The Sony Mylo 2 Offers “Internet On-The-Go” in a Pocket-Sized Mini PC
New for 2008 is the Sony Mylo 2, which obviously is the follow-up to the first Sony Mylo of last year. This new model offers a whole new set of features and functionality that expands upon the original Mylo's somewhat "primitive" features. For example, the new Mylo 2 sports built-in Wi-Fi G (54 Mbps) capabilities, while the first Mylo offered a much slower Wi-Fi B (11Mbps).
For those of you not familiar with the Sony Mylo, it's basically a mini PC that fits in your pocket and can access the Internet from any Wi-Fi hotspot (cafe´, restaurant, hotel, your home). Of course, being that it's a mini PC, you won't get the kind of performance from this device than you would from a desktop or laptop computer. Nonetheless, the Sony Mylo is perfect for those situations where you need to access to the Web, email, IM, music, video, or even when you need a camera.
The Mylo 2's LCD screen is beautiful. It offers a much higher (800 by 480 pixel) resolution than its predecessor's 320 by 240 pixel screen. The screen itself is a respectable 3.5" touch-screen, which is a good size for a pocket PC. The Mylo will play flash video from websites such as YouTube, but the video isn't as smooth as it would be on your desktop - still, not bad for such a small gadget.
Watch YouTube videos with the Sony Mylo 2
The LCD screen slides up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. The keys are small, but they are spaced apart nicely which helps minimize accidentally pressing the wrong keys. The keys are also back-lit, so that typing in the dark is a much easier experience.
Mylo 2's QWERTY keyboard
The Mylo will display most web pages, although there are some sites that can't be viewed on this device such as Google Reader and Google Docs - this may change in the future, though. Web pages are sometimes hard to read, as you might imagine, on such a small screen but you can zoom-in on any page to get a closer look. Overall, the Mylo 2 seems to provide a very good Internet experience (once you get used to slightly slower speeds than a laptop and the smaller screen).
This device has 1GB of memory included which can be used to store music or videos. Memory is expandable by way of a Sony Memory Stick. Supported music formats include: MP3, AAC, WMA, and ATRAC. There's no Bluetooth! I hope the Mylo 3 supports Bluetooth, because wired headphones "are like sooo old school" (my attempt at talking like a teenage girl - I tried!) The Mylo does have a built-in speaker if you don't want to use headphones for music or videos.
The Mylo 2 does support VoIP calls via Skype. Just to be clear - the Mylo isn't a cellphone. The fact that this device does support VoIP is awesome, and it just adds to the growing list of capabilities of this mini PC.
Skype application on the Sony Mylo 2
This little PC also sports a "cellphone-quality" digital camera with 1.3 MP of resolution. You can also view photos with this device, and the Mylo 2 will scale down the picture to fit the 3.5" screen. Ubergizmo reported that they weren't able to view a 3504 by 2336 photo with this device, so it looks like you have to make sure that the photos are at least smaller than that size.
The Sony Mylo 2 is a powerful instant messaging machine with support for AIM, Skype, YIM, and Google Talk. On top of that, the Mylo has a decent RSS reader that will display headlines from any RSS feeds that you're subscribed to.
The Sony Mylo 2 seems like a useful device for people who need a convenient way to connect to the Web when they don't have access to their desktop PC or laptop. Sony seems to be targeting the "young adults" crowd with their marketing slogan "put the fun of a PC in your pocket". I'm sure that anyone from this demographic would be more than happy to "play around" with one of these gadgets. You'll have to wait until the end of this month to pick one of these devices up. They will debut at CES this week, and they will be available soon after that for a MRSP of $299.
Keep in mind that this "first-look" at the Sony Mylo 2 was based upon a review of a pre-production model, and thus some of the specs may vary a bit in the actual production models being released at the end of January. We'll keep you posted of any updates!
UPDATE: Mylo 2 now available and at Amazon.