Checking Out Sony’s New Mylo
November 17, 2006
At the recent Sony Expo, the mylo was one of the products that caught my attention. It’s so small and cute, and most importantly, fits right into my purse. It is Sony’s first WiFi broadband communication and entertainment device to connect to the wireless Internet world.
Its name, mylo, stands for “my life online,” and it allows you to multi-task while you do instant messaging, browse the Internet, listen to music, send e-mails and view photos.
The mylo is designed for you folks who use instant messaging as a primary form of communication and networking for your social life. This little thing really reminds me of a mini version of my PlayStation Portable (PSP), but without the games. It has a 2.4-inch color LCD screen with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for easy thumb typing. I wish my PSP had a keyboard like this.
The pocket-friendly design encourages you to get away from your desk and roam freely (as long as a wireless network is available). The mylo includes JiWire’s hotspot directory, which lists more than 20,000 WiFi networks in the United States. You’ll almost always find one of these hotspots near you (free or fee-based), especially with the user-friendly WiFi hotspot locator. The device has an embedded HTML browser that lets you quickly connect to full dynamic web pages on the Internet (with complete graphics) with no problem. It’s just like viewing a page on your full-sized monitor, only you need to scroll up and down or side to side to see the complete page. Note the scrolling moves along fairly fast with minimal lag.
Electronic communication with your friends and family is simple with mylo’s easy access to Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk chats, or talk on the VoIP phone with Skype. You use the same user name and passwords that you would normally use on your regular computer, so you’ll have access to all your existing contacts. Of course, you can log into your other web-based chats or check your e-mail with the browser too.
The sound that comes out of this little thing is fairly decent when you play back your favorite tunes. It has 1MB of built-in internal memory to save your favorite music, pictures or videos. You can also use your Memory Stick Pro Duo to maximize your capacity, which is what I use for my camera and my PSP. The largest Pro Duo stick you can buy is 4GB. You can use your picture images as mylo wallpapers and icons and easily do transfers between your computer and your mylo, using the included USB 2.0 connector cable. MPEG-4 video files that you playback are nice and clear as you view it at the full frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps) and at QVGA resolution. While reviewing the mylo, I played back video clips I took of my parrot, and I could clearly see every detail on his feathers. It was quite nice.
The mylo’s ad-hoc application automatically detects another mylo’s presence within range of yours. If your buddy has a mylo, and as long as he/she is in range (and with permission), you can connect to it and share music, playlists, view the music library and stream music from it.
Depending on how you have your mylo configured, its ion battery life will last about 45 hours of music playback, seven hours of online chatting and surfing or about three hours of Skype talk time. The package includes a microphone, stereo headphones, a neoprene case and the aforementioned USB 2.0 cable.
As an added value, you will receive a free year of access to any T-Mobile HotSpot (at 7,000 plus locations, normally $29.99/month for unlimited access). If you use the HotSpots as I do on a regular basis (or plan to), the Sony mylo actually pays for itself. This promotion is available for a one-year time period, and it starts on the date you first connect your mylo to a T-Mobile HotSpot, or Dec. 31, 2007, whichever comes first. The mylo itself is available for about $350 at Shirokiya, Ala Moana Center or online at www.sonystyle.com/retail.
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