C'mon touch me baby!

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

Photo by: Sony

X-series versus iPhone, part I

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.

Photo by: CNET Australia

X-series versus iPhone, part II

Size-wise the X-series is to the iPhone what Tim Cahill is to Peter Crouch. That said, it's still bigger than the rest of the current Walkman range.

Photo by: CNET Australia

Oh dear...

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

Photo by: CNET Australia

Let's just zoom out a bit...

If you're lucky enough to find a page that renders correctly, zooming out will give you this amazing array of dots.

Photo by: CNET UK

Enter it slowly now

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.

Photo by: CNET UK

Scroll, scroll, scroll your boat

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.

Photo by: CNET Australia

Noise be gone

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.

Photo by: Sony

Can I have some crackling?

The crackled granite finish around the edges does little for the X-series' looks but does make it very easy to hold.

Photo by: Sony

Sparkle, sparkle little star

Black with sparkle effect makes a nice change from straight piano black. The large Hold button on the back is simple to operate too.

Photo by: Sony

The not-Cover Flow

Scroll through your album covers vertically on the X.

Photo by: Sony

Videos anywhere

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.

Photo by: Sony

Go, go, stop

Sony has included a set of play/pause, forward and reverse buttons along the top edge, allowing you to operate the X without looking.

Photo by: CNET Australia


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