Amidst all the business turmoil, tepidly-received new products and high-concept gaming news, it's easy to forget that, man, Sony can still do hardware design. Exhibit A: The NAS-Z200iO media player dock, CD player, radio and network streaming device.
Its nondescript exterior belies a fairly impressive feature set: support for iPods as well as other MP3 players via a USB or an audio-in port, a CD player with MP3 playback, an AM/FM radio and, most importantly, DLNA network streaming support over Wi-Fi, which lets you connect to your PC's music library or internet radio stations. Sound is piped out through two 20W speakers, housed behind a clean, monolithic grille.
The remote has a full 3.5-inch color LCD, which lets you easily browse through your iPod's library or hosted music collection. It's a tight, media-player-esque little piece of hardware, but also borderline extravagant: if you're planning on using the NAS-Z2000 primarily as a dock, then you'll have purchased what is essentially an iPod to control your iPod. No price for now, and the first (but hopefully not last) shipments will be to Europe exclusively, in September.