Sony Debuts Budget Line of Flash Walkmans

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Sony has introduced a new line of flash-based Walkman portable music players designed to appeal to budget-conscious music fans who maybe don’t want all the bells and whistles of high-end devices, but still want a reliable way to listen to music on the go.

The Sony NW-E Walkmans will be available in capacities of 512 MB, 1 GB, and 2 GB, come in six colors (black, silver, violet, pink, blue, and green), and offer up to 28 hours of music playback time from a full battery charge—and a surprising quick-charge feature can restore up to three hours of playback time from only three minutes of charging. (Sure to appeal to students who need to make sure they can pick up enough juice between classes to get through study hall.)

“The new Walkman player is a great choice for people getting introduced to digital music,” said Mitch Li, Sony Electronics’ digital audio product manager. “By offering the player in an assortment of bright, vibrant colors, you can personalize your music experience.”

The NW-E series Walkmans also come with preset equalization settings, an integrated FM tuner (with the capability to remember frequently-used stations); an integrated one-line organic electroluminescent (OEL) display can flip orientation to accommodate left- and right-handed users. The devices can be loaded up from computer via USB 2.0, and support non-DRM WMA and AAC files, as well as MP3 and Sony’s own ATRAC format—and, of course, are compatible with Sony’s own Connect music service.

The units ship with either black or iPod-like white earbud headphones. The NW-E Walkmans will be available this month, with pricing set around $70 for the blue 512 MB version, $100 for the silver or pink 1 GB version, and $130 for the black, violet or lime green 2 GB version (which will only be available through Sony Style stores).

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