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Sony on Tuesday introduced its Mylo device that lets customers use instant messaging, browse the Internet, make broadband calls, listen to music, send emails and view photos. Mylo is positioned as a rival for Apple iPod players with broader set of features, the primary of which are communications.

“The Mylo personal communicator puts the fun parts of a computer in the palm of your hand. It's ideal for peoplewho want to stay connected to their online friends and family, but not be weighed down by a PC or buffeted by charges for IM and texting on cell phones,” said John Kodera, director of product marketing for personal communication devices at Sony Electronics.

Mylo comes with 2.4” colour screen, QWERTY keyboard and 1GB of flash memory, which can be expanded to higher capacity using Memory Stick Duo media. The device can operate in any open 802.11b wireless local area network (WLAN) and also connect to other Sony Mylo devices to share playlists or stream music from each other. The entertainment gadget can playback music in MP3, ATRAC or WMA (secure and unsecure) format,  MPEG-4 personal videos and view photos in JPEG format.

The product comes pre-loaded with Google Talk instant messaging service as well as Skype and Yahoo! Messenger programs.

The Mylo device uses a lithium-ion battery that offers up to 45 hours of music playback, around 7 hours of chatting and web surfing and more than 3 hours of continuous Skype talk time. It comes with a microphone, stereo headphones, a USB cable and a neoprene case. Sony Mylo will be available in September for about $350.

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