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PIC Closer Look: The Handhelds of CES

sony_nz90_2.jpgA number of handhelds made their debut at the Consumer Electronics show this year and many others were on display. PalmInfocenter Editor in Chief, Ryan, brings us pictures and details in this closer look at the Palm OS handhelds shown at CES.

PIC Closer Look: The Handhelds of CES 2003
by: Ryan Kairer, Editor in Chief
Jan 28, 2003

CESWhen I started PalmInfocenter over 4 years ago, there was primarily only one company making Palm OS devices and that was Palm Computing. Flash-forward to today and it is truly amazing to see the expansive variety of shapes and forms that the Palm Operating System has taken since that time. The OS that started from a brick of balsa wood can now be found in mobile phones, laptops and even wristwatches. The following is our overview of the latest Palm OS devices shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2003. You can click on any of the images for a larger photo.

Sony
Sony has raised the bar yet again with its latest flagship handheld, the Clie NZ90. The NZ90 takes the large (320x480) screen and clamshell form factor and adds a 2 mega pixel digital camera and flash. The NZ90 is the most advanced integrated multimedia handheld on the market today. It can take digital photos in up to 1600x1200 resolution and can record audio and video. Built in Bluetooth and a WiFi card slot give you a choice of wireless options.

Additional new features found on the NZ90 include a new folding cradle that can folds behind the handheld and connects at the top underneath the camera unit. It has a usb "a" port that allows the clie to directly connect to compatible printers and other devices. There is also a power and AV out port, which lets you display photos on a television with a AV cable.

Sony was also showing the bright orange flavored Clie t665 Special Edition, reviewed previously. Right next to that was the Sony Ericsson Symbian powered P800 smartphone and the T300 camera phone.

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Click for Larger clie_t665_sp.jpg ~ Click for Larger Sony Phones ~ Click for Larger

Fossil Wrist PDA
Fossil had prototype models of the upcoming Palm OS wristwatch on display. It is amazing to see the palm os running on something so small, it?s almost like Dick Tracy?s timepiece realized. The WRIST PDA features an illuminated (160x160 grayscale) touch screen, 33mhz Dragonball, 2MB of memory, rechargeable battery, Rocker(TM) switch and IR port. The stylus is integrated into the watchband allowing you to enter Graffiti on the screen. Fossil says the watch will provide roughly 5 days of battery life between charges. It will be available in mid-2003, final pricing is still unknown.

fossil_wrist_1.jpg ~ Click for Larger fossil_wrist_2.jpg ~ Click for Larger fossil_wrist_3.jpg ~ Click for Larger

Palm Solutions Group
Palm SG was showing off the
Tungsten T and Tungsten W. The Tungsten W features the same high-res (320x320) screen found on the TT, GSM/GPRS wireless voice/data abilities, an integrated keyboard and a long lasting battery with over 10 hours of talk time.

Palm had some interesting accessories for the W on display. The Tungsten W features wireless voice abilities, yet lacks a speaker and microphone to do this. You are required to use a headset in order to make or receive phone calls. Jabra was showing their FreeSpeak Bluetooth headset, which includes a Bluetooth receiver that clips into the headset port. Ternary Tech had another solution in mind for the headset issue, an innovative cover/headset combo. The cover works much like the flip cover found on the V and m500 series, but has a speaker and microphone built in, very cool. Revolve Designs was also on hand showing their Unimount hands-free auto mounts that work with handhelds.

tung_w_jabra.jpg ~ Click for Larger tung_cover.jpg ~ Click for Larger tung_cover2.jpg ~ Click for Larger

Garmin iQue 3600
The Garmin iQue 3600 is Palm OS 5 GPS enabled handheld. It has a vibrant 16bit 320x480-pixel transflective TFT display, 32mb of RAM and is powered by Motorola?s new DragonBall MXL microprocessor. The product integrates Garmin?s new Que Technology. Garmin has integrated GPS functions into the handheld, simply tap on a contact?s address in the address book and the iQue can show you a map with turn by turn directions and even give you audible turn by turn directions. It will retail for $589 and is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2003. Stay tuned for a full review.

