Sonys foray into flash-based memory players got very deep as they announced nine new digital Network Walkman units across several different design schemes. Common features of the players include up to 70 hours of battery life, quality displays, increased functionality and more compact designs. All of the new players will natively support ATRAC3/3 plus, which is Sonys proprietary format, and MP3, which is a nod to the huge demand from consumers to create a hassle free experience for enjoying the most widely played type of music file.
Sonys 100 series saw the addition of the NW-E103, NW-E105 and NW-E107 models. Each weighs less than an ounce and is about the size of a poker chip. They are powered by an AAA battery and feature a backlit LCD. They connect to PCs through a USB connection.
The NW-E103, with 256 MB, will be available in stereo black with orange accents by the end of this month for around $90. The 512 MB NW-E105, with color choices of electric white or harmony blue will be available at the same time for around $100. The biggest player of this line, the silver NW-E107, will appear in a 1 GB size for around $150.
In the realm of the 400 and 500 series of models, the NW-E405 (512 MB, $130, dark blue), NW-E407 (1 GB, $180, black), NW-E505 (512 MB, $150, light blue or pink with metallic finish) and NW-E507 (1 GB, $200, silver) are all expected to make appearances on store shelves in May. Common functions across these two lines include a time/calendar function with built in stopwatch timer, rechargeable battery with three hour charge time directly from a USB connection and a one-handed scrolling jog dial for operation.
The 500 series will also include an FM tuner.