Sony Clie T665 and SJ30 Special Edition Preview
By: Dan Royea,
October 29, 2002

These days the majority of handheld computers sport a metallic silver finish, which is a rather techno-chic look. That's most handhelds, but not all. For example, Handspring offered a variety of color options for their original Visor Deluxe, as well as their later Edge and Neo lines. Palm Inc.'s m1xx-series feature changeable faceplates in different colors and patterns (including silver), carrying on a trend first seen in cell phones. But for the most part, you can have your PDA in any color you like, as long as it's silver.

For those who prefer a "pilot" with a little more individuality, there have been a few Special Edition finishes. In Fall 2000 the Palm Vx was released in Champagne and Millennium Blue (plus the infamous Claudia Schiffer model...) and IIIe "SE" came out in a clear case. For Fall 2001, Sony offered some alternatives to silver for their new Clie T-series: the T615C in a blue finish (plus red in Japan only), and the T415 in black. The Palm m505 was available for a limited time in American Cranberry and Patriot Blue. These limited edition models were quickly snapped up, and appear to have attained some status as collectables. And now...

The Fall 2002 Collection

Introduced just in time for the Christmas 2002 shopping season, Sony today announced Special Editions of their T665C and SJ30 models.

The T665C Special Edition is available in metallic orange with a matching cradle. It's a very rich shade of orange that is beyond my photographic abilities to accurately reproduce, but if you've ever seen the original Aibo robot in orange, you'll know the color. The rear plate in the JogDial area and the cradle's HotSync button are a dark metallic grey, and there's a subtle amount of bright chrome that accents the Memory Stick / stylus silo surround at the top and wraps around the side seams. The flip-cover and matching wrist strap are black with contrasting orange stitching and an all-black stylus completes the ensemble. Personally, I think it looks totally cool :-).

The SJ30 Special Edition comes in two "flavors": gloss black and gloss white. Instead of the standard flip-cover, each includes a matching leather case as a bonus.

The black version of the SJ30 has light tan contrast trim in several places: surrounding the screen and front buttons; the JogDial area on the left; the Ir-port / MS slot / power button area on top; plus both ends of the chrome-shafted stylus. The power button and MS slot cover are a bright yellow. It looks quite sharp, but the glossy black finish is an absolute fingerprint-magnet. The bonus case has a matching glossy black exterior and tan interior.

The materials and workmanship of the leather "book-style" case are top quality and it has some very nice design features. The case should offer excellent screen protection as the front cover contains a very stiff (metal?) core with a couple of strategically-placed little bumps inside to keep the SJ30's buttons from being accidentally pressed if the case is squeezd. The SJ30 locks to a plastic connector (the same kind used on the standard flip cover) which is attached via a leather hinge to the inside back cover. There is a lined credit card slot inside the front cover and a matching Memory Stick slot hidden in the back cover. When closed with the tongue-and-loop fastener, the case is about an inch thick.

SJ30 White If black isn't your style, the SJ30 is also offered in a gloss-white version with a light grey screen surround and top trim, and pink accents for the stylus ends, MS door, JogDial, Back and Power buttons. The leather case has a glossy white exterior with contrasting interior.

[image courtesy of Sony]

Beauty is more than skin deep

Instead of just describing the appearances of the Special Editions, it's worthwhile comparing the features of the two models. They share the same vibrant 320x320 color screen and standard Sony features such as Memory Stick slot; JogDial and Back button; and the 20-pin base connector. They both run Palm OS 4.1 and have 16MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash ROM.

While the weight (4.9 oz.) and width (2.9") are approximately the same, the T665C is taller (4.65" vs. 4.1") but slimmer (0.5" vs. 0.7"). The other key differences:

Processor speed (MHz)
Rechargeable battery type
Lithium Ion Polymer
Lithium Ion
MP3 capability / headphones
Speaker type
Polyphonic Speaker
Alarm options
Audio / LED / Vibrate
Audio / LED
InfraRed AV remote control capability
USB Cradle included
Bonus leather case included
Suggested Retail Price

In terms of software, both Clies offer a number of applications in addition to the standard Palm OS PIM applications, including: Documents To Go, PictureGear Pocket, gMovie, Clie Paint, World Alarm Clock, PowerOne Personal calculator and several Memory Stick utilities. The T665C also includes some extra applications that take advantage of the hardware features: AudioPlayer, MP3 Manager, Clie RMC, Sound Utility, and Clie Mail. The T665C and SJ30 have a broad and essentially similar selection of trial version software as shown at this page on the Clie site.

