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Comments on: Review: Sony PEG-SJ30, Part I

The Sony SJ30 has a 320 by 320, TFT, color screen. It runs Palm OS 4.1 on a 33 MHz Dragonball processor and has 16 MB of RAM. It has all the features typically found on Sony models, including a Memory Stick slot and a Jog Dial with a Back button.

News Editor Ed Hardy has this preliminary review.

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Buttons & A Case

ranbarton @ 8/30/2002 9:38:28 AM #
Ed - Any comment on the feel of the buttons? Are they as lousy as some of the Sonys have been, or are they more usable? Does it come with a case of any sort? Thanks for the first part of your review.


--
Ran Barton
RE: Buttons & A Case
Ed @ 8/30/2002 9:48:05 AM #
Sorry, I'd have written more on the SJ30 but I finished up this part at after 1 am last night and I've got to sleep some time.

I'll say more about the buttons and flip-case in the second part of the review. If you absolutely can't wait, read my review of the SJ20. The buttons are the same, but the flip cover is a different color:
www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=4071

---
News Editor

RE: Buttons & A Case
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 11:12:26 AM #
If you're referring to the buttons on the T415 and 615, I happen to like them. Are they a gamepad? No, but most PDA users aren't using them for gaming. I like the buttons on my Tseries alot more than the Palm M100 I started with.
RE: Buttons & A Case
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 12:06:00 PM #
Held one at Sonystyle in Hong Kong and found the colours and buttons to be much much better than the T-615C. Felt good holding it.

Personally I think this is a great entry color PDA.

Buy it and use it to manage your life and don't worry about the next one (ones!) coming out in a few weeks' time:)

RE: Buttons & A Case
robrecht @ 8/31/2002 6:00:59 AM #
Don't worry about the next life or future lives?

Is that because if we manage this life well we'll be assured of a good next life or does only this life matter?

Posts on this site are becoming very philosophical if a bit off topic.

Thanks, Robrecht

RE: Buttons & A Case
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 10:58:30 PM #
It is great. What are the positives to the buttons/negatives?

I wish I could I afford one of these machines.

no infrared port???

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 10:44:44 AM #
it's useless!!!!!!!
RE: no infrared port???
Ed @ 8/30/2002 10:47:56 AM #
Of course it has an infrared port. Sorry, I realize that sentence wasn't particularly clear. The adjective "enhanced" applies to both the speaker and the infrared port. The T615C has an enhanced infrared port, compared with many other Sony models. The SJ30 doesn't have this.

---
News Editor
RE: no infrared port???
Kaitou @ 8/30/2002 10:50:11 AM #
it has a standard infared port, it just doesn't have the enhanced remote control port that the T and NR series have

RE: no infrared port???
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 9:03:10 AM #
Read the article...yeesh.

Looks like Sony listens

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 11:13:36 AM #
We all complained about the long, narrow designs of earlier Sonys. They listened. Good for sony. I wish they would make them a little thicker to put in the equivalent of 3 batteries. I miss my Vx's 1 month battery life.
RE: Looks like Sony listens
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 12:07:05 PM #
I'm not waiting for Palm's new models (dont like the sound of them anyway). Sign me up for a SJ30!
RE: Looks like Sony listens
andrewholler @ 1/18/2003 6:59:06 PM #
No kidding, the didn't make too much of a jump for the SJ20, but still this is a great device especially for the price.

Slow Screen?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 11:12:34 AM #
Does the screen take longer to update than a T615?

I thought to make these low end device that a video coprocessor was eliminated. The SL20 has a noticable delay to fill the screen with icons.

RE: Slow Screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 3:27:45 PM #
maybe you should read the article.
RE: Slow Screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 9:43:39 PM #
I've read and reread the article; it doesn't say anything about a slow screen refresh. What conclusion did you arrive at?
RE: Slow Screen?
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 11:00:43 PM #
Slow screen, fast screen? Does it just not load very quickly?

Battery Life

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 11:37:20 AM #
Sony list battery life as something like 12 hrs for an SL30 and 14 hours for a SL20. Is the difference really so small. Can the SL30 be used indoors without the backlight or with a low backlight setting?

SJ30 price?

LanMan @ 8/30/2002 12:12:39 PM #
Ed, maybe I missed it, but did you list a price for the SJ30? I know that it looks like it's going to be $300+, but how much "+" is it?

