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MP3 Players

Sony Walkman NW-A808: Punching above its weight

Sony's new 8GB MP3 and video player gives Apple's iPod nano a run for its money. Think: 'nano + video support + battery life = NW-A808'

Today Crave is feeling the positive vibes from Sony's new MP3 Walkman, the NW-A808. It's a sleek, tasty-looking 8GB competitor to Apple's iPod nano that, at a first glance, could comfortably wear the 'potential nano killer' sash, along with a smug grin and no hint of pretention. It does everything the nano does, but it adds a healthy layer of icing too. It's no secret that Crave enjoys MP3 players covered in icing, so we're keen to get our grubby paws on this new offering.

The NW-A808 will play your unprotected MP3s and WMA files, along with any tunes you've compressed into Sony's ATRAC format. It'll pump 30 hours of music into your ears from a single charge, which beats the nano by a healthy eight hours. It's long been Crave's desire to listen to the Rolling Stones' entire back catalogue in one sitting, but this isn't possible even with a fully charged nano. With Sony's new flash player, we're looking forward to fulfilling our peculiar dream.

Both the nano and the NW-A808 give us portable access to all our photos, but you'll get to see slightly more of them on the NW-A808. Photos are all well and good, but seeing video at 30 frames every second is even better, and this is where the NW-A808 delivers. We can expect eyestrain from watching our favourite TV shows on the 51mm (2-inch) screen though, and 8GB of flash memory isn't really enough to store all your favourite movies in MPEG-4 format. We'd love to see a ground-breaking 16GB model, but 8GB is enough to hold some home video clips and those photos of your cat falling over, along with a smashingly large library of your favourite tunes.

The Sony NW-A808 will hopefully hit the UK in April, along with its 2GB and 4GB siblings, at a price tag of about £199. It's not as cheap as the 8GB nano (£169), but it offers a great deal more to justify the price difference. -NL