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Samsung
Samsung has formally introduced the SPH-i500 at CES. The SPH-i500 is a CDMA 1XRTT wireless smartphone. The i500 runs Palm OS 4.1 and sports a 66 MHz Dragonball, 16MB of RAM, a 160x240 TFT screen. The phone is strikingly small, 3.4 by 2.1 by .85 inches when closed and weighs 4.5 ounces. Unfortunately, the i500 lacks an expansion slot and an external LCD to check the caller ID when closed. Toshiba also had an interesting prototype mobile phone with an SD slot on display.

samsung_i500_1.jpg ~ Click for Larger samsung_i500_2.jpg ~ Click for Larger samsung_i500_3.jpg ~ Click for Larger toshiba_sd_phone.jpg ~ Click for Larger

Kyocera 7135
Last but certainly not least, the Kyocera 7135 smartphone attracted plenty of attention on the floors of the LVCC. The 7135 features a small, lightweight clamshell design and CDMA2000 1X wireless technology. It is the only smartphone on the market to offer a 16bit display, Assisted GPS (A-GPS) technology, an SD expansion card slot and an onboard MP3 player. It runs Palm OS 4.1, has 16mb of RAM and a replaceable lithium ion battery provides up to 3.5 hours of talk and up to 160 hours of standby time. It retails for $499. You can read more in our preview.

kyocera_7135_1.jpg ~ Click for Larger kyocera_7135_2.jpg ~ Click for Larger kyocera_7135_3.jpg ~ Click for Larger

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Good sum up

abosco @ 1/28/2003 5:06:30 PM #
Good coverage on the newly announced handhelds, Ryan. I have high hopes for the iQue since it's been two years that Garmin licensed Palm OS and did nothing with it (release-wise). Glad to see it has 32 MB of RAM and a huge screen. I certainly hope all future high-end Palm OS PDA's have 32 MB of RAM and that gorgeous screen of the NX, NZ, and iQue.

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
RE: Good sum up
Sho-Bud @ 1/29/2003 9:04:14 AM #
Yes, the Garmin looks like a great device. If we don't talk about the GPS-functionality, it't everything the Tungsten T should have been. (memory, display, virtual grafity, MP3 player)

It's a beast!

masitti @ 1/28/2003 6:02:53 PM #
LOL, the NZ90 must be a joke.. what it's thickness around the top? 2 inches?

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: It's a beast!
abosco @ 1/28/2003 6:33:37 PM #
From what I've heard, it's no thicker than an inch anywhere.

I really could care less about the size of my PDA. I wear jeans that have so much room left in the pocket after my NX that I could probably fit an Axim in there along with it. I've got plenty of room for an NZ. If you've held an NX in your pocket, imagine the thickest part of the CF slot in the handheld. That's the NZ all the way around. I can tolerate that.

I'm telling you, these features are looking mighty attractive...

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3

RE: It's a beast!
masitti @ 1/28/2003 7:58:57 PM #
That's great for you, but I'd prefer to be able to take my PDA where I go... not when I have a bag for it. :)

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: It's a beast!
xolstis @ 1/28/2003 8:02:02 PM #
Yea think size does matter, sigh even my visor feels like a brick in my pocket sometimes, its fine during winter when u haf a jacket or if you're wearing cargo pants, but with slacks? Hehe if the N series were a tad smaller.....

and wudn't really pay extra for a digicam in a PDA as well granted its a 2.0MP one, but still lacking in features compared to a dedicated cam... of cos u wud haf it with you wherever you are seeing its you PDA. Think my canon digital IXUS(Elph to u guys in the states) is anytime more pocketable than the N series LOL, thats why i bought it to begin with.

xolstis

Well, PC Magazine seems to like it...
mashoutposse @ 1/28/2003 8:55:15 PM #
...they gave it their highest score (5/5):

"Even though it's larger and heavier than its Palm and Pocket PC competitors, it's worth the weight and bulk because of its sheer feature and functional richness."

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,848946,00.asp

It seems that, like the NR and NX before it, the NZ has proven to be very much worth a few extra ounces and cubic centimeters.

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/28/2003 11:52:33 PM #
Exactly how is it worth it if you

1) Require something compact
2) Have no need of a halfassed 2MP camera
3) Are forced to use proprietary formats like the sony-only CF slot and MemoryStick
4) Never print from your PDA
5) Never use anything beyond rudimentary sound for alarms and system feedback

?

