By Shawn Peng
|Sony NWZ-X1050 Digital Media Player
|» Price: $529
» Available: from authorised dealers
From it's humble beginnings as a portable music-only player, the MP3 player has evolved into what is now called a 'digital media player'.
Sony's NWZ-X1050 is one of the latest in this ever-changing line of portable entertainment devices.
With minimal embellishments on its cover, the NWZ-X1050 appears sleek and designer cool in black at first glance. Minimalists would love the simplistic yet sleek feel that the player exudes when it is first lifted out of the box.
It's face is home to it's top attractive feature - the OLED touch screen. I was having some trouble getting the player not to switch songs inside my pocket while on the move - the touch screen is that sensitive. The 'Hold' button was designed to solve that problem.
Although the screen resolution is a mere 432 x 240 pixels, graphics and videos appear sharp due to relatively small text size.
Accessing my desired song selection or playlist is easy too because of the touch-screen. For example, a simple flick of the thumb on the screen scrolls the music list all the way to the bottom; if the player had button controls, I would have had to tap on the 'down' button several times.
The NWZ-X1050 is able to play video clips in MPEG-4, H.246 and WMV file formats. The screen resolution is 320 x 240 pixels only, but playback is smooth and the videos appear sharp.
There is one downside though - I left my fingerprints all over the touchscreen while using the player - not a pretty sight when held up against the light.
The sounds that came from those earphones were simply magic. The sound quality was impressive, enabled by the Digital Noise-Cancelling feature built into the earphones.
Apparently, the technology in the earphones makes it possible for the user to hear the music without raising the volume too high. It also reduces ambient noise - such as those heard in an airplane - significantly, and what you get is clear music in your ears.
There are three different profiles of noise-cancellation to choose from, namely - 'bus/train', 'airplane' and 'office'. Selecting either of these 3 options causes the player to change its internal audio settings to best filter the noise in the environment that you're in.
When I selected the 'bus/train' option, I could hardly hear the roar of the MRT train inside the tunnel when I was listening to a soft aria in the pre-loaded playlist.
A battery charge of about 20 minutes gives you enough power for a few hours' worth of usage - especially important if you travel long distances via train or bus.
To charge the battery, simply connect the player to your laptop or desktop via the USB wire. When fully charged, the NWZ-X1050 gives you music playback for around 33 hours. Video playback is about 9 hours. Unfortunately, you cannot use the player while it's charging.
The player has 16 GB worth of storage space - enough space to upload a decent number of playlists and take with you on the go.
Although the NWZ-X1050 has a built-in Web browser, it is relatively difficult to use because of the lack of controls and the small screen size. If you are mobile, you probably wouldn't use this feature as you would need to be in a Wi-Fi enabled area to get yourself connected online.
The USB cable that comes along with the media player allows it to connect to both Mac OSX and Windows XP platforms.
This NWZ-X1050 is good for people on the move with its fuss-free touch-screen handling and noise-cancelling capability. It's for people who appreciate audio clarity over functionality. However, it is quite pricey at a cost of $529.