<><
RE: SJ30 price?
Ed @ 8/30/2002 12:34:07 PM #
The official price is $300, which is what SonyStyle is offering it for. I looked around to see if any of the webstores that offer handhelds have the SJ30 yet, hoping I could suggest one with a lower price, but couldn't find any that list it yet.

---
News Editor
RE: SJ30 price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 12:37:03 PM #
www.sonystyle.com list the unit at $299.99.
RE: SJ30 price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 12:10:15 PM #
with some coupon codes you can get it at dell.com for $255.00 as of 9/3/02
RE: SJ30 price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2002 3:28:13 PM #
Costco has them for $229. - just picked one up, NICE !!!
RE: SJ30 price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2002 4:49:57 PM #
I went to the Costco web site and did not see anything.

Where do I find this deal?

RE: SJ30 price?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/22/2002 2:49:30 AM #
Costco has the PEG-SJ30? Where is this Costco located?
RE: SJ30 price?
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 11:01:19 PM #
Price?

What is the price in Canada?

Screenshots

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 12:12:42 PM #
Ed, one suggestion for taking your screenshots:

Try different lighting conditions.... obviously I think your screenshot is kinda poor since the PDA seems to have a blue background instead of white.

RE: Screenshots
Ed @ 8/30/2002 12:25:58 PM #
It is very difficult (or maybe even impossible) to take a picture of a handheld that makes the screen look anything close to what it actually looks like in person. That's why all the pictures of handhelds you see in catalogs have "simulated" screens. This means a screen shot has been pasted over the image to make it look like that's what the handheld screen is showing.

In short, you can't tell what a handheld's screen looks like from a picture. You need to see for yourself. Short of that, take my word for it.

---
News Editor

RE: Screenshots
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 1:31:29 PM #
With digital cameras, it's an issue of white balance. You can either balance for ambient light (which is what Ed looks like he's doing) or for the PDA screen itself. Unless both the ambient light and the screen backlight have similar color temperatures, you'll get funny colors either way. Here's a photo I just took of my Sony 610 in a room lit by natural sunlight. I white balanced for the screen. It gives a pretty good representation of the screen image but notice the silver casing has a bluish cast.

my 610: http://www.clanvendetta.org/64/temp/clie.jpg

Read more about white balance here: http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossary/Digital_Imaging/White_Balance_01.htm

RE: Screenshots
Ed @ 8/30/2002 2:03:09 PM #
Some better pictures of the SJ30:
www.palminfocenter.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6762

---
News Editor
RE: Screenshots
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 2:13:03 PM #
Here's an example of a good pda screenshot:
http://www.pencomputing.com/palm/Pen46/cliesj20.html

RE: Screenshots
bobes @ 8/30/2002 5:44:04 PM #
from www.palminfocenter.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6762
it seems like there's a screw to access the battery compartment. Does that mean that the battery is replaceable?

Proof Positive!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 12:18:23 PM #
Ed does have five fingers.
RE: Proof Positive!
Ed @ 8/30/2002 12:33:07 PM #
I have to admit, I was thinking about that when I took this picture. =)

---
News Editor
RE: Proof Positive!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 1:36:32 PM #
Following the line of his hand I'd say the index finger is definitely real. It wouldn't be that hard to dub in a middle finger though....I'd consider a digital image supporting proof, but not absolutely positive... ;)
FAKE! [was RE: Proof Positive!]
Palm_Otaku @ 8/30/2002 2:47:17 PM #
No way! If you look carefully at the image, it is OBVIOUS that the extra finger was Photoshopped in!

Ed, you don't have to be embarrassed - I'm sure there are lots of famous people who have less than the full complement of fingers. Look at the Simpsons and Mickey Mouse for example!

Oh, and if you are miffed that I've outed your secret, feel free to give me the middle finger.

Oops, that's right - you don't HAVE a middle finger! [gd&r]

RE: Proof Positive!
abosco @ 8/30/2002 10:48:13 PM #
It can't be, because there is still a typo in the end!

whet should be wet

:D

(This program has performed an illegal operation and needs to close) "But I only went to microsoft.com! Oh..."

RE: Proof Positive!
gonnabe @ 8/31/2002 11:43:09 AM #
Sorry abosco, but Ed's right with his use of "whet."

