Those of us resistant to the charms of converged devices and who prefer our phones to be our phones and our media players to play media will be delighted by the official unveiling of Sony's new Walkman Z. Everyone else will wondering why they bothered.
The new Walkman Z will run on the Android Gingerbread (2.3) platform and will sport a huge 4.3-inch WVGA display with three storage variants (16GB, 32GB and 64GB models), with the big daddy option expected to fetch ¥43,000 (about AU$540) when it hits stores in Japan in December. Pricing and local release dates have yet to be announced.
Impressively, Sony will pack an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor into the Walkman Z, which should mean it will play HD videos with ease and be capable of handling the best 3D gaming titles on the Android Market. There's no 3G option for the Z, but there is Wi-Fi with DLNA media-sharing compatibility and a micro-HDMI port on the side of the unit. An FM radio will complement an excellent array of audio codec support, though the video file recognition is less impressive, with support for MP4, H.264 and WMV only.
We love the look of this new Walkman, with its curved battery cover and familiar square front-facing profile. If Sony can keep its premium pricing down, it could definitely give the iPod Touch a run for its money in the eyes of everyone who hasn't bought a smartphone, or for those who did and want to save its paltry battery life for calls and messages.