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Put your PMP in Sony's TuneTray

Sony's new DSX-S100 has an odd feature that's called the TuneTray, but what the heck is a TuneTray?

Sony DSX-S100's TuneTray in action
OK, so the DSX-S100 technically isn't mech-free, because the TuneTray features moving parts. Sony

LAS VEGAS--Sony is tossing its hat into the "mech-free" digital audio receiver ring along with Alpine and Pioneer, but it's the way Sony is going about connecting portable media players (PMPs) to its new receiver that's so interesting. Sony's new DSX-S100 has an odd feature that's called the TuneTray. I know what you're asking: "What the heck is a TuneTray?"

Sony DSX-S100
Besides its lack of a CD drive, the DSX-S100 has all of the same features as the rest of Sony's car stereos. Sony

The TuneTray is a storage mechanism for an iPod or other USB device that allows users to keep their PMP inside of the DSX-S100, rather than flopping around in the glovebox or a cupholder. Internal storage eliminates loose wires and allows for a cleaner appearance.

Simply open the S100s faceplate, attach the short USB cable to your PMP, and then close the faceplate to start listening. Of course, Sony's standard array of browsing and audio-processing technologies will also be available in this receiver.

Sure, the TuneTray gimmick looks very cool in pictures, but let's not forget how badly the last internal iPod docking receiver we tested turned out. Hopefully, the DSX-S100 will fare better when it becomes available this June for about $150. In the meantime, we'll get a closer look at the TuneTray in action as CES 2010 progresses.