Per Webster's...

whet---to make keen; stimulate (e.g. to "whet" the appetite)

Ed's just showin' us his fine literary skills. Go, Ed!

Careful When Naming?

cyn @ 8/30/2002 12:39:35 PM #
I know this sounds odd, but there are non-memory Memory Sticks. Shows that you need to be careful not to be too specific when you name your products

Kinda like PCMCIA?

(Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)

Name's don't mean a thing, as long as you make a surname or acronym that people will use. That said - Sony needs to push using "MS" wherever possible - hopefully Microsoft doesn't smite them with their wrath.

RE: Careful When Naming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 1:30:40 PM #
That would be a sight to behold... Microsoft battle against Sony... not that the PS/XBOX front hasn't started it already.
RE: Careful When Naming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 2:14:51 PM #
MS = Microsoft NOT memory shtick.
RE: Careful When Naming?
Palm_Otaku @ 8/30/2002 2:43:34 PM #
MS = Microsoft NOT memory shtick

Heh, I don't think our friends in Redmond have any trademarks on "MS" -- it seems to be more of a 'Net acronym (and frankly, "M$" seems to be a MORE common 'Net acronym...)

RE: Careful When Naming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 7:57:59 AM #
(Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)

I thought it meant:

People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms!

RE: Careful When Naming?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 12:25:05 PM #
In the PDA world MS DOES EQUAL Memory Stick

Screen size comparison to m515?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 1:49:05 PM #
Ed, (or anyone) can you please tell how much smaller the SJ30's screen size is compared to the m515? I can strongly considering buying one. I know all about Sony superiority, and have the S320, but the form of m515 is too sweet and professional looking. So how is the screen area? It looks a decent size and I lost the link to the Japanese forum comparing all the Sony's, but what about the m515?
RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 1:58:38 PM #
just in case you haven't realized,

any direct comparison to Palm unit is not permitted in this site.

RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
Ed @ 8/30/2002 2:05:26 PM #
The screens are the same size: 2 1/8 inches on a side.

---
News Editor
RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 3:46:58 PM #
>> "just in case you haven't realized,

any direct comparison to Palm unit is not permitted in this site." <<

Oh my God... He, how about, F*** YOU! Ed is always very fair about comparing PalmOS products from different companies, and your implication that he isn't shows what an a**hole you are, and why other Sony owners like me are embarrassed by your kind of crap.

RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 5:13:41 PM #
Keep it cool, son... perhaps your profanity is more embarassing then some cross-platform fighting...
RE: How about vs. the IIIc?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/8/2002 10:25:01 AM #
the IIIc's screen is about 2 1/4+, height 3 1/8+

is the SJ-30 noticeably smaller?

I mean the 130 is obviously tinier when you look at the screen

RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 11:02:36 PM #
I need a good screen and a larger one must be better.

An SJ30 screen or a TT screen?

Which one to go for?

RE: Screen size comparison to m515?
andrewholler @ 1/18/2003 7:00:20 PM #
screen size compared to the crappy m130 (which I have)?

So What.

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 9:31:23 PM #
So what, In a month or two it will be discontinued, sorry not for me.
RE: So What.
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2002 10:09:05 PM #
LoL then you shouldn't choose Sony in the first place
RE: So What.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 12:26:58 PM #
My s320 was discontinued a year ago, and I am just now thinking of upgrading, not because I have to, but would like to.

Get real. more people use a Palm III today than probably any other unit.


Camera?

Stockholm not Oslo @ 8/31/2002 2:55:57 AM #
Ed,
Does the SJ-30 work with the MS Camera and the keyboards?

-Donnie
I Love me, Do you?
RE: Camera?
mentalsrule @ 8/31/2002 6:44:00 AM #
yes it will work with the camrea and the keyboard. assuming you mean the keyboard just released by sony right?

well the SJ30 holds the T series connection port, so anything for the T series mostly, works with the SL, SJ, T, and NR series, including the keyboard.

____________________
I didnt think this was physcially possible, but GateWay Computers both sucks and blows.

RE: Camera?
Ed @ 8/31/2002 9:47:47 AM #
The SJ30 definitely works with the Memory Stick camera. I wouldn't have mentioned the camera in this review if you couldn't use it with this model.

As mentalsrule said, now that Sony has all their models using the same HotSync connector again, just about all the peripherals that connect to the HotSync port can be used by any Sony model.