You can check out earlier Palm InfoCenter reviews of both the T665C and the SJ30 for additional information on these models. Both devices offer great features and performance for the price, and the high quality leather case that comes with the SJ30 is a really nice new bonus.

While the Special Edition colors aren't going to meet everyone's personal preferences, I think it's great to have some new alternatives to metallic silver ;-)

Purchase online at

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But where's the innovation?

fleegle @ 10/29/2002 2:28:23 PM #
Just kidding. But, that's what a lot of people were saying when Palm released alternative color devices.

I think the orange is cool too! :)

RE: But where's the innovation?
alexp @ 10/29/2002 2:39:53 PM #

Every time Palm (or another company using the Palm brand) releases a "special edition" handheld with special casing, it seems like they're bashed MERCILESSLY by people on this site--particularly the Sony users (heck, I'm a Sony user and I still find it annoying).

Wonder what the bashers will say this time around. Here's hoping the end of anonymous posting will keep these people quiet.

That said, the orange is, well, "interesting." Personally, I wouldn't buy it, but more power to someone who does. Variety is what we need in PDAs now--not only of features, but of looks. This is what always amazes me about the current PPC offerings--pretty much cookie-cutter iPaq clones. Sure, they're getting cheaper, but lower price only takes you so far. What I like about PalmOS is that there's a nice variety of devices available, with many others still to come. Maybe this variety will eventually get rid of the tired "My PDA can beat up your PDA" attitude.

RE: But where's the innovation?
Admin @ 10/29/2002 2:54:49 PM #
:: This is what always amazes me about the current
:: PPC offerings--pretty much cookie-cutter iPaq
:: clones. Sure, they're getting cheaper, but lower
:: rice only takes you so far.

That is a very good point, and part of the reason for that is Microsoft's hardware/liscensing requirements. It's almost like the PPC market is turning into a PC "white-box" range with the similarity between devices. I think most people would agree that the more variety the better and that is on of the stregnths of the palm os platform

RE: But where's the innovation?
ska @ 10/29/2002 2:58:16 PM #
So you mean orange case and sliding D-pad is the reall deal instead of Low price with stacked up spec?
RE: But where's the innovation?
abosco @ 10/29/2002 3:08:04 PM #
Quit your PPC loving/Palm OS pooing attitude because PPCs have the same washed up appearance and functionality that brought them under the Palm OS in sales and is continuing to do it. Face it, days on bragging rights about your PPC are over.

I suport pudlik edicashun.
RE: But where's the innovation?
ska @ 10/29/2002 3:14:46 PM #
whose day is over? How about new cheapo $299 iPAQ that compete even with t655 dragonball, nevermind TT.

RE: But where's the innovation?
a3 @ 10/29/2002 3:28:11 PM #
Hey Ska, if you like that cheapo iPaq go ahead and buy it but please quit comparing PPC vs Palm OS. That's a never ending story and it won't end even if you find PPC better or if I think that Palm OS 5 has given a very tough (almost deadly) kick to PPC.

Nothing: the worst you can do.
RE: But where's the innovation?
Fzara2000 @ 10/29/2002 6:51:17 PM #
I cant believe theres actually hypocrits out there who think that the Palm OS will rule out PPC2002.
Hell, now that Palm has the same features of the PPC, im so glad that people will see the clear side, and buy a cheap, Viewsonic or Dell PPC for half the price of this fungsten.
Palm's theory: "You dont need it until we've created it"

"Now thats just PRIME!"
RE: But where's the innovation?
Davy Fields @ 10/29/2002 7:54:49 PM #
You are an idiot..... like anyone on earth in the PDA business cares about the specs.... it's people like you that cause the PocketPC to have the pitiful market share it has now, buddy.

-Davy Fields
RE: But where's the innovation?
alexp @ 10/29/2002 9:21:58 PM #
ska: "So you mean orange case and sliding D-pad is the reall deal instead of Low price with stacked up spec?"

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say they're the "real deal," but the point is that there is no "real deal" anymore, or at least shouldn't be. Handhelds are maturing as products, which basically means that there are more factors than simply "what's under the hood" to take into consideration.

Let's take the "more features + lower price = everything" argument into desktops. Based on this reasoning, I should get the most basic-looking tower with the fanciest components that my neighbor can build after shopping at Fry's for an hour. This would be the cheapest, most feature-packed machine possible. Why don't people do this? Because they want variety, which includes the look of the casing. Same thing applies to laptops, cell the product.

