Monday, June 28, 2010

Sony Product Review-- Sony W-Series Walkman & Sony Bloggy HD Camera

Sony was kind enough to provide me with some new running gadgets for this weekends Rock'n'Roll marathon. They are a sponsor of the RNR races and are reaching out to runners to get our input on their new runner-friendly headphones and camera.
Sony W-Series Walkman (it could really use a better name, right?)
Type: Audio
Storage: 2 GB
Difficulty to Use: Low to Medium
-I was able to get a quick run through from one of the Reps at the SONY tent and that was all I needed. It would take a little reading to understand all the functions, but the basics are pretty easy to navigate (turn on, jump songs, etc).
Difficulty to setup on your computer: Low
-All you need to do is plug it in and it brings up a content transfer box. Just drag and drop your songs directly from Itunes (or wherever you keep your music). Super super easy.
Comfort/Weight: Good!
-Most around the ear straps bother me, but these ones I could hardly feel! They were super light and the buttons were easy to get to blind (you don’t need to pull them off to change songs, volume, etc). Also-- no chord so that cant get in the way. They also provide a few different sized ear buds for comfort.
Sound Quality: Great!
-It sounds like you’re in a surround sound theater-- Brad Paisley has never sounded so good singing to me!
Durability: Great!
-These puppies are water resistant-- and with the way my hair accumulates sweat, I fully tested that aspect out! Aside from that I managed to drop them about 3 times before the race (not on purpose) and they were fine!
Life: This battery life has up to 11 hours after a full charge and for a quick trip to the gym? Plug it in for only 3 minutes and you’ll get 90 minutes of playback!!!
Other FUNctions: Some of the other FUN functions of this MP3 player are:
-”Tappin”-- Basically this is a quick preview of each song so you can decide what you want to hear. The great part? You get a preview of the chorus so you get a real feel for the beat of the music.
- They come in some pretty fantastic colors! I got the black, but I’m not complaining because they were free!

Overall: This is a great way for SONY to break into the marathon market. Runners are always looking for a quick-charge, easy to use, water resistant music player and this one is fantastic. I love the quick charge option (3 min charge for 90 min playback). I’m always forgetting to plug my Ipod for a charge and when I want to go for a run I need to wait 30 minutes to get a long enough charge-- and even then it runs out. I also love the cordless design! I’ve broken far too many headphones from running, sweating, and general use.
Negative: They need a better name! When I say “Walkman W-series” it doesn’t really imply that it’s an MP3 player and it sounds like I’m generally describing what it is instead of providing the name. Also, I have a small-ish head and they tended to look less than spectacular on me. However, looking at the pictures of other people-- they actually look kind of cool!

(Cool Runner in the W-Series)                  (Not so Cool Runner in the W-Series)

Future Standing: I will be using the SONY walkman as my primary audio/music source for training and marathons. I’ll keep my Ipod for races that don’t allow headphones (those headphones are easy to hide).


Sony Bloggie Camera PM5
Type: Camera-- Picture and Video
Difficulty to Use: Medium
- I didn’t even have to peak at the manual that comes with this camera. It’s very easy to turn on (just swivel the head and it’s ready to go) and to use-- Either press the camera button and it will take a picture or press the video button and it will start/stop recording. There is playback button easily visible on the camera.

The only issues I had with operation was using the camera function and the display. If you move a little while the picture it being taken, it tends to blur the picture. This is especially difficult when you’re trying to take a picture with one hand. Also, the display is quite large, but when in picture/video mode (not playback mode) half of the screen is covered by the setup display. It make it difficult to see where the camera is shooting.

Difficulty to setup on your computer: Low
-Like the walkman above you just plug it in and it auto-detects your picture/video library and allows for upload. I haven’t used it yet, but there is also an easy way to upload to picture hosting site. The camera is set up to auto upload.
Comfort/Weight: Great!
- I was able to run with the camera for a full marathon-- including taking pictures and video very easily. I did all that and still managed a PR time. The easy on/off function and light weight allowed for that. I DID keep it wrapped in a plastic bag to avoid breaking it from sweat/water/Gatorade/running gels/etc.
Picture/Video Quality:
- So far I’ve had no issues with the quality. I had great pictures and video. There are multiple resolutions/setting for both the picture and video mode that you can try out.

(Steph with Bloggie Camera on the Seattle Space Needle)

- It survived a marathon with sweat, water/Gatorade stations, and GU (energy gel). Even with the baggie, I managed to get a little of all of those on the camera and it wiped off pretty clean.
Life: I used the camera (both video and picture) on and off over about 8 hours and still had almost a full battery remaining.
Other FUNctions:
-Swivel Head-- Great for taking “self-portraits!”
This is a great quick use video/picture camera. It’s not recommended for taking more than 30 min of continued play, but that’s not what the camera is meant for either. It has great quality picture and video in an easy to use hand held camera.
The only negative aspect of the bloggie is the inability for the camera to focus if there is any movement and the screen size for taking images. The screen is actually quite large, but when in use, half of the screen is covered by the setting display. When you play back, however, you can turn the camera sideways and use the full screen.
Future Standing:
I would use this camera for short clip videos and as a travel camera but, due to the screen size and the focus I would probably not keep it as a regular use camera. It works great for what I need it for-- Picture and quick video for my blog.


  1. These sounds like some awesome new gadgets and you certainly seemed to be enjoying them!

  2. VERY cool. I had not yet seen these on the market. Love the hot pink. I also love that they are water resistant b/c I've had one too many water issues with my iPod. Thanks for the review!

  3. I was just reading someone's blog where they sweated their iPod to death and will no longer work....I can't remember who it was but will try to find and sent this to him. Being's I'm super old, I remember Sony used to have "Walkmans" which were like 10 lbs and was a cassette player. Yeah, that dates me. But point being, Walkman seems to be a recycled name of theirs. Thanks for the review!!

  4. Nice reviews! The headphone/walkman seem pretty cool too. But I'm a sucker for neat cameras. :)

    (By the way, congrats on your PR!)

  5. Wow, I want to go grab those headphones. They look awesome!!!