Sony gadgets offer little that's new
7th Jan 2008 | 16:46
CES 2008: New phones, satnav and a plethora of camcorders
Sony was banging the creativity drum this weekend, with a series of announcements encompassing new and not-so-new products. With the PlayStation 3 now firmly established and the HD format war almost won, Sony could gush about something else for a change.
The first item to be talked up was the Rolly, a bizarre combination of rolling flashing robot and digital audio player, previously only available in Japan. The egg-shaped device spins around, flaps little appendages about and flashes lights in time to your music. A special edition version is coming to the US later this year, although there's no word yet on a European launch. Only people with hard floors need apply.
Looks like a PSP phone...
Sony's Mylo reappears in a slickly reworked version 2.0, and this time Sony may have actually got it right. The not-a-PSP-phone in a PSP-alike casing is a hand-held internet access device that features a slide-out keypad, an 800 x 480 pixel 3.5-inch touch screen and 802.11g wireless LAN.
The Mylo 2 has 1GB of internal storage and supports MP3, AAC and WMA audio as well as MPEG-4 video. However, unlike Nokia's N810 web tablet, you're not trusted to install your own applications, which may just limit its appeal.
Gunning for TomTom
Sony has also decided to get into the satnav market with two new devices, the NV-U73T and NV-U83T. One of the most interesting features is a suction-mount that should stick the devices to your dashboard and not just your windscreen, giving some flexibility in where you mount them.
About the thickness of a pack of cards, both devices have text-to-speech capabilities so that they can actually read out the street names as you drive. The NV-U83T is also equipped with Bluetooth for hands-free calling, while an innovative gesture command system enables users to draw simple symbols on the screen, instead of having to delve into the menus.
Sony Ericsson expands Walkman range
Extending the Sony Ericsson Walkman range of phones, the W760 sees the introduction of an accelerometer for tilt-controlled gaming. This 3G-enabled, sliding keyboard phone has a GPS, a 2.2-inch wide screen and is pre-loaded with several games, including Need for Speed: Prostreet.
The new W750 is a dual-screen, 10mm-thick, flip phone that can be used as a standalone music player. Meanwhile, bling lovers may be tempted by the Z555 with its diamond reflective casing, and gesture control, which enables you to wave your phone around to reject calls. Yes, really.
New cameras and camcorders
On the creativity front, Sony has released 16 new camcorders, including five HD-capable models that can record video in a 1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution, with 40 and 60GB internal hard drives.
The DSLR-A200 is a new 10.2-megapixel SLR that replaces the old DSLR-A100 and incorporates a CF slot in addition to Sony's own Memory stick. Image stabilisation and a vibrating CCD (to shake off the dust) combine with new dials and menus to make the camera easier to use.
Rounding up, Sony announced a new near-field transfer technology called TransferJet plus a range of Bravia-only accessories, such as wireless HDMI, internet video, and remote-controlled HDMI inputs, all under the Bravia-Link branding.
Finishing off, Sony is finally bringing its 3mm thick XEL-1 OLED TV to the US. Sadly it's only an 11-inch screen, with a retail tag of $2,500. Like so many gadgets on show at CES, there's no word on a European appearance.