Sony launched three new models of Walkman players on Thursday at the IFA electronics show in Berlin, including the new S-series that are the slimmest yet.
The devices are 7.5 millimeters thin and will be available in two main types: the S630 and S730 series. The main difference between the two is noise canceling on the S730 models. Both can play MP3 audio files and also support video playback via a 2-inch display with QVGA (320 pixels by 240 pixels) resolution.
Features include the ability to select one of ten pre-installed themes or a favorite picture as wallpaper and drag-and-drop transfer of songs from iTunes via supplied software. They also support several audio and video formats including MP3, WMA, non-secure AAC, PCM, JPEG for photos, Windows Media Video with digital rights management, H.264/AVC and MPEG4.
The S730-series models will be available from September in North America and both the S630 and S730 series from October in Europe. The NWZ-S736F has 4G bytes of storage and will cost US$150, while the NWZ-S738F has 8G bytes and will cost US$180. Sony didn't announce European pricing.
The S-series models will come pre-loaded with 8 video tracks from Sony BMG artists, including Chris Brown, Sandi Thom and The Ting Tings.
Sony also announced several other new Walkman players.
The E-series has a similar look to the S-series but doesn't include features like noise reduction. The are four color variations: blue, pink, red and black. Also available in the same four colors is the entry-level B-series that just plays back audio and connects straight in to a USB (Universal Serial Bus) socket for music transfer. On some models, there's an FM radio and voice recorder function.
Battery life when playing audio for the S series is up to 40 hours (30 hours with noise cancellation enabled), for the E series up to 45 hours and for the B series up to 16 hours. For video, it's about 10 hours for the S series and 8 hours for the E series.
The E- and B-series players will be launched at the same time as the S-series. In the U.S., the NWZ-E438F with 8G bytes of storage will cost $140 and the NWZ-B135F with 2G bytes of storage will cost about $60.