As was mentioned in the article dedicated to this machine, it will appeal to you if you are a huge gadget freak, and not many other people. That... thing... is barely even a PDA anymore, and for that price, you could get a decent laptop that does all this "PDA" does... better.

RE: It's a beast!
mashoutposse @ 1/29/2003 3:52:42 AM #
If those are your needs, you should probably still be using a Palm Vx. Thank goodness Sony doesn't think like you do.

RE: It's a beast!
abhinay @ 1/29/2003 4:44:56 AM #
lol.... actually.... you CAN print...its NOT a Propietery CF slot, and the camera is pretty good.... as good as the cybershot U series.... well... not great... but definately not half-assed ;)

RE: It's a beast!
masitti @ 1/29/2003 8:51:04 AM #
mashout - Uhh, there are many other devices that fit the small and full featured category. Take some Palm OS PDA's... the Tungsten, m5xx, and the CLIE T-series. And then for Pocket PC's, the smallest iPAQ h1910, Viewsonic V35, and others. There IS a market for small PDA's.

It's quite simple: if I want a 2 MP camera, than I'll go and get one. If I want a PDA, than I'll get one. If I need some expensive bricks for my house, then bring on the CLIE NZ! =D

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/29/2003 12:30:10 PM #
Mash, you miss the point. The NZ tries to do a lot of things well, but ends up doing most of it in a mediocre way (ie the camera, memory storage, document portability) and then shoving it in a HUGE package. If Sony had somehow (miraculously) put it in their "T" series form factor, they would've had a killer PDA, not because they did it well, but because at least it fit one pillar of PDA design: compactness.

As always, I suggest you read The Zen Of Palm. PDAs are highly focused devices, not all-around-PC types.

And yes, actually, i was using the Vx until the Tungsten came out, which has just replaced it. That seems to be a trend among people I know - Vx being replaced by the Tungsten. This is because the people that actually use their PDA for what it was designed for know that while MP3 playing, picture taking, and other features are nice bonuses, you can't sacrifice what makes a PDA what it is: small size, portability, and connectivity (unless you very much need a 2MP cam in that type of case, but if you were that serious, you'd probably get a real one anyway). Up until the Tungsten came along, there was no reason for me (or my coworkers) to change, as the Vx offered great battery life, great form factor, and functioned just as well as any other PalmOS device. It was of course supplanted by color screens, superior sound capabilities, and high res, but was that enough to upgrade? Nope, not until a package came along that was compact and included Bluetooth, ie Tungsten | T.

Like I said: gadget freaks will love it. The rest of us will wait for a nice, small form factor (ie Sony T series) with useful features, not flash.

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/29/2003 12:41:54 PM #
Abhinay:

It still uses the proprietary CF slot, unless you can point out someplace that refutes that.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?V24A12443

RE: It's a beast!
mashoutposse @ 1/29/2003 1:27:51 PM #
Lido: That's definitely a valid viewpoint. Remember, however, that Sony bills their PDAs as "Personal Entertainment Organizers." 'Entertainment.' That's Sony's niche (a niche previously unexplored in the PalmOS world), and one that has allowed them to triple their marketshare worldwide in about 12 months (I contributed :).

Believe it or not, there are people out there with significant amounts of disposable income who aren't satisfied or impressed with what PDAs bring to the table today. The PDA userbase is FAR from seeing its full potential for expansion -- there are many, many people who look at, say, a Tungsten and say, "Who wants to pay $400+ for just an organizer?" Ask any layperson, rich or poor, what a PDA or 'Palm Pilot' means to him/her: I guarantee the response will be something along the lines of, "Isn't that what you use to keep your phone numbers and addresses?" A LOT of people still think like this; Sony has taken it upon themselves to change this image, at least for their models.

I'm not sure that many people recognize the magnitude of including a 2 Megapixel cam w/ flash. If you asked me in December, I would've told you that the next Clie to have a 2MP cam would come in 2004/2005 -- yet it's already here. To you, it may be an oversized PDA, but to that untapped demographic, it may be viewed as by far one of the most advanced digital camera that they have ever seen. I mean, it's got Bluetooth, WiFi support, a very seamless method of uploading pics and videos to the internet, A/V output, a USB port for printing without a PC, a huge 'viewfinder' -- oh and BTW, a world class PDA built-in (the NX70V) that allows you to watch videos, surf the internet, carry on Instant Messenger conversations, type quickly and easily with the improved built-in KB, and do all of the Palm Pilot-y things that we're all used to. 11 ounces or not, that's one potent device.

