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Sony launches NWZ-A820 series: The A828 and A826 Walkman

Sony has launched the new NWZ-A820 series of MP3 Walkman, including an 8GB and a 4GB player, both complete with Bluetooth -- and no more SonicStage!

You've probably heard of Sony. It's done a few things here and there over the years, including the building of a damn-near indestructible MiniDisc player. Today it's showing off its new Walkman lineup, which includes new versions of the NWZ-A810 series, not surprisingly called the NWZ-A820 series, and is led by an 8GB Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player called the NWZ-A828. There's also a 4GB version, the NWZ-A826.

It's aesthetically a little different to its predecessor, with a central navigation pad and other buttons in new and exciting positions. It's also got a 61mm (2.4-inch) 320x240-pixel screen, 36 hours of audio playback (or seven for video), support for H.264 video, and of course WMA (protected and unprotected), AAC, WAV and good ol' MP3 playback. Oh, and it does photos too, 'cos we all love photos.

But that aforementioned Bluetooth's pretty exciting -- putting it in the same position as some of Samsung's players -- and Sony's putting both wired earphones and a pair of Bluetooth earphones in the box, so the choice to go wireless is up to you. There's also no SonicStage to mess about with -- it's all drag and drop from here on out, and Sony told us on the phone earlier that it has now "completely dropped SonicStage for its products"! If there was ever a time to celebrate, it was... well, yesterday actually, when the format war ended. But today's a good reason to celebrate again.

If the previous models are anything to go by, you should expect excellent sound quality and top-notch video playback. We'll be testing this -- and perhaps its indestructibility -- very soon, but you'll have to wait until April to pick one up. No word on prices yet, but we'll update when we know. -Nate Lanxon