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Sony Walkman Z Series Launch

Was invited to the Sony Walkman Z Series Launch held at Helipad [1] yesterday. The first product to be launched under the new Walkman Z Series is the Sony Walkman Digital Media Players Z1050 [2] (microsite [3]).

For a music player, the Sony Walkman Z1050 packed some solid specifications:

It can be considered an Android Phone without the phone and camera functionality. Yeap, you read it right, there is no camera in the Sony Walkman Z1050 which is perfect for National Service (NS) people as well as military related organisations.

Despite it comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), it will be upgradable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) later this year.

The main selling point of the Sony Walkman Z1050 is of course the audio quality. First up is the new S-Master MX digital amplifier which is a unique technology by Sony that reduces noise levels and distortion to enhance your music. There are another 3 audio technologies (Clear Bass, Clear Stereo and Digital Sound Enchantment Engine (DSEE)) that improves the audio quality. With the Sony Walkman Z1050, you also get a pair of EX headphones [4] (Engadget’s comment mentioned it might be the EX300).

The xLOUD speaker system within the device produces pretty clear and loud sound when playing audio files, but when it comes to video, the audio from the video playback was very soft.

The Sony Walkman Z1050 supports Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), you can simply stream your music, videos and photos to any DLNA-compatible TVs, PCs or home audio system.

There are 2 downsides of the Sony Walkman Z1050. The first is the price, it will be retailing for S$429 which is incredibly steep. Apple iPod Touch (32GB) (current generation) is only retailing for S$428 [5].

I seriously have no idea how Sony is going to market this. The only selling point to justify the steep price is the sound quality. I am not an audiophile person, but my fellow tech bloggers told me that the audio quality is pretty good, definitely better than Apple iPod Touch.

The second downside is the use of proprietary connector for syncing and charging? Seriously? The proprietary port is also known as the Walkman Port (WM-Port). It is a USB 2.0 compliant 22-pin connector which is used for syncing and charging the device. The package does include a USB to WM-Port cable (duh), but I just don’t understand why can’t they use Micro USB.

Sony Walkman Z1050
Sony Walkman Z1050

Sony Walkman Z1050 - Micro HDMI, Dedicated Music Button, Volume Buttons
Sony Walkman Z1050 – Micro HDMI, Dedicated Music Button, Volume Buttons

Sony Walkman Z1050 - 3.5mm Audio Jack, Proprietary Connector (WM-Port)
Sony Walkman Z1050 – 3.5mm Audio Jack, Proprietary Connector (WM-Port)

Sony Walkman Z1050 - xLOUD
Sony Walkman Z1050 – xLOUD

Sony Walkman Z1050 - Cover Art
Sony Walkman Z1050 – Cover Art

Sony Walkman Z1050 - Visualizer
Sony Walkman Z1050 – Visualizer

Sony Walkman Z1050 - Equalizer
Sony Walkman Z1050 – Equalizer

A [6]