$800 is a hefty price to pay, but Sony gives you all of your money's worth.

Are there smaller PDAs? Of course, but those are just organizers ;)

Read this article for Sony's position on the NZ90; it talks about how Sony views the NZ90 as the PDA version of a 'concept' or 'halo' car -- a product whose purpose is not mainly to bring in profits, but to show off bleeding edge tech and to attract people to the CLIE and PDAs in general:

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/4985418.htm

If I were just getting into PDAs and looking for an entry-level device, I would be more likely to look at the Clie line specifically because of the NZ90, just like how I am more likely to look at a $40k Porsche Boxster because of their $125k+ 911 Turbo model. It just makes sense.

RE: It's a beast!
the_iceman @ 1/29/2003 1:58:39 PM #
Sometimes great things come in small packages... and other times... great things come in large packages.

While the NZ90 may be larger/heavier than most PDAs it certainly has advantages over other palms which have gone by the wayside.

I remember not too long ago the HandSpring Line which had the 'most plugins available' for any PalmOS handheld device. Where are they now? Where is the Handspring Pro, the Prism, The Edge? They have fallen by the wayside. It was shown in some aspects the people who had Palm Devices wanted 'extras'. So Handspring Delivered. The created a Palm Device with a 'socket' for Addons. They had addons for everything from MP3 players, GPS plugins and more. While this was a great idea, People didn't buy all the good gadgets and gizmos. Some did, sure, but most didn't like the extra costs for each 'extra' thing and only having one plugin active at any one time. Unfortunately Handspring has removed itself from much of the public market to concentrate on their TREO models.

Sony has gone beyond the standard PDA model. They have included extras into their new lines without necessarily the need for all kinds of extra modules like Handspring did.

Built in Camera (lots of negative comments from non-camera PDA users)
Built In Bluetooth... Hmmmm on the NX series.. you have to get a BT chip for it. I don't hear much negativity about this... as I guess it is agreed upon by 95%+ users this is a GOOD thing.
Voice Recorder (most won't use it I would think)
MP3 Player. Nice to have something to listen to while at work or out and about?
Remote Control (take it or leave it is what I hear about it)

...and more...


I think we all want versitility in our Handhelds. Some have needs which others don't. I don't think there is a reason to have negative comments ... bashing Sony for trying to give a large amount of the public what they want. I would agree to the 'bashing' if they were to provide something in the PDA which just flat out doesn't work.

I have many meetings in my workplace per week, and I hold many meetings as well. Some features are the NZ90 will have are beneficial to me. I can record meeting minutes and transfer them to my desktop for backups, giving me the ability to create meeting notes for distribution when I want. I can take pictures of the diagrams and things written on a white-board rather than ensuring I take 10minutes after the meeting to 'jot it all down'. This gives me the ability to take a picture and then type it out at a later time. I can connect my NZ90 to my 3G Phone via Bluetooth and dial out numbers, surf the web and more.

Some people want a Palm for Games. My opinion... is buy a GameBoy Advance (GBA) for $90. If you simply want to track phone numbers and addresses with some date events... then just buy the Palm Zaire for $99 or any simple 'organizer'.

Palm Devices should be able to provide us MORE than those things and they certainly do as I said above.

People complain about the High Price... but I don't think with all it comes with... $799 is that high of a price. You are getting a suite of software, and good hardware. It might be too high of a price for you yourself and you can't justify the cost of $799 for a PDA when you use very little of it as a whole.

Look at Microsoft. Just to buy Word 2002 costs us $349.99 at the CompUSA online store. How much of MS-Word do we really use? You can do 100,000 things with it, but 99% of us only use about 10 things..... We write a letter, article, story and we use spell-check.. and then save it and finally print it. Is that worth $350? I think not. $350 seems a high price for a spell-checker. But Word also gives us other things which we may find use for from time to time....like creating publications, Technical documents with Table of Contents (TOC), glossery & Indexes. We can insert tables, pictures, almost any OLE object etc. Even though most of us don't use the full capabilities of Word all the time... it is still nice it is there for when we want to use it.

