Sony PMX-M70: Gadget giant hobbles PVP with flash

The new PMX-M70 would be Sony's answer to a widescreen iPod, if only it had a hard disk and came out in Europe. Still, it's a gorgeous-looking device to drool over on a dreary Monday morning

Those Far Eastern gadget freaks always get the tripped-out gear before us. This time it's Sony rubbing our noses in its delightfully filthy electronic dirt with the very tasty-looking PMX-M70. We've got to say that while Sony sometimes gets things wrong these days, it can hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head when it wants to.

That said, it's not all as excellent as it first appears. This new PVP, sporting a massive 4.3-inch screen and H.264 video support, maxes out at 8GB of flash memory. Why in silicon's name wouldn't you throw a 100GB hard disk in there? Sony, please stop retarding products that could otherwise be brilliant. Give the PS3 some exclusive games, give Blu-ray a significant price drop and give the PMX-M70 a freakin' hard disk.

Anyway, the other specs on this player are excellent: it's got a colour TFT display, MPEG-4 video support, direct video recording and expandability options via Sony's Memory Sticks.

This is an overseas effort at the moment, but Sony usually gives us the goods eventually. We loved the NW-A808, drooled over the NW-E013 and have much respect for the hard-drive-based NW-HD5. If we had only one wish, it'd be for the iPhone to come out in the UK right-piggin'-now. But if we had another, it'd be for the PMX-M70 to come over here before Christmas. If we had a third, it'd be for it to come here in September with a hard disk instead of flash memory... but we admit that's being hopeful. -Nate Lanxon