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Sony's nano Rivalling E Series MP3 Players Revealed

Gordon Kelly


Sony's nano Rivalling E Series MP3 Players Revealed

Sony may have once ruled the portable music market but those days are long gone...

Instead what we have from the King of Proprietary is news of yet another 'me-too' range of nano challengers dubbed the 'E Series' (can anyone work out the line up of any Sony range these days?).

Going after the midrange/girly market the NWZ-E435 (2GB), NWZ-E436 (4GB) and NWZ-E438 (8GB) which come with 2in QVGA LCDs, MP3, WMA and AAC playback and surprisingly convoluted battery life claims. For audio these are 1150/76h 40m (48kbps), 885 songs/59h (64kbps), 440 songs/29h 20m (128kbps), 220 songs/14h 40m (256kbps) and 175 songs/11h 40m (320kbps). For video 7h 10m at 384kbps and 4h at 768kbps. Perhaps not the best friend of the audiophile then.

At just 8.5mm thick and weighing a mere 50g however the E series is extremely portable and news of an integrated FM tuner and simple drag and drop file transfers will win it back a number of fans. As for official pricing and availability info it should appear in the next month or two.

Perhaps most interestingly though is source SonyInsider's claim that "We’ve seen some specs of the rest of the Sony MP3 lineup that is coming and it is very exciting. More details soon. Don’t be too critical of the E-series, they are more for the budget conscious."

Naturally we'll take this with considerable spoonfuls of salt given the site's clear allegiances but we'd certainly be happy for Sony to return to former glories since it would mean an end to these types of also-ran products...


via SonyInsider

gareth edwards

August 18, 2008, 7:11 pm

It's going to tank. When the first iPods came out they weren't exactly the best on the block BUT they had 2 very cool things going for them that nobody so far has managed to see when it's staring them in the face. 1. They had a name that makes sense. iPod, not a string of meaningless numbers and letters, an actual name and they stuck with it so everyone is well aware what any new device offers - it will be the same as the last iPods with more X or Y. Secondly they made it nice to touch, shiny metal anyone? Looks lovely, it's shiny, have to touch it, eugh finger prints, have to clean it and keep my precious shiny - a covetous item right from the get go. Combine these two factors, a nice simple name (which becomes prefix for a range of devices) so people can understand it combined with a nice looking object that people enjoy using you end up with a product that stands a good chance. Combine this with other services that offer a good user experience like iTunes rather than SoundsStage which was a pig and it all looks so simple and in general I think it is.

There's lots more to say on the matter why Apple has a dominant position but in reality it came VERY late to the MP3 player party BUT it wore the best looking clothes and had a name that people remembered in the morning. AND even though initially it was only available for Macintosh, like at a party somehow this outsider with few friends managed to be mr popular. So in short, nice try Sony, the small alphabet and a bunch of numbers or whatever it's called may well be a winner on paper but when the room is full of people it will just get lost in the crowd, like all the others you have made. - Can anyone name more than 3 Sony MP3 players off the top of their head? No? thought so...


August 18, 2008, 10:01 pm

@gareth - I can't and I've written about them all ;)

Good points well made Gareth :)


August 18, 2008, 10:33 pm

@Gareth - You saved me a rant! Legend. It's just a shame Apple mobile devices don't have sound quality that rivals Sony's devices. I live in hope...


August 19, 2008, 12:12 am

Good points Gareth, but I still prefer great sound quality, solidly built players and being able to use software that isn't effectively spyware over having an easily recognizable name and a higher price tag then they deserve.


August 19, 2008, 2:21 am

hmmm.... i can name a dozen models and am quite happy with my sony player ... they have decent battery life at least!

gareth edwards

August 19, 2008, 12:59 pm

Juxtah, fair point but consider the average consumer. We buy things that are not as good as something else not because they are worse but because they have managed to make the market think of their product as the defining the market. Like the Walkman&#174, Windows&#174, Ford Fiesta, Coca Cola, yadda yadda yadda.... they may not be the best option but they own the market through customer consent. The point I am trying to make is this is what Apple has done. If anyone wants to take a slice of this back they will have to offer at a bare minimum everything the Apple range of products does including having a simple naming convention and very attractive product design.

As for for the spyware thing - if you are using a PC then the whole machine is a DRM monster as XP&#174 and far worse in Vista&#174 flavour so what's the problems? You are complaining about a little prison inside a maximum security prison that you happily choose to use.

yann - fair point but as above, you may be able to reel off a load of numbers and letters (well done) but the average consumer really isn't interested in that. Name a Flat panel TV - the only 2 I can name off the top of my head or the Vierra and the Bravia - both ranges of TVs but the simple name is the thing I remember. As for the battery life, like above, we don't necessarily buy the best product - we buy the product we THINK of as best.

BTW - Just so nobody thinks I'm a fanboy, I don't even have an MP3 player I'm still a CD kinda guy.

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