CES 2013: Sony

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TVs

Just as LG, Samsung and many other TV manufacturers showed off their 4K hardware, Sony hit the ground running today to show us that they too can play in this UHD game. Unveiled at CES are Sony’s new 55-inch and 65-inch ultra high definition 4K TVs to accompany their previously released 84-inch model – that which features a $25k price tag. (Six going on the Gadgetsteria Amex tomorrow!) WiFi and NFC mirroring are built-in as are various lengthy acronyms for display technologies that simply mean the display quality is insane.

Alongside the 4K end user hardware, Sony unveiled a slew of 4K content creation hardware for both professionals and consumers to help push 4K from the obscure to the mainstream. Helping push 4K further will be Sony’s new 4K download service coming later this summer which is a partnership with several different studios.

Sony also took a few moments to show off a prototype 56-inch 4K OLED display. From the brief eyes on time we got (the onscreen demo blue screened shortly after being rolled out on stage) it appears that we have a new angel to look towards. 4K LCDs are great but 4K OLED displays are much, much better.

Check below for a large assortment of new Sony gear announced at CES 2013:

TVs

  • 4K UHD XBR LED TV (X900A series) – new 55 and 65-inch models added. All models including 84-inch model feature 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine, TRILUMINOS Display LED backlighting and QD Vision Color IQ. All XBR-X900A TVs also incorporate WiFi and support a boatload of internet connected services and content.
  • Bravia LED W Series (KDL-W650A, KDL-W802A, KDL-W900A) – WiFi plus NFC (W900A only) as well as the highest Motion Flow rate.
  • Bravia LED R Series (KDL-R550A, KDL-R520, KDL-40R450A, KDL-32R400A) – WiFi (R550A only), RVU compliant, supports 3D (passive). Available in 70, 60 and 50-inch sizes

Sony also unveiled a metric ton of HD and 4K cameras and video cameras. Their goal is to invest money into the 4K market now (specifically content) and emerge the next-gen tech kingpin. He who owns the content makes the rules. That said, Sony had a TON of Photo cameras and video cameras to check out at CES. Find out more at http://blog.sony.com/ces

MP3 Player

The smartphone may have all but killed the need for an MP3 player to the more technologically apt individual. But for those who still don’t like/want to keep with the technology moving around them, Sony still cares about you. The new NWZ-W270′s claim to fame is a waterproof, wireless all-in-one design meant for active individuals. The built in battery can be charged enough in 3 minutes to allow for 60 minutes of audio play and up to 8 hours on a proper 5-hour charge. Look for the W270 in March for $69 in pink, black and white.

Blu-ray

  • BDP S1100, BDP-S3100, BDP-S5100 – All Sony Blu-ray players stuffed with internet connected apps. Improved WiFi and tweaked hrdware.

Audio

  • X Series – SRS-BTX300 and SRS-BTX500 NFC Portable Speakers – dual-passive radiators, Sony’s “Clear Phase” technology and built-in, rechargeable batteries (good for 8/7 hours of use for the BTX300/BTX500 respectively). Available at Sony Stores and authorized retailers in March for $199-$299.
  • SRS-BTM8 Portable Speaker With NFC – portable speaker with up to 20 hours of continuous playback. Available this March in black and white color options for $99.
  • SRS-BTV5 – Spherical, portable NFC speaker with ultra-lightweight design, built-in bluetooth and NFC, and rechargeable battery good for up to 5 hours of battery life. Look for pink/black/white models to hit stores in March for $69.

Computers

  • VAIO T Series 15 – Full HD touch-enabled 15-inch ultrabook with magnesium and aluminum design. Availability in the Spring at Sony Stores and authorized retailers for $950.
  • VAIO T Series 14 – New option: optional touchscreen. Also coming this Spring, but a bit cheaper at $800.
  • VAIO Duo 11 – now available online and in-store.

Mobile

The newly unveiled Z and ZL both feature 5-inch 1080p displays with Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2. Ditto for a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 2 GB of RAM. 16 GB of built-in storage is also shared as is a micro SD card slot and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as the OS of choice. Finally, both phones have the same 13-megapixel camera ’round back, NFC and a battery stamina mode for prolonging time away from the outlet. Sounds like both are extremely similar, right?

Well there are a few differences. For starters, the Xperia Z is thinner than the ZL (0.31 inches vs. the ZL’s 0.39 inches). It features a 2,230 mAh battery and 30-minute water fording ability. The ZL on the other hand is overall smaller in terms of footprint despite being a tad bit thicker around the waist (thanks to virtually no bezels). The ZL also features a dedicated camera button and an IR blaster, but in the process loses the water proofing of the Z. Battery size is slightly bigger than the Z at 2,370 mAh.

The Z and ZL are hands down Sony’s best phones. But is it good enough to compete with HTC’s upcoming devices later this year as well as the we-know-it’s-coming Galaxy S IV? We’ll see.

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