Sony has finally taken it’s world-renowned Walkman portable media player line into the world of digital video, unveiling its NW-A800 series of Network Walkmans for the European market. The NW-A800 series will initially be available in three models—the A805, A806, and A808—sporting 2, 4, and 8 GB of flash storage, respectively. For viewing video and images, the units sport a 2-inch QVGA (320 by 240 pixel) LCD display; the display features a portrait placement rather than the landscape design seen in Apple’s iPod, but Sony says video and images can be viewed in either orientation. The units weigh just 53 grams (1.9 ounces) and are just 9mm thick.
Of course, the NW-A800s support both audio and video playback, with MP3, AAC, WMA, and (naturally) several variations on Sony’s own ATRAC audio format, although the devices are not PlaysForSure compatible. On the video front, the Walkmans support MPEG-4 H.264/AVC encoded files.
Sony claims up to 30 hours of music playback time on a full battery charge, although that’s with 132Kbps ATRAC files, and battery life will be less for other audio formats. Sony says users can get up to six and half hours of 382Kbps video playback on a single battery charge.
For now, the NW-A800 series will only be available in Europe (starting in April), although Sony says it plans to take the new Walkmans to additional international markets in the future. Pricing in the U.K. (without VAT) stands at £102.12 for the 2 GB model, £127.65 for the 4GB model, and £170.20 for the 8 GB model; in U.S. dollars, that would be roughly $200, $250, and $333, respectively. The NW-800s will be available in at least four colors: black, white, pink, and blue.