After tasting success with the launch of the S544 Walkman a while back, Sony has come out with the E443, which is part of their smaller E-Series.
The E443 comes with a 2-inch TFT LED backlit display that has a 240 x 320 pixel resolution like the S544. The display is, of course, a little smaller. The navigation system though, is the same. A round five way navigation-pad looks a bit like Mickey Mouse’s face thanks to the two function keys above the pad. There’s a proprietary USB port next to the 3.5 mm earphone socket below, and the volume keys are on the side next to the key-hold switch. The player weighs 54 gm and the wine colour looks appealing. The display (unsurprisingly) is not scratch resistant.
Audio quality is a non-issue. The E443 is loud and clear from the high notes to the low ones. The bundled earphones are great, and a better set will only enhance the audio experience. The customisable five band graphic EQ setting allows you to personalise the tone quality. The Clear Stereo and Clear Bass functions also make for quite an enjoyable experience as does the Dynamic Normaliser.
The Automatic Volume Limiter System (AVLS) lets you set a volume limit so you don't damage your hearing. The player’s FM radio was quite receptive although it did seem to store any break in the auto tuning as a preset so instead of nine channels I ended up with 20. Since there’s a recording option for the radio you can save your favourite tracks.
Images take longer to load, especially if they are high resolution. Features include an alarm function that automatically starts the player at a designated time after it’s switched off.
Sony claims 30 hours of non-stop audio playback, which is an exaggerated claim. It does fare much much better than the S544 though and rakes in a good 21 hours of playback. With videos, you get up to six hours according to the company. According to my usage, non-stop video playback lasted for about two hours and 35 minutes.