Sony unveils high end, high price Qualia products

Sony Corp. unveiled Tuesday the first four products in its new Qualia family, a top-of-the-line range of digital cameras, video projectors and other products that is designed to return a little magic to the Sony brand name.

For the new range, Sony is combining functionality with design and a high level of customer service and support. The result is a range of products that are meant to touch the hearts of consumers, Sony said in a statement. Judging by the prices of the first four products, the Qualia line products will also reach deep inside the wallets of Japan's most affluent consumers.

The project was started in May 2001 and first disclosed publically in April this year, when Nobuyuki Idei, Sony's chief executive, told a Tokyo news conference that the high-end product family would be launched in June. At the time he did not detail the products, but promised that consumers "will have delight in just holding these products."

Among the four products announced Tuesday is only one which can literally be held.

The Qualia 016 digital still camera is a 2-megapixel device much smaller than Sony's Cybershot U digital still cameras. It measures 69 millimeters by 24 millimeters by 17 millimeters and weighs 50 grams, which is just over a quarter of the volume of the Cybershot U and less than half the weight.

Qualia 016 camera

In exchange for the small size, consumers will find the camera lacks several features compared to other models in Sony's Cybershot range. The monitor is 0.55 inches in diagonal width, there is no internal flash, although an external flash unit can be connected, and battery life is 50 minutes. There is no optical zoom, although the camera does have a 4X digital zoom feature and comes in a kit that includes a telephoto lens and wide angle lens. It stores images on Memory Stick Duo.

The kit, which includes the camera, will go on sale in Japan on June 24 priced at ¥380,000 (AUD$4,930). That's roughly 15 times the Japanese street price of Sony's Cybershot U and more than four times the price of its high-end Cybershot F717.

Also announced Tuesday was the Qualia 004 high-definition video projector. The unit uses the SXRD (Silicon Crystal Reflective Display) LCD projector technology announced by Sony in February this year, which promises to deliver a high quality, high contrast and brighter image than has been possible until now. The projector accepts either analog or digital video inputs and will go on sale in Japan August 1, priced at ¥2.4 million.

The other two products are the Qualia 007 Super Audio CD player and the Qualia 015 Trinitron high-definition color monitor. The former will go on sale in Japan on August 11 and cost Â¥800,000 for the main unit and ¥700,000 ($9,085) for matching speakers. The latter will be available in Japan from June 24 and cost ¥1.3 million ($16,874).

Sony said it has no present plans to sell Qualia products outside of Japan.

As can be seen from the first four products, Qualia devices each carry a number. The numbers are assigned as each prototype is approved for production, and Sony says 17 such products have already been approved. After approval the products face further testing and in some cases may not pass muster, which means some of the 17 products may never be commercially launched.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?