The Sony Walkman line once consisted of the best in portable audio technology. Of course, this was back when the pinnacle of mobile media was the portable CD player. As times changed, the Walkman fell behind the new iPod devices offered by Apple, despite Sony releasing numerous new products. However, Sony is still making an effort to keep the Walkman name alive. At a conference today, the makers of the very interesting S2 tablet released a new Android powered music player and MID, dubbed the Walkman Z, which actually looks relatively appealing.
The device's specifications, which include a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 display, and WiFi connectivity put it on par with other current MIDs like the iPod Touch. Not only that, Sony also included an impressive list of extra features like DLNA media sharing, micro-HDMI out, Bluetooth, FM radio, and Android 2.3 with Sony music enhancement tweak, and even headphones that might be worth using.
Unfortunately, the Walkman X really falls short in terms of price and availability. Currently only planned for release in Japan, the device will cost you a hefty $364 for the 16GB version and $429 for 32GB. Clearly, both these factors will restrict the device to a slim market of Sony enthusiasts, at least in the US.
This is quite disappointing, as there is currently very little competition in the connected media player market in the US, as it is currently dominated by the iPod Touch. It would have been great to see another company, especially one with media player experience like Sony, try to at least make a dent in Apple's market share. However, as more and more people are turn to their smartphones for the duties once performed by mobile internet and media devices, they become less important, which may mean they are all doomed to fail. Would you still purchase a dedicated MID for music and other media if you already had a smartphone?[Mobile Burn]