I would venture a guess.... the people who are bashing sony.... are either jealous because they don't have a palm with such features/gizmos and wish they did.... or they bought one and are now unhappy they didn't wait for the newest from Sony.

I would think... if someone is happy with their palm there wouldn't be such a need to be so negative about other palms which may be faster/better than what they have. That is the nature of the Electronic Age. I'm sure once I get my NZ90.... there will be something better which will come out 6months after that. I just have to resolve myself to be happy with what I have... and be happy for those which get the better/newer/faster ones.

I do feel The use of the Palm... is slowly migrating to encompass more functionality than in the past. The Palm Community has software ranging from games to diet plans... to ebay-tracking programs to database programs to the bible. Palms were first used by Geeks... now by more and more every day users.

For those old enough to remember when Cell Phones first came about.....Cell Phones in the past were only used by the rich who could afford them and execs in business. Then they came down in price enough for the 'common folk' that we are.... Now they have the Cell Phones.. which not only are used for conversation... but also for web-surfing... and taking pictures with little cameras and sending pics back and forth through the cell phone. I see PDAs becoming similar... a lot more versitile and functional than what they started out as.

All the Camera is... is a gimick to some... but for some... it holds usefullness. As I stated before.. it has usefullness to me in my business environment. I do think it would have usefullness to most of you. Say you get in an accident. Nice to have a camera right next to you which could take pictures of the driver, vehicles, license plate, damage.. etc. Maybe it isn't worth the few extra hundred dollars to you because you wouldn't use it all the time... but it is nice to have if needed.

Why rain on someone elses parade? Just be happy with what you have.

the_iceman

RE: It's a beast!
xolstis @ 1/29/2003 4:36:37 PM #
Ice man think ya missed the point here. Ppl are not jealous when they go around bashing sony. I have nothing against sony, nothing against a camera nothing against BT and the host of other features built in. I mean personally I dun think anyone shud go around bashing anything at all....(PPC excepted = )).

Ppl buy PDAs for different needs and its a free world. You buy for what you use it for. While I woudn't mind having those features on a PDA, I wouldn't pay so much for it and esp not for one that doesnt sit too well in my pocket. However I am sure some ppl, a lot of ppl in fact would really want the NZ for its functionality, its more of a personal preference. IMHO think I would like a T|T now if I buy a new PDA< thats because its: OS5, has BT and has a small form factor.

Someone pointed out the zen of palm and i think thats worth noting. If you;ve followed the success story of palmOS at all u will find it succeeded where others failed (Newton, Win CE buahaha) and the philosophy was simply that they built a device to be simple and fast. To COMPLEMENT a PC rather than try to be a REPLACEMENT which was what all the rest tried to do (read Win CE). However, think palm does haf to move on with times and they know it.

In the past a PDA as an organiser is sufficient for everyday joe, nowadays esp younger ppl want stuff like mp3s etc etc. I think that is the largest hurdle for palmOS at the moment. PPC is a much larger threat where functionality is concerned I mean a PPC can handle quite few more functions than any palm could(before the NZ). Palm has to do two things:

1. Rival PPC in functionality
2. Keep with their original concept: simplicity.

I am happy with both palm and sony as they are catering for all niches of the market. At least the NZ is winning some for palm who might else have gone to the PPC camp.

xolstis

RE: It's a beast!
Ba-gug @ 1/29/2003 9:58:11 PM #
Isn't that why Levi Dockers came out with the "Mobile Pants"!

"You wouldn't worry so much about how people thought about you if you knew how seldom they did!"
RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/30/2003 1:53:27 AM #
I'll point it out one more time.

Read the Zen Of Palm.

After Sony has succeeded in fitting that view (they came very close with the T series), I will change my mind about the NR/NX/NZ series. When they set out to do what they are doing now, and do it *well*, in a small form factor, they will have hit PDA nirvana, no matter what the price.

Are there smaller PDAs? Hell yes. Are they just organizers? I think not. My Tungsten can do everything the NZ can do, except take pictures. If I need extended data entry, I whip out the thin keyboard instead of struggling with a thumboard. Almost every modern PDA can watch videos, surf the internet, and carry on Instant Messenger conversations - none of that is exclusive to the NZ, and most come in much smaller packages with longer battery life.

