By Naomi Graychase
January 10, 2008
This week at CES, Sony debuted its new version of the mylo communicator, the mylo COM-2. Available in black or white, the handheld device with a back-lit, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5” touch screen offers broadband Wi-Fi access and “enhanced” Web browsing.
Unlike most PDAs and mobile phones, the mylo does not require a monthly service contract with a carrier to get Internet access. Instead, it relies on Wi-Fi access via hotspots and WLANs.
This upgrade of the mylo communicator is focused on providing access to Web 2.0 features, and is targeted at the younger set and others who rely on IM, MySpace, and other social networking sites to “connect” with one another. It gives users full access to videos (read “YouTube”), and includes a 1.3 megapixel camera and photo editing software so “you can keep Facebook photos fresh.” It enables users to re-size images, write captions, or draw on photos and post them from the device directly to most social networking pages or blogs via a hotspot or WLAN. It also includes widgets for Google, YouTube, and other popular sites.
The new mylo communicator also supports AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, and Skype IM accounts, so users can access contact lists, and send and receive multiple messages simultaneously. While the mylo isn’t a phone, users can make free Skype-to-Skype voice calls, or inexpensive SkypeOut calls to landlines and mobile phone numbers, just as they would with their home computer or laptop.
Creative mylo users can register to become developers and build and share their own mylo widgets.
If no hotspot is available—rendering all of the chat and Web-related features inaccessible—users can amuse themselves with flash-based games, such as Sudoku and solitaire.
The new mylo comes with 1GB of internal memory, with up to 8GB of additional storage available using Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick Duo media.
The device supports Windows Media DRM 10, and plays MP3, AAC, ATRAC or WMA (secure and unsecured) files. Users can view MPEG4 simple profile and MPEG4/AVC baseline format video transferred to the device via USB from a PC or downloaded from the Web.
To help you locate the nearest available hotspot, the mylo includes an offline hotspot locator from JiWire.
The mylo communicator uses a lithium-ion battery that offers up to 20 hours of music playback, six hours of continuous Skype talk time, and up to seven hours of video playback. It also ships with a microphone, stereo headphones, USB cable, a stylus and a neoprene case.
The mylo communicator COM-2 will be available this month for about $300 direct from Sony. Check back for a Wi-FiPlanet review coming soon.
Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor of Wi-FiPlanet.com.