Sony Walkman NW-A800 2GB

Sony gets back to doing the simple things well

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Our Verdict

Sony has done well here, cramming a lot of features and functionality into a remarkable compact device


  • Good interface and software Decent picture quality


  • Diminutive controls Too much screen glare

At last, a sign that Sony is recovering from the insanity that has gripped it over the last few years. This flash-based Walkman has, counter to recent tradition, both a pleasantly usable interface and decent desktop software.

The latter even does video conversion (to AVC or MPEG-4) without any headaches. The A800's tiny buttons are, as usual, difficult for corpulent Western hands, but hey, that's a good start.

The 2in display offers a spectacularly sharp and colourful picture thanks to its 320x240 pixels, which is rarely seen at this diminutive size. Unfortunately, it suffers from too much glare and limited viewing angles to be watchable for extended periods in brightly-lit areas. Anyone with ailing eyesight is going to find the screen too small for video too.

It's on the razor's edge in that respect. Still, watching video of this quality on a player this minute (it's about the width and height of five of those nasty free pens you get in Argos, stacked alongside each other) is truly impressive.