Tech Review: Sony Product Showcase 2004

My fave product at this annual show-and-tell-a-thon: Sony's new VOICE RECORDERS.  Actually, this product category name is an understatement, because these wiz bang devices do SO much more than just record your voice.  Some of the higher end models also connect to your PC to do great things.  For example: upload a voice file, then TRANSFORM IT INTO TEXT, thanks to the included DRAGON voice recognition software.  Plus, get this pricing deal: one of these recorders lists for $199, and the included Dragon software normally costs $199 itself!  So you are kinda getting the recorder for FREE.  Another nifty feature: you can just play back PART of what you recorded, in your voice, by highlighting only part of the text file made from your recording.  Yes, as you can tell, I LOVE this thing!




Also loved a new Sony ALL IN ONE PC, the first I have seen that may actually eclipse that sleek design icon, iMac.  In some ways, this Sony desktop is BETTER to my eyes.  It looks like a normal flatscreen PC monitor, perhaps slightly thicker, but look under the desk and THERE IS NOTHING THERE!  The entire PC is "in" that monitor housing.  With the wireless keyboard and mouse, Sony has eliminated the PC footprint and cables.  Then there is the wrist "pad" (hard actually, not soft and cushy) which folds up to cover/protect the keyboard when you are done.  Bravo, Vaio!

  For more info on Sony's VAIO V200G:




Note to Mac fans: I like iMac -- don't get me wrong -- its design rocks.  Plus, you can actually move its screen around and up and down -- actually change its distance above your desk -- whereas the new all-in-one Vaio's screen only swivels left and right and TILTS up and down. However, the iMac has that rounded orb (the actual computer) that you have to put somewhere.  The Vaio doesn't, and that is very appealing to design-conscious folks, and people with too many devices devouring their desktop domain.
Of course, Sony also showed off new MUSIC devices.  Like the networked Walkmans; tiny little things that hold tons of songs. 


Sony is also launching, natch, a new music selling service to go along with their new tune toys: CONNECT (  Is Sony going after Apple's market share or WHAT?  






Sony's new Hi-MD just might make their MD recording format catch on at last.  They showed me a 1-gig disk that only costs SEVEN BUCKS!  Hmmm... do I buy 2 designer lattes, or a coaster-sized marvel that holds ONE GIG of DATA?!  Hard choices in this brave new 21st century world.
Another highlight of the showcase: a new 5 meg $499 dig camera, with 3x optical zoom and Carl Zeiss lens.  This lens does not move in and out, but UP/DOWN, using a special reflecting mechanism; hence, no lens ever pops out from the camera's body!  The huge 2-inch screen in back is great to preview pix.  Superthin too -- tis only the size and thickness of a few credit cards.
Sony, you're still the one and only!














Don Rose
Entertainment and Technology Writer
Writer/Editor, The Rose Review
Freelance Writer, LA SPLASH magazine
Writer/Reporter, Radio Parallax, KDVS FM
[email protected]


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