A dollop of blah mixed with a smidgen of meh.
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…