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Sony X Series Walkman (NWZ-X1051)

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wi-Fi enabled, with a touch screen and the integration of popular Web services like Slacker Internet radio and YouTube, the Walkman has evolved into a robust music and video player. There's also built-in noise cancellation, and the player comes with a pair of earphones that sound great when combined with the user adjustable EQ. My only major complaint. The Web experience isn't great Sony's browser is no match for Apple's Safari. And you don't get access to an Applications Store with thousands of titles that comes with the iPod touch.

Even so, Sony X Series Walkman (NWZ-X1051) is a well designed device that's the best non-iTunes centric player you can buy. Measuring 3.8 by 2.1 by 0.4 inches (HWD), the all black Sony X Series Walkman (NWZ-X1051) boasts a super crisp, 3 inch, 432 by 240 pixel organic light emitting diode (OLED) touch screen and a unique sparkly (but not overly flashy) body that resembles a cross cut slab of granite. The iPod touch, has a 3.5 inch screen with a slightly higher resolution (480 by 320), but the touch is also bigger than the X Series.

Because the touch's screen is larger, both devices offer similar levels of sharpness. The display consumes most of the front panel but, like the iPod touch, Sony X Series Walkman (NWZ-X1051) features a Home button that returns you to the player's main menu with one click. Included with the device better than average earphones with noise cancellation capabilities a proprietary to USB cable for moving files from your PC to the device an audio cable that uses the proprietary connection to send audio to mini jack (3.5mm) aux inputs on speakers and docks an airplane adapter a Quick Start Guide and a CD with Windows Media Player 11, Napster, and content transfer programs.

The best inclusion a coupon for 100 free songs from Sony MusicPass, something you definitely won't get that with an iPod. About those noise canceling headphones. You won't get the quality of noise cancellation from them you would from a pair of Bose QuietComfort 'phones, for example, but the level of cancellation is adjustable, and you can even choose between Bus or Train, Airplane, or Office, or you can turn it off altogether. It's important to note, however, that the feature only works with the bundled earphones. In other words, if you want upgrade, you lose the noise canceling capability. That said, Sony's user adjustable EQ allows you to sculpt the audio to sound pretty amazing using the supplied earphones.

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