It's about time we got an MP3 player with this feature. Sometimes you want to share a song with your friends without sharing your earbuds or headphones with them. Now, thanks to the external speakers on the Sony S-series of Walkman MP3 players, you can. These new S-series players are a little thicker than some at roughly .5”, but that's to be expected considering the extra hardware they have to pack.
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Outside of the external speakers, this new Walkman line is pretty standard. It's got a 2.4” QVGA LCD monitor, 30 FPS playback, and Sony's 'Clear Audio' and 'Digital Linear Phase Speaker System' technologies. The battery life Sony claims on this new line is very impressive; over 42 hours of audio playback or 6.5 of video. When the external speakers are in use, the battery life drops substantially. You get 17 hours of audio, or 5 of video. That's not bad, and some battery life is a worthwhile trade for being able to show your videos and movies off to the world.
The S-series also has a voice recording and FM radio feature. It supports a variety of audio codecs including MP3, WMA(DRM), AAC, and Linear PCM. Video Codec support includes H.264, Baseline Profile, MPEG-4, and WMV (DRM). It comes in 8 and 16 GB models which cost $110 and $130.
I can't speak to the quality of these music players, but the S-series sounds like a pretty solid buy from the specs given. The price is reasonable, and the only major drawback I spot is in storage space. 16 and 32 GB options would have been much nicer, and well worth the extra cost.