Sony Walkman NWZ-A845 review: Sony Walkman NWZ-A845

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Typical Price: $399.00

Sony Walkman NWZ-A845

(Part #: CNETSony Walkman NWZ-A845)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Looks. Feel. OLED screen. Excellent sound quality. Noise cancellation.

The Bad Price, price, price. Slight bluish tinge to the whites. Available in any colour you want, so long as it's black. No gapless playback. Did we mention the price?.

The Bottom Line Great sound, OLED screen and noise cancellation, good ear buds and lovely design. What's not to love about this Walkman? Oh yeah, that's right, the extravagant price.

6.8 Overall

Design

In terms of look and feel this Walkman is a winner. At just 7.7mm thick the A-Series' metal body is both a visual and tactile delight. If you're not a fan of the Walkman's sexy black finish then you're out of luck, as it's the only colour available.

Unlike Sony's other OLED Walkman, the touchscreen X-Series , the A-Series features the company's now traditional Mickey Mouse button layout. Quite how they haven't been sued by the Walt Disney Company is still beyond us; nonetheless, the metal buttons are — you can take a swig now — a tactile delight.

The menu system looks good and is simple to navigate. Our only major criticism is that it sometimes takes a few clicks to stop and start music as the centre button functions as both an Enter key, as well as a play/pause button.

Sitting behind a glass screen is a 2.8-inch, 400x240 OLED display that retains its colour, brightness and clarity from almost any viewing angle. Shame then that there's a slight bluish tinge to its whites.

Features

Regardless, videos and photos look fantastic on the A-Series. The only picture format supported is JPEG and annoyingly you can't zoom into images. The only way to play DivX and XviD clips is via conversion, as the Walkman's compatible video formats are AVC/H.264, MPEG4, WMV and AAC-LC.

As with the rest of the Walkman line-up, music, videos and pictures are transferred via simple drag-and-drop. While this cuts out a bloated middle man — we're thinking of you iTunes — it does entail a few negative side effects.

For example, there's no gapless playback, the device can't be used for listening to music, watching video and browsing photos when it's plugged into a computer, and the Walkman forgets the last song played before it was plugged in.

With no supplied AC adapter, hitching it to a computer is the only way to charge the A-Series. A full charge requires about three hours and provided us sufficient charge for a week's worth of music playback — according to Sony, the A-Series is good for 29 hours of music playback, eight hours of video or 14 hours of FM radio.

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