasing looked a bit like those stone Legos I had as a child. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I saw the X-Series in real life. The build is study and feels good in hand while the design is slim and pocketable.

The headlining feature, of course, is its touch OLED display. Unsurprisingly, the quality is fantastic. Motions and animations rendered smoothly, while colors looked brilliant and accurate. One of the many advantages of OLED technology is that it draws less power from a battery than an LCD screen. Sony said that the X-Series has nine hours of video battery life, three hours more than the iPod Touch.

Of course, you can't talk about portable media players without mentioning Apple's hold on the market. Frankly, I think the X-Series has what it takes to shake up the iPod-centric world. It doesn't try to emulate the iPod/iTunes model (like, ahem, the Microsoft Zune) and instead offers something totally different--Slacker Radio. You can select up to three stations and hundreds of songs are pushed to your device free of charge. And the device's built-in Wi-Fi will refresh your content automatically--pretty cool.

Sony's 16 and 32 GB models cost $299 and $399 respectively, the same prices as Apple's iPod Touch models. But unlike Apple, Sony does not offer an 8 GB model. Stay tuned for a full rated review of the Sony X-Series Walkman when it debuts mid-June.

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