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Sony intros ultra-thin iPod nano rival with OLED

updated 09:15 am EDT, Wed September 16, 2009

Sony Walkman A840 and S740

Sony on Wednesday unveiled a new Walkman line that appears tailored to compete with and beat the new iPod nano in terms of sheer features. The A840 is not only the first Sony player to be almost as thin as its Apple counterpart, at 0.28 inches thick, but has an even larger 2.8-inch display that uses OLED. The swap gives it better color reproduction than the iPod's LCD and supplies a long 29 hours of music playback, or nine hours of video.

The player has Sony's usual media support, including AAC and H.264, and should work with drag-and-drop loading on any computer; Windows PCs also get Sony's familiar iTunes conduit app to sync music and videos from iTunes. The company appropriately vows tight integration with the PS3 and will let users play content from the Walkman on the game console.

Sony's capacity and storage also give it a possible edge, as the company is selling 16GB, 32GB and even 64GB versions. The A840 is launching in Japan first and should be available on October 31st at estimated US-equivalent prices of $265, $331 and $442.

Also confirmed today are the previously rumored steps below the player, the S740 and S640. These have much more conventional 2-inch LCDs but otherwise have the same features and muster an even larger 42 hours of music playback time. The S640 is the base player and will come in 8GB and 16GB capacities at prices equivalent to $154 and $188. The S740 adds active noise cancellation and will have 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions that cost $177, $210 and $276 each. Most models should ship in mid-to-late October in Japan.

Most Walkman players reach the US but usually have slightly lower prices. [via Impress]



by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice, but it appears to be missing...

    video recording and playback. Other than that, this media player seems to be a very solid product. I'm betting Sony will take back the top spot in Japan from the Nano again. How SONY is getting so much playing time from their products is amazing. They must have some special battery technology or the OLED display is really an energy saver. It doesn't appear that SONY is suffering from a NAND flash shortage with a 64 GB version. Impressive.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    More expensive and doesn't sync with iTunes. It looks beautiful. But I don't think it will function as nicely as the nano. Apple has perfected the user interface. I think most will pass on this. I sure will.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    @iphonerulez: it does video playback, but you're right, no camera.

    The main thing is OLED though, in my opinion. Power consumption is one thing, but I REALLY want to see these puppies inside an iPod or iPhone soon, just because of sheer image quality. Black really is BLACK. Imagine what that would do to iPhone Clock app sales... :)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Yikes

    More expensive and doesn't sync with iTunes.

    What part of "Windows PCs also get Sony's familiar iTunes conduit app to sync music and videos from iTunes. " makes you think it doesn't sync with itunes?

    You'd think you'd be more concerned about how the entire UI is in Japanese.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No video camera

    Uh oh. No video camera! That POS on the nano is a joke. The fact that it can't even take still pictures is laughable. Apple is slipping big time, especially since apps won't save the day here. 64 gigs in a player that small, with a great screen... choice is pretty easy.

    And dpicardi, apple has perfected the interface? How hard can it be to create an mp3 player interface that is as simple as the nano. It's a few menus. No touchscreen. Even Microsoft managed to create a pretty slick looking OS for the zune hd.

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looks interesting...but

    Looks interesting, the OLED is the latest "neat" thing. Yet going head to head with the nano? Maybe, for some. As for the techtarded zune fanboy post, I've had a hands on with both the zune hd and the new nano. MS are tools for not porting the product to the Apple platform and the nano is pretty fricken sweet. Far from your prediction, I figure the nano will be a top seller come the holidays (the new touch is already #1 on Amazon). The only thing I thought about the zune that was okay was that OLED screen, the interface--kind of so-what. Yet Apple owners who'd like to get one have to run bootcamp, get windows and put up with the odious MS DRM. No thanks-they can keep that snake pit. And--of course--there is apps deficit syndrome to contend with. If anything is circling the drain it may be the zune. Yet another reason to be reticent in getting one, after all MS did kill off the rest of the line.

  1. mooncaine

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If it plays my MP3s, I like it.

    I've tried a few iPods, and I'm sick of being forced to use iTunes, sick of being unable to move my music files from the player onto my Mac.

    If the Sony lets me drag and drop files to and from it, on my Macs (any of them), I'll be looking at their player instead of an iPod this year.

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