updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu August 30, 2007
Sony S610 and B100
Following yesterday's release of the A810, Sony today announced its second video-capable Walkman player. The S610 series mirrors many of the features of the A810 but is targeted at a younger audience and a lower cost, according to the company. The design includes a larger, tougher body and a smaller 1.8-inch LCD but shares support for full-speed H.264 and MPEG-4 video; these proportions help the S610 actually exceed its premium counterpart with up to 9.5 hours of video playback and the same 33 hours of music, Sony claims. The S610 also packs an FM tuner with 30 presets.
A crucial change to both this and the A810 is the shift away from the company's traditional SonicStage jukebox software, Sony says. In addition to supporting more universal audio formats such as AAC, MP3, and WMA, both players now use Windows Media Player 11 on Windows PCs to sync music and videos, allowing any user to load content without special tools.
In addition to the new body, the S610 trims costs by using simpler earbuds than the EX-082s included with the A810. A 2GB model will be available for $120 in black, pink, red, or silver; a 4GB version will offer the same colors for $160. An 8GB version will be available exclusively in black for $210. All three should be available in Canada and the US in September.
Alongside the S610, Sony on Thursday also introduced the North American version of the B100, a strictly music-focused player that requires only dragging and dropping from the operating system to transfer music. The B100 supports only MP3 and WMA but includes a three-line color LCD, an FM tuner, and FM/voice recording to MP3s. It runs for up to 12 hours on a charge and ships in September with a 1GB black model ($60) and 2GB black, white, and violet models for $80.