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Sony Launches Portable “mylo”

San Diego — Sony is introducing a new portable e-mail/MP3/video device aimed at 18 to 22 year olds, and people who use instant messaging as a primary means of communication.

Offered from Sony’s Vaio computer division, the new mylo communicator is WiFi enabled and allows Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, MP3, video and Skype. Mylo stands for “my life online” and is offered to college students and people who live in WiFi networks such as college campuses and select cities.

“It takes the fun elements of a PC and puts them in a pocket-size device,” said a spokeswoman.

The unit has a 2.4-inch color LCD and a slide out QWERTY keyboard for thumb typing. It has an embedded HTML browser to view full Web pages and lets users send and receive e-mails with services like Yahoo! Mail and GMail. It also comes with Skype for free Internet calls to the more than 113 million other Skype users. There are no monthly fees to use the mylo.

The product includes JiWire’s hotspot directory listing of more than 20,000 WiFi networks in the U.S. so users can find a hotspot nearby. Sony says the unit boots up in seconds and scans for available networks. There is a “buddy” or “What’s Up” screen to see which friends are online.

The mylo has 1GB of flash memory and a slot for Memory Stick Duo for up to 4GB of additional storage. It supports MP3, ATRAC or WMA (secure or unsecure) files and MPEG-4 video. It does not support over-the-air downloads.

Other features include up 45 hours of music playback, seven hours of chatting and Web surfing and more than three hours of continuous Skype on its lithium-ion battery. It can detect when it’s near other mylo devices for sharing playlists and streaming music between mylos without WiFi.

The unit will be available in September at an approximate $350 suggested retail price through and Sony Style stores.The company is also targeting big box retailers in major college towns and in WiFi enabled cities, it said.