I am not jealous of Sony. Why should I be jealous when they offer nothing I need (Bluetooth and non-proprietary slots)? I even love the T series. However, Sony has not done their homework with the NR/NX/NZ series; they took an idea and let it turn into a Frankenstein.

It seems there is a trend towards pushing the PDA towards a more general usage pattern. Fine by me. However if you're going to do that, RETAIN WHAT WAS SUCCESSFUL IN THE PAST. That includes:

Long battery life
Small form factor

One more time - if Sony had put all this stuff - a camera, a keyboard, the sound abilities, the voice recorder, bluetooth, high res - and put it in a nice, small T series form factor, that would be at least maintain what makes (and has made) PDAs great. As it stands, I can get almost all of that already (Tungsten, various PPC models) in much smaller packages.

Microsoft may be the king of software bloat, but Sony proves they are vying for the king of hardware bloat.

RE: It's a beast!
Agonistes @ 1/30/2003 3:06:59 AM #
Zen of Palm....let's see. Would that be the Tungsten, the Zire, or any of the m-series devices? Whichever the case may be, they're all under featured for the price. While the Zen of Palm was a viable ideology back in the day, the fact remains that Sony and other handheld makers need to remain more competitive in a field that's growing. Who would've thought that sub-$300 PPC device would be possible? The fact remains, Sony isn't going after guys like us who already own handhelds (they've already got our money). It seems that they're after the guy or gal who didn't purchase a previous model, and in an ever-growing and ever-competitive landscape, that makes a lot of sense.

They're pumping out products so fast we can't even keep with the model numbers. Do they seriously expect people like us to buy a new model each time one comes out? While I'm sure that they'd like to have our money over and over again, realistically, they're expecting new users to enter the fray.

You can argue that it's too big or that it's got too many features, but you know what? It certaintly grabbed our attention, as underscored by the numerous posts related to the device. Therefore, it did its main function as a flag ship model: draw attention to the entire product line. You may argue that a HUM-V is a behemoth of a vehicle that epitomizes the excess of American culture. But in the end, it's one hell of an SUV. Whether we buy one or not has nothing to do with the true purpose of the device. If it grabs our attention and sparks some controversy, then it's done its job.

Technology forges ahead, and the true character of a company is to evolve and adapt to the changing climate. While the recent analyst figures would have us believe that Palm is still forging ahead, if you read the report, you'll see that a majority of their volume (units) is based on sales of the Zire unit, which is not a profit leader. Sure it's good for entry-level users who want a basic PDA, but in the end, profit is what matters.

Reading the recent SJ Mercury News article by Jon Fortt, you'll see that Sony wants to distance itself from the "PDA" market, and make the Clies more like the Walkman.

RE: It's a beast!
the_iceman @ 1/30/2003 1:35:19 PM #
Maybe so much negativity has been brought on the Sony CLIČ Handhelds (NX & NZ) series is because there is a little mis-education about what the Sony CLIČ Line stands for?

CLIČ Stands for Communication Link for Information and Entertainment. I would think the 'Information' Piece is in regards to DATA like ummmmmmm Stuff we already use our Palm for.. and the 'Entertainment' is for just 'fun stuff' or Extras.

I think perhaps many are missing the 'Entertainment' part of what the CLIČ was designed for. It wasn't designed to only be a PDA but a PDA + more. (the Entertainment portion)

I think..... If you are looking for a PALM Handheld to just be a PALM... (like an old PALM V with more memory and faster processor and maybe color). than a CLIČ probably isn't the type of handheld PDA you would want to purchase based on the cost.

I don't really think one should compare a Sony CLIČ NZ90 to a PALM Tungsten based solely on the COST comparrison and footprint size as I've seen on many many message boards. I kind of think it is like comparing apples to oranges in some aspects. Sure they are both fruit but they are designed differently and marketed differently, toward different types of people. They both offer different benefits to their customers.

Does the Tungsten do anything different/better than the CLIČ NZ90? I don't think so from what I've read. They both have PalmOS 5.0 in them, Integrated Bluetooth, Ports for Wireless, Memory Card Slots...etc. So what makes them different? The packaging/shell they come in. One has a slim/short case and the other a thicker/longer case. Big deal!