Am I evangelizing PalmOS? Hardly. But I think this is a strength of the platform. I also think PPC was good for handhelds, if only because it raised the bar on features. However, Microsoft's micromanagement of the hardware has sanitized the PPC line. PPC 2000 was far more interesting in terms of hardware. PPC 2002 is trying to make iPaq clones as cheaply as possible, which lowers prices, sure, but which also eliminates variety. I think that's a mistake.

At any rate, enough of the PPC talk. This is PalmInfoCenter. If you want to evangelize PPC, go to a PPC site. I think this is a nice development, even if it's not exactly revolutionary, for Sony, and I hope more PalmOS licensees take these things into consideration.

RE: But where's the innovation?
ska @ 10/29/2002 10:25:32 PM #
ok so I take it Palm Inc according to you succesfully foster diversity. ..?

current generation: 2 companies and 3 models as of much for blooming diversity

RE: But where's the innovation?
achen @ 10/30/2002 2:49:35 AM #


How long after the product first released did Palm make a "speciali edition"? 18 month!

How long after the product first released did SONY make a "speciali edition"? 4 month!

No wonder palm was bashed, because they could not come up with new modle with new spec !!

------ ------
Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

RE: But where's the innovation?
Fly-By-Night @ 10/30/2002 6:15:14 AM #
Basically, I think Ska is a knob.

Handhelds are not really like PCs at all, where the market has become 'commoditised' (if that's a word!), and people do look for the most 'bang per buck'. Handhelds are all about 'doing things' and are consumer tools. Companies like Sony and Nokia understand this. Nokia's best selling phones are not their most expensive (nor even their mid-range), but the ones that are most customisable. People like to feel ownership with their portable devices -- because they are with them constantly, it is an extension of themselves in much the same way that the clothes they wear are. This is particularly so for the teenage market -- the next purchasers of PDAs.

Now, if you are of a (slightly) older generation, more used to conformity (maybe you all wear the same dull blue or charcoal suit to work), the similarity between PPC devices and the standardised 'corporate' look is comforting. The market for PDAs is pretty stagnant at the moment -- maybe this is due to people holding off buying until the Palm OS 5 devices arrived; but more likely it is due to the majority of consumers feeling that they don't need a PDA, or that it is too geeky, or one doesn't fit their lifestyle needs.

Okay, so Palms are a little expensive at the moment (I guess they are trying to recoup some R&D costs quickly from the early adopters); but variety and a consumer focus is what is going to expand the PDA market. PPC clone manufacturers would do well to head this.


Ryan, please do something about these PPC trolls.
Roberto_tores @ 10/30/2002 6:58:40 AM #
ska and Fzara2000's comments are disturbing the peace of this forum. If you two like PPC so much then go to a PPC only forum.

Please Ryan do somenhing about people like these.

Well at least Fzara2000 is not as annoying in this forum as in brighthand where he constantly bashes palm Os users.

RE: But where's the innovation?
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 10:46:43 PM #

What would I do for one of these!

Seems pretty damb inovative to me!
Much more than my m130. I don't need the best Palm out there but I sure as hell need something better than what I have!

Is it true the SJ30 battery lasts much longer than the T665?

amin @ 10/29/2002 3:17:43 PM #
That's what I read in the SPUG forums.

e740, m500, T615, m515
RE: Is it true the SJ30 battery lasts much longer than the T665?
achen @ 10/30/2002 10:06:59 AM #
yes it is true !

------ ------
Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

RE: Is it true the SJ30 battery lasts much longer than the T665?
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 10:47:48 PM #
Thats nice to know.
How much longer will it last?

SJ30 Price

izadwen @ 10/29/2002 3:33:21 PM #
Has anyone picked up that the SJ30 is now $249, or is it just me?

RE: SJ30 Price
Tuckermaclain @ 10/29/2002 5:29:32 PM #
I just ordered one 2 days ago from Amazon. Not only is it $249, but there is free shipping and a $25 rebate. I had to cancel it the next day when the TT was released. I only hope that Palm doesn't jerk me around like when I pre-ordered my 505.

RE: SJ30 Price
Palm_Otaku @ 10/29/2002 6:09:33 PM #
There have been a few price cuts today:
SL10 $150 -> $130
SJ20 $200 -> $180
NR70V $550 -> $520

Also check out the deals on reburbs in the "Clearance" area.

- Dan

SJ30 Price replacement.
Roberto_tores @ 10/30/2002 7:02:23 AM #
Do you think this price reduction means an OS 5 SJ30 size model is on the way?

