Sony has taken on Creative and Apple in the mobile entertainment device battle with its launch of the Vaio Pocket, which combines the functionality of a high-end audio player with a digital photo album.
Due to begin shipping in "a select number of European countries" next month, the Vaio Pocket features a hybrid LCD screen, 20 hours' non-stop operation and intelligent playlisting.
The device uses miniature hard disk technology to give users a storage capacity of up to 20,000 songs with the 40GB version, and can communicate with PCs and link directly with digital cameras to make it easy to build up a collection of sounds and images.
The Vaio Pocket's hybrid LCD screen has been designed to be viewed in daylight without difficulty, and to deliver high-colour reproduction of digital images.
A cradle charger provides all the necessary connections for collecting content from a camera or PC, and even an audio output for listening to music through conventional speakers. And, with a three-line backlit display, the device's remote control is designed to simplify track selection.
The unit ships with Sony software for managing music on the PC via SonicStage v.2.1, and rapid-fire drag-and-drop file transfers to the Vaio Pocket come as part of the package.
Music downloads can be made easily via the Sony Connect service that launched for UK consumers in June.
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