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MP3 Players

Sony Walkman NW-S600 and NW-S700: Love lozenges

Sony has finally taken a long, hard look at itself and started making decent electrothings again. The new Walkmen are delightful...

Like a third-year Art student in the grips of the sudden realisation that she's going to fail the course unless drastic action is taken, Sony seems to have recently woken up to Apple's dominance of the scene and got all creative in retaliation. Not only is the Sony design department pulling spectacular ads out of its corduroy jacket, but the new NW-S600 and NW-S700 Walkman series look positively tantalising.

The two players use a 3-line OLED display, have a mammoth 50 hour battery life and support MP3, AAC, WMA, and ATRAC files. There's also a useful three-minute 'quick charge' feature, which charges the device's battery at an impressive rate of one hour of playback per minute of charging.

Both models will be released in 1GB and 2GB versions, but only the NW-S700 comes in an increased 4GB capacity, and includes an FM tuner and integrated noise cancellation system. There's no news yet on a UK release date or pricing, but we'll keep you abreast.

The NW-700 is set for launch in Japan this week and the NW-600 next month. Sony has also said that it will develop a Walkman with video capabilities. Senior vice president Hiroshi Yoshioka was reluctant to divulge anything concrete about the new player, but he's got our little hearts racing faster than a gold man through Brixton. -CS