Yes, it's true: I've managed to get my grubby little mitts on Sony's new E- and S-Series Walkman MP3 players. How, you ask? I will never share my secrets...NEVER! OK, dramatics aside, it has been an exciting end of the week here at CNET, and one of many reasons for that will become apparent to you next week, so make sure you keep an eye on MP3 Insider.
In the meantime, I have a little something to titillate you: hands-on photos of the new Walkmans (Walkmen?). Also, a bit of information for you. You've probably already heard that the E- and S-Series are dramatically cheaper than Sony's previous models--with the E-Series coming in at $80 for 8GB and $100 for 16GB, and the S-Series offering an 8GB model for $110 and a 16GB for $130--but you may not know where exactly the company cut corners. Well, I'm truly sorry to say that you won't find integrated noise-canceling capability, upgraded headphones, SensMe Channels, or Rhapsody DNA in either of these players. (And--yes--this lazy Walkman convert is extremely letdown by those last two.)
But, hey, these devices offer rock-bottom pricing for plenty of other features, so one mustn't be too strict. I do look forward to putting them through their paces and see how the sound quality and battery life have fared in the face of the price cut. Until then, ogle away.