In case you are still nervous, Sony put out a brochure on the SJ30 listing all the peripherals it could work with and the mini-keyboard, folding keyboard, and camera are all on this list. The Bluetooth module isn't mentioned but it isn't available in the U.S. so it wouldn't be.

If you ever want to be sure whether something from Sony is compatible with your model, go to SonyStyle. Under each handheld is a list of the Sony peripherals it is compatible with.

---
News Editor

RE: Camera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 1:37:54 PM #
For those interested, SJ30 can use the Bluetooth MS module according to Sony Japan website. The BT MS is not officiallys sold outside of Japan though.

Bye bye M515

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 11:29:06 AM #
Unless you must have a metal case this blows away the M515 regarding price/features. Palm screws it up again....
RE: Bye bye M515
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 1:49:54 PM #
The SJ30 has a better screen and for $100 less.
RE: Bye bye M515
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 5:48:29 PM #
Palm
Is
The
Coolest
Home
RE: Bye bye M515
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 9:42:19 PM #
Yep, this really great for a fat pda.

PEG-SJ30 vs. PEG-T615c

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/31/2002 6:56:57 PM #
"comparisons between the two are inevitable" is interesting. I undertsand your speaker and AV remote control feature comment. How about:

Plastic vs. aluminum case -- does it matter?

A cradle include with T615 vs. Cable only?

If you need to replace a broken PALM IIIc and could get T615c for $254 vs. SJ30 for $299, which one would you buy?

RE: PEG-SJ30 vs. PEG-T615c
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/1/2002 7:22:58 AM #
Despite of SJ30's features, I think the T615 is a better deal. You get a lot more for the same price.
RE: PEG-SJ30 vs. PEG-T615c
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/4/2002 5:43:01 PM #
I'm having a hard time as well which clie to buy, the SJ30, or the T615C. Even though I like the features of the T615C (enhanced IR port, better speaker, and aluminum casing), I haven't been able to find one keyboard compatible to it while I have found a compaticle portable keyboard for the SJ30. A Keyboard is essential for me as I hope to use it for typing on Docs To Go. Because there is no keyboard for the T615C, I feel like my only choice for $300 would be to get the SJ30, although it has less inhanced features. If you find a keyboard for the T615C, please post the site for which you found it. Thanks
RE: PEG-SJ30 vs. PEG-T615c
Ed @ 9/4/2002 6:16:42 PM #
Because the T615C and SJ30 use the same HotSync port, any keyboard compatible with one is compatible with the other. For example, the PEGA-KB11 folding keyboard will work with either model.

www.sonystyle.com/home/item.jsp?itemid=48763

---
News Editor

RE: PEG-SJ30 vs. PEG-T615c
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/6/2002 9:38:38 PM #
Ed, based on your knowledge of both models, which one do you think is better? I haven't been able to make up my mind about this either, as you can tell. I want the pda that will allow me to view powerpoint presentations with a crisp, clear picture (I'll upgrade to Docs to Go 5.0 Premium). I also want to be able to play games when I have free time like the smaller version of SimCity for the handheld. I hear about how some buttons on the T615C are unusable, and will this be a problem for what I described above about those buttons? Based on my needs mentioned, which one would be the best selection for me? Thanks

Wavy Shadows

UZI4U182 @ 8/31/2002 8:45:48 PM #
"And one of the reasons I think it is the same screen as on the T665C is it has the same flaw: small, wavy shadows right along the bottom edge."

What are these wavy shadows at the bottom edge? and are they really that bad? thanks.

--Devan--

www.tavern.2ya.com
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such

RE: Wavy Shadows
BiffK @ 9/1/2002 1:46:40 PM #
Very light, hardly noticable... only if you're looking. At least on my t665. The screen on that is gorgeous, if this is the same, you won't (almost can't) be disappointed.

-Biff K
RE: Wavy Shadows
UZI4U182 @ 9/4/2002 9:23:30 PM #
cool thanks

--Devan--

www.tavern.2ya.com
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such

Sony's ''Model of the Month''

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/1/2002 1:19:05 PM #
Sony changes models more often than Playboy. Why can't they just stick with something for a while. I remember when everyone complained that the m505 was discontinued in favour of the m515 "only" a year later. Lucky these sensitive types didn't buy a Sony at the same time, or they'd be *four* generations behind!!!

Sony: slow down!

