Sony has been showing its refreshed Mylo Personal Communicator here at CES, with a larger touchscreen and remodelled keyboard. In terms of build quality, it's an impressive bit of kit with a design that's reminiscent of the PSP. And whatever you think of Sony's gaming handheld, the slick quality of its construction can't be denied.
Sony has transferred the same design ethos to the new Mylo 2. The Wi-Fi enabled mylo certainly doesn't feel flimsy and the slide-out keyboard feels like it would withstand a fall or two. The 3.5-inch display seems big enough for general web use, but the keyboard isn't the easiest to type on. The screen is backlit though, which is a nice touch.
Wider appeal - but is it enough?
As for getting around, we certainly wouldn't say the Linux-based interface is intuitive. You get used to it after a few minutes, but the interface doesn't always do what you expect it to at first.
Sony has expanded the internet appeal of the Mylo too - you'll be able to look at Facebook, for example, and stream Flash video. A 1.5-megapixel camera is also included, but since most people have a better one on their phones, this seems a poor choice and superfluous. MP3s, AAC, ATRAC or WMA files will also play back happily. It'll be sold for $299 (£440) in the US.
Sony has also enhanced the messaging protocols available on the Mylo. Skype, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger are all embraced, but there remains a gaping hole when it comes to Microsoft support. Yahoo, AOL and GMail are the default mail systems supported.
Where does the Mylo possibly sit in the market? A free-with-your-contract mobile phone now boasts better or similar features and we all have one of those. And they don't support just a handful of protocols.
While Sony may be targeting the younger generation with the Mylo, and although it's a well-finished device, you wouldn't bet against the Mylo following the MiniDisc player into Sony's vault of outdated gadgets. It is, after all, an entertainment PDA with the PSP's look-and-feel.
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