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Sony MZ-N10 Mini-Disc Player
Page 2 - Style and Features
Author: Philip Lam (Phirewerkz)
Date: April 12, 2003
Category: Audio
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma

All right, so what is new about the MZ-N10 and how is it any different or better than the MZ-N1 and lower models? Well first thing that you will notice is the size and the weight. Yes they made it smaller, lighter, and more compact. How? Sony installed a built in Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery to reduce the size and excess weight and bulk of the old Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) sticks. The new MZ-N10 is an "ULTRA THIN" (on box) 13.8 mm tall magnesium body. The Walkman fits and slides easily into your average pocket, and feels lighter than most wallets.

Futuristic Front View
Futuristic Front View
Vertical View
Vertical View
Open Wide...
Open Wide...

The MZ-N10 also has a spiffy new modified look and design compared to the MZ-N1. The design is simple, but the shiny silver coating on the buttons, jog dial, and around the display give it a very nice futuristic look which will catch the eye of many people. To prevent any scratches and chips to the paint or metal, Sony sends you a felt carrying bag.

Side View
Side View
Back of Type-S MZ-N10
Back of Type-S MZ-N10
13.8mm, baby!
13.8mm, baby!

For the MD itself, it is composed of Magnesium (as said before), making it light weight as well as a capable heatsink. In fact, it is 30g lighter than the MZ-N1, which measured to be 90 grams without batteries. It powers from the built-in Lithium Ion battery for up to 58 hours of energetic music life (with NiMH and Battery Alternate Pack). Even better, the battery only takes about an hour to recharge to full battery life. As like other players, it comes with a battery gauge on the LCD Screen, which is very vulnerable to scratch marks. With everything planned out in an ergonomic fashion, it is easy to switch songs, delete and edit. The Jog Dial is cleverly positioned at the side of the MD to make it easier to handle. The main button also allows for three different functions by using the tilt mechanism to save space.

The MZ-N10, like earlier versions, has an LP4 Recording setting. LP4 means that 4 times the amount of data on a regular CD can be stored on one MD. Although the quality is not as good due to a lower bit rate (66kbps (LP4) vs. 105kbps + (LP2), this setting can save time and money. The quality difference is very slight to the human ear and makes very little difference if you listen to anything but classical music [ed: obviously not the only type, but you get the point].

Sonic Stage Greeting
Sonic Stage Greeting
Overall Layout
Overall Layout
Recording Window
Recording Window

Sony’s MZ-N10 also allows the user to transfer songs from a PC and to record onto an MD. Sony sends a USB Cradle and cord to connect to the MD to the PC. The software Sony created, SonicStage, enables the user to create playlists, organize your songs, and of course, import songs. The new MZ-N10 has a higher transfer rate compared to the MZ-N1 as well, up to 64x transfer through the USB cradle. Through SonicStage you can choose which format you would like to record in, LP2 for better quality, or LP4 for crunching in all those favorite songs you have. You could easily fit 50-80 songs in LP4 format onto an MD.

The new remote
The new remote
The multi-function buttons
The multi-function buttons

Another great accessory with the N10 is the new remote. You can use close to every function of the MD without taking it out of your pocket when using the remote. It saves automatically saves 3 of 6 different sound equalizer settings, allows you to edit or delete songs, and has a cool, little display. When turning the MD on for instance, the logo "W" comes up, and when you choose to display your sound setting, you will see moving patterns on your screen. Amusing how these little things that are quite impressive for such a tiny handheld remote.

Other features are the M-timer, the clock, beeping (which you can turn off), grouping, display modes, and most importantly, the sound modes. The past MZ-N1 had two choices, Bass and Treble. The new sound system has a 6-point equalizer sound setting. You can choose to use four of the set sound settings (Heavy, Pop, Jazz, Unique) or you can create two of your own settings and save them. You can put emphasis on the different frequencies, basses for instance (100 Hz, 250 Hz) or raise the treble (630Hz, 1.6 kHz, 4kHz, 10kHz). This setting is amazing for the music fanatic. You can finally choose to hear what you want to hear. Are you sick of not being able to clearly listen to the actual music because the singing is too loud? Lower the treble frequencies until it plays what you want to hear. Not only did Sony implement the sound equalizer, but also a virtual-surround system that allows you to choose the type of environment your music is being played (Club, Arena, Studio, Live). These new features really set the MZ-N10 apart from the MZ-N1.

These are only some of the many, many, many other features the MZ-N10 is capable of. You need to see the manual yourself to understand and know all of the different features and additions given to this new MD player.

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