RE: Sony's ''Model of the Month''
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2002 12:52:11 PM #
Huh? Why would it be a problem for you if they had a new model every *week*? How would it benefit you if they had fewer releases?

Complete Review on pdafrance.com written in french

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/2/2002 7:29:00 AM #
RE: Complete Review on pdafrance.com written in french
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 8:43:19 PM #
Merci beaucoup

stylus

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/3/2002 6:46:13 PM #
Ed, is it the same stylus as the other Sony handhelds? Skinny and narrow, cramping!!

Does this device can play video with sound?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2002 4:03:30 AM #
Sorry, a little bit stupid question...
There is no secret, that Clie PEG-T665, NR-V70 etc. with enchanced audio can play mp3 and video with sound. I know, that there is possible to buy a seperate mp3 player for SJ30, but can I watch videos with sound on this device without buying mp3 player?

Martins

615 (vs 665!) - I'm thinking SJ30

fenfen @ 9/9/2002 12:17:28 AM #
My old Palm is dying, and I really need to upgrade (and I won't even tell you how old it is - it's just too embarrassing).

A bit of catch-up reading quickly brought me to Sony - Palm appears to be experiencing manufacturing quality problems, and they're struggling with a few corporate ethics issues regarding honesty with their customers. The HandSpring guys seem to be self-destructing. And Sony has a lot of cool looking stuff!

So I've had my heart set on the 665C over the past month or so. I started out looking at the 615, then saw the better screen, started thinking about MP3, double-speed processor - you know how it goes. I've been looking hard to find a good price - if I'd seen one, I'd be a T665C owner right now. But while I've been looking, there are a few things that have really begun to bother me - battery life and the little scroll button. (That stylus could be improved too, but that doesn't really bother me).

I know that day-in/day-out I'll be recharging often, and that should usually be OK. But every once in awhile I become addicted to pounding away at some fun game - especially when I travel. Battery life becomes especially important when you're subjected to airport problems, and you really need a PDA when you travel. So the more I've thought about it, I've gradually come to the conclusion that the 665C/615C tried to do just a bit too much with features and form factor - and the battery came out on the short-end. They got a bit carried away, and forgot that mobility is a key requirement!

And as for the up/down button, it simply needs to be usable for many games. I wanted to love this unit, so I've been rationalizing it away, but I've finally admitted it to myself - that dinky little button is an unacceptable design flaw. Perhaps they had overly ambitious hopes for the jog wheel, but a screwup is a screwup is a screwup.

Thinking about this makes me grind my teeth, cause I want that T665C. So close and yet so far, they missed the mark on the stupid stuff! So the other night, I finally come to the conclusion that there is no color Palm on the market right now that really justifies its existence - at least for me. Sony was the closest, but as my wife says, you better be happy for $350!

So, I've been homing in on the SL10, with the simple plan of waiting until an acceptable color product appears.

And now comes this SJ30, with functional buttons, and an implied 50% increase in battery life over the 665 (if you believe the Sony web site). I am really hoping it's true, and I eagerly await some reviews that verify the improvement. Gotta hand it to Sony, they seem to be listening, and they are putting the effort in to respond to complaints.

So if this battery really holds together, that's the one for me. I'll buy a separate MP3 player, I need it for jogging anyway (only a fool would exercise with a $300 screen clipped to his sweats). My key requirements are great color display, storage space, and simple common sense usability - and the SJ30 may well have it all!

I'll be back soon to find the results!

T615, 665, and SJ30 screen sizes...

Juno017 @ 9/30/2002 10:46:23 PM #
Do the Sony PEG-615C, 665C and SJ30 have the same sized screens? If so, then the Fellowes WriteRights for the Sony PEG-615 will fit exactly/perfectly on the Sony PEG-SJ30...

SJ 30 price cut

Paavscan @ 10/14/2002 1:38:21 PM #
new price
http://www.sonystyle.com/micros/clie/models/360.html

$179.99 us

Sony still wants $499.99 cd on the Sony.ca web store in canada with free delivery!

Stuart

RE: S360
Admin @ 10/14/2002 2:07:33 PM #
Sorry, You are mistaken, the page & price you reference is for the Sony S360, which is now discontinued and NOT the SJ-30.
RE: SJ 30 price cut
Paavscan @ 10/14/2002 3:14:21 PM #
Thank you!
Next time I post anything I will let the coffee kick in!!
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