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New Walkman E-Series Steals iPod's Thunder

Category: Hardware Published on Monday, 20 September 2010

 Sony Plus Able Planet = a Winning Combination

It feels like an iPod.

It looks like an iPod.

It even has the same controls as an iPod.

But is it an iPod?



Enter stage left, the new E-Series Walkman from Sony.

I've been playing with the new NWZ-E353 ($70), which is a 4GB media player that delivers video and sound the way the tech gods intended for them to be seen and heard. It also is compatible with every popular music and video format, including Apple's iTunes.

For those wanting to carry around more tunes and videos, there's the NWZ-E354 ($80), which has all the features of the E353 but gives you 8GB of storage space.

Transferring files from your PC couldn't be easier and it can be performed from juat about any media player, including Apple's iTunes and the Windows Media Player. Just connect the Walkman to a USB port on your PC and you're ready to go. The computer instantly recognizes the unit as a storage device.

The only thing I would change - - - and this is the case with most music/video players - - - are the earbuds that come with the Walkman. I immediately swapped them out with a good set of earphones (see below) and was delighted with the results.

A few key features include:

  • A two-inch TFT display.
  • An FM tuner.
  • Fifty hours of music on a single charge.
  • Ten hours of video on a single charge.
  • Supports MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV (video) and WMV (video) formats.
  • SenseMe automatically categorizes music tracks.
  • It cleans up interference and noise from tracks using Sony's Clear Audio technology.
  • Its Content Transfer program automatically synchs with iTunes.

For more information, check out the company's website at

I used an Able Planet NC300B True Fidelity headset ($129.99) featuring Linx Audio technology instead of the earbuds that came with the Walkman. The quality and crispness of the audio reproduced through these earphones rivals any that I've used. Plus the noise cancellation feature doesn't dull the quality of the sound, as is the case with many of the other headsets in this category.

The NC300B features:

  • An in-line volume control.
  • A quarter-inch home stereo adapter.
  • A hard protective carry case.
  • An airplane adapter.

For more information, check our Able Planet's website at

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