Sony’s Z1000 Android-Powered Walkman Takes Aim At Apple And Samsung

Sony’s really looking to give their Walkman line of mp3 players a shot in the arm with their newest addition to the lineup. Dubbed the Walkman Z1000, it’s Sony’s first Android-powered music player and it’s gunning to give Apple and Samsung a run for their money.

The Z1000 originally debuted in Japan this past September, but Sony’s execs have apparently deigned it nifty enough to transplant to the U.S. market. With its 4.3-inch display, it’s a fair bit larger than an iPod Touch or the original Samsung Galaxy Player but it makes up for the added size with some extra functionality.

On top of the usual features like the ability to download apps from the Android Market, the Z1000 series features DLNA support so users can sling media onto their compatible TVs. It also sports a microHDMI port if the television in question isn’t quite up to snuff, and Sony’s S-Master MX amplifier, which should come in handy when it comes to pumping out the jams.

The new Walkman also sports an interesting design, if I may say so. It’s hard to tell from the press image, but there are two humps that bound the top and bottom of the Walkman’s rear. Whether or not you’ll dig how it feels jammed into your pocket is something else entirely, but one thing’s for sure — you’d be hard-pressed to mistake it for one of its rivals.

Hopefully Sony has learned their lesson from devices like the PRS-T1 ereader, a remarkably handsome device that was plagued by a sadly chintzy feel.

If the thought of a Gingerbread-powered Walkman has you just plain tickled, you won’t have to wait too long to snag one — units are expected to hit shelves in spring 2012. Expect to see 8, 16, and 32GB variants retailing for $249, $279, and $329 respectively.