Sony debuts X-series Walkman with Wi-Fi, touchscreen OLED, noise cancellation

Watch out, Apple iPod touch: Sony today introduced its top-of-the-line Walkman portable media player, the X-series Walkman, that includes Wi-Fi capability and a 3-in. Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED, touchscreen.

Watch out, Apple iPod touch: Sony today introduced its top-of-the-line Walkman portable media player, the X-series Walkman, that includes Wi-Fi capability and a 3-in. Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED, touchscreen.

The company says the X-series Walkman's OLED screen provides "exceptional color reproduction, extremely high contrast and a rapid response rate," which anyone having seen OLED in action can attest to. The display has a 180-degree viewing angle, and features "scene scroll," which allows a user to gesture ("sweep" or "swipe") across the screen to advance and go backward in specified time increments.

The device uses both traditional buttons and its touchscreen for input.

[Image Gallery: Sony X-Series Walkman]

Sony also says the X-series Walkman is "the industry's first video MP3 player to offer integrated digital noise canceling technology," helping to block out ambient noise in conjunction with the device's accompanying 13.5mm EX headphones, which house a small microphone to measure intrusive noise and help the software reduce up to 98 percent of noise, the company says.

The X-series Walkman's noise cancellation offers "airplane", "bus/train" and "office" modes as well (noise cancellation can be turned off entirely, too).

The X-series Walkman offers an FM tuner as well as access to stores for media content and embedded services, which include YouTube and Slacker Radio, a service that allows songs to get pushed to the device for free.

The X-series Walkman will play protected Windows Media Video (WMV) files, AVC Baseline (H.264) and MPEG-4. The X-series also comes with Content Transfer software that allows the user to "drag and drop" transfer of non-DRM music, videos, podcasts and playlists from online music services such as iTunes to the Walkman.

The device has an Internet browser to handle the Wi-Fi connection, but it remains to be seen how effective it will be as a miniature Internet browsing device like the Apple iPod touch.

Battery life is up to 33 hours of music playback and up to 9 hours of video playback.

The X-series Walkman media player is available now for presale on sonystyle.com, and will come in black in two different storage capacities: the NWZ-X1051 with 16GB of internal storage for $299, and the NWZ-X1061 with 32GB for $399. (Curiously, there is no $199 8GB model to compete with the iPod touch directly.)

The devices will hit the street in mid-June.