gGadget > Sony® Z Takes On iPod Touch
When you think of mobile media players, the iPod is probably the first device that pops into your head. This is for good reason. Apple’s flagship product has sold over 300 million units worldwide and has changed the way people listen to music. But it’s important to remember the forebears of mobile media players. The Walkman was introduced by Sony in 1979 and caused quite a stir. Now, instead of letting the Walkman go the way of the TalkBoy or laser disc, Sony is giving one of its most famous products a 21st century makeover.
The Walkman Z is looking to steal some of the iPod Touch’s market share, and Sony might just have crafted the perfect product to do that. The Z comes with a 4.3-inch display and a 1 GHz Tegra 2 processor, so you get fast, beautiful performance.
Sony still hasn’t figured out the secrets of Apple’s supply chain (a chain that may or may not include child labor, according to recent protests by a few human rights groups). So, the price is a bit higher than what it will cost to enter the Apple ecosystem. A 32 GB incarnation is available for $330 and an 8GB is available for $250.
The LED display on the device is a dream. The screen comes in at 800 x 480 and displays very sharp blacks and crisp colors.
In the storage department, I have a bit of a concern. After all the software and application installations, the 8GB option leaves you with about 4.5GB of actual space to store music. That’s barely enough to store Sufjan Stevens’ entire catalog. So, I would recommend sticking to the 16 or 32GB models. They’ll ensure you always have plenty of space for Belle and Sebastian, Nickelback, or whatever it is you like to rock.
Finally, the device’s battery life leaves a bit to be desired. It gives about 5.5 hours of music time, which is not even close to enough to last an entire cross-country plane ride. This is about average for music players, but with the avalanche of new smartphones with batteries that easily reach into the upper teens, I would like to have seen a device that could at least play through M83’s entire discography without requiring a little extra juice.