Sony's new Walkman looks nothing like a Walkman and more like the spawn of a track-and-field baton and an iPod Shuffle. Fortunately, the result is not as horrific as it sounds.
Available beginning Sept. 15, the Sony NW-S200 series comes in 1GB and 2GB sizes. Geared toward the active set, these players can detect a user's run/walk rhythm and adjust the music accordingly, count steps and calories burned and measure distance covered. Plus, it's cool if you drip sweat on it. Sony's touting the new Walkman as water-resistant, so you can pick it up with wet hands or get caught in the rain--just don't take it swimming.
With just a one-line organic electroluminescence display (OELD), the aluminum-encased player has some nifty features. Shaking the player three times randomizes the playlist, and it can be "speed charged"--plug in for three minutes and it gives you three hours of playback. If you're patient enough to let it recharge for the full 45 minutes, you'll be rewarded with 18 hours of playback.
The NW-S200 series can support MP3, Atrac, non-DRM WMA and AAC audio files, and comes in pink, black or silver. The 1GB version will cost $120 and the 2GB $150.