The new Sony X-Series Walkman has been called a savior by many tech experts and may be single handedly responsible for saving the Walkman. Although Sony dominated the portable music market for decades, when the Apple iPod appeared, it seemed as though Sony just gracefully bowed out. The company was disinterested in putting out products that supported MP3 files and just stuck to their guns when it came to ugly, oversized walkmans that nobody wanted anymore. Apple ended up laughing all the way to the bank, or at least they WERE laughing.
Finally Sony has taken a step back into the market and is starting to give Apple and the iPod a bit of a run for the portable music crown. The X-Series not only looks better and is more sleekly designed, but it also has enhanced sound quality. The walkman is equipped with excellent sounding audio as well as an advanced digital sound processor and noise canceling. This essentially means that no matter what type of music you choose to rock out to or which volume settings you use, it will be crystal clear and background noise around you will be tuned out.
The best part about the X-Series walkman when compared to old Sony Walkmans is that it will play pretty much anything from MP3’s to AAC’s and WMA’s. You can even purchase music from the iTunes store and crank it out onto this Walkman.
When compared directly to the infamous iPod, we have to admit that Apple’s software is bar none. However, the X-Series offers a very easy to navigate drag and drop application, which lets you toss your favorite tunes onto your player quickly and effortlessly. The screen itself is about a half an inch smaller than the iPod Touch.
Even though it is a bit smaller it actually makes up for the size difference when it comes to vibrancy and the quality of the picture. The new OLED screen for the X-Series quite literally puts the iPod’s LED one to shame. This makes flipping through pictures and watching video quite a bit more enjoyable.
With respect to the X-Series Walkman’s touch screen it is a little bit on the basic side. This can be great if you are into simpler technology but it does not offer as many tools and applications.
It terms of sex appeal, the X-Series is a little bit clunky and less attractive when put side by side with the iTouch, but for a lot of people that is not really that important. It is smaller which allows you to toss it into your pocket easier and the granite sides make it quite durable as well. There are also some easy to use side buttons, which help you navigate through songs and run through some applications, without having to fish the player out of your pocket every time.
All in all, the Sony X-Series Walkman is quite a major step in the right direction and could prove to be some healthy competition for Apple, FINALLY. The interface is not as crisp as the iPod Touch and it does not have Mac compatibility, but other than that it really does stand out. The screen quality and audio sound are top notch and this is finally a Walkman that deserves to be put up on a pedestal right near the iPod. Maybe not right beside it, but near. Either way, it is definitely a very positive step in the right direction for Sony, and an exciting product that can finally put some competition back into the portable music market.