By Stephen Schenck | December 13, 2011 7:05 PM
Back in September, Sony announced its answer to the iPod touch, the Android-powered Walkman Z. With a 4.3-WVGA screen it’s clearly smartphone-sized, but the absence of a cellular radio means you’ll be employing WiFi to get the device online. At the time, we had only learned of launch plans for Japan, but now the Walkman Z, model NW-Z1000, has sauntered by the FCC, hinting at plans for a US release.
Don’t mistake the fact that it’s positioned as a media player for evidence that the Walkman Z is underpowered; it’s got a 1GHz Tegra 2 under the hood with 512MB of RAM. Those may not be cutting-edge figures anymore, but they’ll get the job done. DLNA and HDMI-out will help you hook the media player up to your home entertainment system for big-screen enjoyment.
Our biggest concern is just who’s the target audience for the Walkman Z. Prices should start at around $350 on up, so it’s hardly a cheap substitute for an MP3 player, and you can get off-contract Android phones for significantly less (though maybe not outfitted quite as well). Then there are the just odd considerations, like the total absence of a camera, that make us think a lot of consumers are just going to be driven towards other products.