Sony Walkman E453 review

Full review: Is this budget Walkman a Nano killer?

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Sony's wallet-friendly Walkman is a miniature music marvel

Sony's Walkman brand may not have the same impact now as in its '80s heyday, but the tech company has been banging out consistently good MP3 players for some years now.

The Sony E Series Walkman offers more of the same, but with a few added gimmicks brought in to spice the range up. But competing in the same sphere as the iPod Nano, does it still have a place?

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More on Sony Walkman mp3 players:
Sony Walkman NWZ-252 2GB review
Sony Walkman NWZ-Z845 review
Sony X Series Walkman review

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The design of the 4GB E453 is sleek, with a gloss front and matt back. Controls on the device are kept to a minimum, with all the main functions you need situated on the front of the device. Sony has decided to put the 3.5mm jack at the bottom of the E453, nestled next to the mini USB slot.

Setup is a cinch: load it up on your PC and it will act as a external hard drive, so you just drag and drop the music you want and you are away. The initial menu screen is made up of visual icons you can choose between music, video, photos, FM radio and more, while drilling in gives you extra options.

Sony E Series Walkman: Playback and features

When it comes to music playback, though, the headphones supplied do a decent job and the sound lacks the tinniness you normally get with budget players.

There's some nice creative flourishes with the E Series. The stand out is Karaoke mode. Load the device up with LRC (Lyrics Sync) files and you can sing along to your favourite tunes, with the player turning down the sound of the vocals on the songs. Yes it's a gimmick but at least it's a fun one.

Alongside music you can view photos and videos (MP4, AAC and WMV9). Unfortunately, the playback of video was less than inspiring. The 2.0-inch QVGA screen is just too small to view media on for long periods.

Sony E Series Walkman: Battery and memory

Using the player for a number of days we found that you can get a stupidly decent 40-plus hours out of the battery, very close to the 50 hours Sony is quoting, and with a mere three-hour recharge, it doesn't take long to get the thing back to full juice.

As for memory, our version packed 4GB, but there is also an 8GB (NWZ-E454) and 16GB (NWZ-E455) available for £89 and £109 respectively. When it comes to the price of the NWZ-E453, it's a mere £65 online which is decent for what is offes.

With the Sony E Series Walkman, you are getting a player that's not tied to any store, is feature-packed and low cost. It's almost enough to consider leaving the bosom of Jobs and co, but the Nano's slicker interface and video camera win out.

The E Series Walkman is out now, find out more from Sony

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SPECIFICATIONS
Screen: 2.0-inch QVGA
Audio format support: MP3, WMA (DRM and Non-DRM), AAC, Linear PCM
Video playback: MP4, AVC, WMV-9
Storage: 4GB (8GB and 16GB also available)
Compatibility: drag-and-drop
Battery: 50 hours' music playback
Dimensions: 44x 95 x 10mm
Weight: 58g

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