updated 07:50 am EST, Thu March 1, 2007
Sony MP3 Video Walkman
As promised, Sony early this morning launched the A800 series. Also known as the MP3 Video Walkman, the player is dubbed the world's lightest video player by the company considered a blend between a full-sized media jukebox and a slim, flash-based music device. The finished A800 is slightly thicker than the iPod nano at 0.36 inches but uses a larger, 2-inch screen: the extra space provides for video in MPEG-4 or AVC (H.264) at full speed.
The battery life is also exceptional, according to Sony's claims, at 30 hours of continuous music and 8 hours of movies. The new Walkman reflects Sony's more open approach to audio formats and handles AAC, MP3, and WMA along with the Japanese firm's own ATRAC standard.
Available in Europe starting in April, the player will command a slight premium over Apple's player while sharing some of its color schemes. Both the 2GB A805 and 4GB A806 will ship in black, blue, pink, and white; the 8GB A808 will be available only in black or white. Prices are set at £120, £150, and £200 respectively, significantly higher than the prices of their American-made rivals. A US launch is expected for the line but hasn't been announced.