We take a closer look at what makes the Sony X-series Walkman both great and horribly frustrating. Now if only we could get inside the heads of Sony's pricing department.
Take a look around, the profusion of iPhones and iPod Touches should tell you that touchscreens are the hottest things right now. Much hotter, in fact, than the proposed
It's not as apparent in the photo as it is in real life, but at this angle the X-series' display remains clear, legible and burst forth with brightness and colour, while the iPhone is teetering on the edge of being a washed out mess.
What's that sir? You wanted to visit a normal website, one that isn't optimised for mobile devices, well forgedaboutit. The web browser, supplied by Access, can't even render Wikipedia properly, so it's little wonder that drifting over to
If you're lucky enough to find a page that renders correctly, zooming out will give you this amazing array of dots.
Entering URLs via the mobile phone-style keypad is tedious. Doubly so because the browser demands that you prefix every address with "http://" lest it throw a hissy fit, charge up stairs, slam the door shut and vow never to speak to you again.
Flicking through stations looks neat, but scrolling from one end of the spectrum to the other is a large dose of tedium sugar coated with pretty pictures.
The X comes standard with digital noise cancellation, but this only works with the supplied EX headphones which have built-in microphones to sample the background noise. Great if you like the 'phones, a waste if digging into your ear canal makes you more squeamish than watching an anti-smoking ad.
The crackled granite finish around the edges does little for the X-series' looks but does make it very easy to hold.
Black with sparkle effect makes a nice change from straight piano black. The large Hold button on the back is simple to operate too.
Scroll through your album covers vertically on the X.
Thanks to the OLED screen washed out blacks and colours are a thing of the past when you watch video on bumpy, unreliable public transport.
Sony has included a set of play/pause, forward and reverse buttons along the top edge, allowing you to operate the X without looking.