It would be great to have a mid end O% handhleld with the same form factor as the SJ30 (exept for the tickness, .5" would be much much better).

RE: SJ30 Price
Roberto_tores @ 10/30/2002 7:04:35 AM #

Sorry a typo, I mean OS5.

RE: SJ30 Price
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 10:48:54 PM #
Price cuts are nice, but does a few dollars really help?

a $10 cut doesn't make me want to run out and get one.
Whatever these prices are, I don't have a clue what they would be in Canadian, I guess a hell of a lot more.

New OS5/ARM hardware

Foo Fighter @ 10/29/2002 3:55:51 PM #
I wonder when/if Sony will release an OS5/ARM based model to replace the T-series? I'd love to see something along the lines of the T655 with Virtual graffiti.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: New OS5/ARM hardware
Sweetlu @ 10/29/2002 4:49:09 PM #
For get about the T series, how about the SJ30 with VG!!!!!

Yankees, Steinbrenner,...... I will never turn to the dark side.
RE: New OS5/ARM hardware
cyn @ 10/30/2002 9:42:43 AM #
I don't think the SJ series could *fit* the virtual graffiti screen (from top to bottom) let alone fit it within a protective case or anything.

RE: New OS5/ARM hardware
Fly-By-Night @ 10/30/2002 9:58:31 AM #
In terms of area required, any Palm device with a silkscreen area could have VG. However, the extra depth of the display needed for all those extra transistors and backlighting may lead to problems. Certainly I don't see a problem -- especially if manufacturers start using Lithium Polymer batteries that can be made into wierd and wonderful shapes (even the casing?).

Still, I prefer the metal case of a T Series or Tungsten over the SJ's plastic.


RE: New OS5/ARM hardware
cyn @ 11/1/2002 4:08:59 PM #
the reason i stated what i did is because the VG area is most definately taller than a normal graffiti area.

the VG area is half as tall as it is high, whereas normal graffiti is about one third.

where's the link for SJ30

spike @ 10/29/2002 4:27:39 PM #
couldn't find the black SJ30 in where is it?

RE: where's the link for SJ30
Palm_Otaku @ 10/29/2002 6:00:08 PM #
Apparently there's been a delay in posting the SJ30 Special Editions. Although the price of the sliver SJ30 is now $250, the Sp. Ed. are likely to be $300.

BTW, we did get authorization from Sony to post this article with info on the SJ30 before they did. Heh, how's that for a scoop?

- Dan


PacManFoo @ 10/29/2002 4:38:11 PM #
My Special Edition Champagne Palm Vx still looks awsome to me!!

RE: Special
andrewholler @ 1/17/2003 10:50:30 PM #
What colour is it?
How is it special addition?

Email me about anything at
Current PDA:= Palm M130
by the way, Can someone buy me a TT?


UZI4U182 @ 10/29/2002 4:49:05 PM #
I think the SJ30 should have been made all black, i dont like that grey and white on the front. That looks dumb. I prefer my silver SJ30 over that (except if they made it all black)

--Devan-- | Email me:

Webmaster of
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Proud owner of a Palm m100, Sony CLI… PEG-S320, and Sony CLI… PEG-SJ30!


hotpaw4 @ 10/29/2002 4:58:31 PM #
Now the standard edition SJ30 is obsolete! After less than a month! All current owners will just have to throw them out because the lack of the latest fashion coloring has magically rendered last months model completely useless! How can Sony do this to us? What will they do next? Obsolete new models before shipping them, or before announcing them, or maybe even before developing them?

( sorry, couldn't resist :^)

RE: Obsolete!!!
Palm_Otaku @ 10/29/2002 6:04:15 PM #
LOL - someone *had* to post that ;-)

RE: Obsolete!!!
amin @ 10/29/2002 11:51:10 PM #
good one!

e740, m500, T615, m515

Does this mean new Sony models?

dmenahem @ 10/29/2002 5:22:30 PM #
Isn't it usually the case that when Palm, Sony etc start to intro' new colors to old models they are just trying to get rid of inventory before releasing a new one? Just curious.....
RE: Does this mean new Sony models?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/29/2002 6:07:18 PM #
Not sure in this case - it might mean that they're just trying to entice more Christmas shoppers.

Of course, with Sony's past history, it probably won't be too many months before we see new models.

- Dan

RE: Does this mean new Sony models?
ganoe @ 10/30/2002 6:31:25 AM #
> they're just trying to entice more Christmas shoppers.

Looks to me like they're trying to entice more Halloween shoppers, but they've only got a couple of days to do that.

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