Facepalm: Sony’s original TPS-L2 Walkman debuted on July 1, 1979, and revolutionized portable music. The latest iteration is far less revolutionary – in fact, it seems more like a nostalgia-based cash grab than anything else.
The NW-A100TPS Walkman features a 40th anniversary logo on the rear panel and comes with a soft case and package that’s inspired by the original TPS-L2 Walkman. It doesn’t play cassette tapes, mind you, but has 16GB of onboard storage and uses Wi-Fi to connect t your favorite streaming service.
It also comes equipped with a small 3.6-inch touchscreen to help navigate the UI, supports Hi-Res audio and affords up to 26 hours of runtime on a single charge. It’s essentially a standalone Android-powered music player.
But considering modern phones already offer digital music playback (save for the Hi-Res support in most models), what incentive is Sony giving consumers to buy this?
I don't hate the effort, I just wish Sony had put more into it. It would look better if the chassis was actually molded to look like the original rather than having to use a soft case. If it actually had a cassette deck, well, that’d at least help differentiate it from your run-of-the-mill music players and smartphones although I understand why this legacy tech wasn't included. The price, however, is a bit puzzling.
The Sony NW-A100TPS will launch in November for approximately €440 / £400 (close to $500). No word yet on a US release.