The Tungsten and the CLIČ NZ90 will still fit into my pants pocket in either case. For those who continue to make the argument that the Tungsten fits into your shirt pocket but the CLIČ NZ90 won't... fine, but all that will do is make one look more geeky when their shirt is hanging down further from even the 5.6oz Tungsten weight. Besides... Where would I put my pack of smokes???? *Laffing*. I tend to actually use my Palm a lot and don't often find it sittin in my shirt pocket or pants pocket for any real lenth of time.

I do think most people I've come across who own Handheld PDAs whether they be Tungsten, Palm III, HandSpring or any other make/mode tend to put them in an inside suit jacket pocket, if you are the type who wear suits, or in their pants pockets. I would venture that 20% or so simply carry them around in their hand from place to place, at least in the workplace.

I do think there are benefits as far as the slim design of the Tungsten which is nice and even the 5-way navigation button is better than a jog-dial the Sony CLIČ series comes with. I will be curious to see how well the slider performs over the next year to see if it starts to get loose or possibly starts to scratch the lens from use and a little banging around. I would hope that PALM created a design for the slider to last for a very long time without complications to the end-user nor the device. :)

Most of the negative posts seem to have been made on the 'entertainment' side of what Sony is putting into the CLIČ NZ90. Again, this is part of the purpose of the CLIČ series...for Entertainment. I looked over the spec sheet for the Tungsten just to see what other 'real-functionality' it has and tried to look from more of a functional standpoint as to things maybe a Palm should have. I see the CLIČ NZ90 comes with a USB connector and cable to plug directly into a USB printer for printing. I don't believe the Tungsten even has this type of connector. Perhaps I'm wrong, but this seems like a nice CLIČ feature in the NZ90 which the Tungsten/Palm-world fans wish to be kept quiet. Or how about the removeable batteries on the CLIČ NZ90 for those prolonged times when you may be away from your charger? Nice to be able to have the ability, if you so choose, to have a spare battery to just swap and keep on working when away from home. How about the Hold Button. Seems also like a nice feature which basically locks down the PDA from buttons being pushed and potentially activating something you don't wish to. AV Out port to take your palm and directly push multimedia out to a TV and more.

Sony has several lines of PALM Devices which are still just Handheld PALM devices. Track your to-do list and whatnot, load some apps and use it mostly just for pure business/home-life functionality with a game or two to break the boredom. Perhaps if you want to compare a Tungsten to one of those other regular PALM lines by Sony... that would be more of an 'apples to apples' comparrison.

There are very good handheld PALM Devices by Sony and other companies out there. But... I would imagine.. for those who want more than just a standard Handheld PDA... One needs to look at something other than the traditional PALM Handheld style devices.

For those of us who are wishing to have a Palm handheld which has all the functionality of a regular PALM and 'more', perhaps the CLIČ line is the best line in the PalmOS world. If it was designed to only be a palm... perhaps they would have just called it the CLI series. Instead they called it a CLIČ to incorporate Entertainment into its functionality (as mentioned several times now). They have done this with Voice Recording/Playback, Camera (for both still and Video-Recording), Built in MP3 Player, RemoteControl for Audio/Video components, FLASH, Audio/Video Out to send to Televisions and more.

I don't believe Sony cares as much about the size of the unit for people. They care more about what gadgets and options they can bake into the design and software to appeal to the widest audience available.... but you are all right... the price for all the gizmos and gadgets comes at a pricetag which may be too high for a lot of PDA community's budgets.

Those Treo Phone/Palm devices... are a little 'large' for a phone by today's standards for Celluar/Digital/PCS type phones... but they do serve multiple purposes and can be an advantage for someone who doesn't wish to carry a Cell & a PDA at the same time.

I personally think it was a great idea of SONY to develop a more multimedia line of PDA Handheld devices to be an addition to their already good line of Hanheld PDAs.

Maybe after a month after getting my NZ90 I'll be having someone double-stich my jeans' pockets to be able to handle the size/weight of the CLIČ NZ90 .... but I'll still have a spot in my shirt pocket for my smokes. :)

Everyone Have a Great Day!

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/30/2003 3:09:56 PM #
I don't think it's done its job if its grabbed our attention but we dislike it. All publicity may be good publicity is an old ad adage, but if enough people dislike it (and I know more than a handful who do), you have to wonder about old ideas.

As to your Hummer comparison, that simply backs up what I'm saying - sure, a Hummer has its uses, but how many people will actually *use* them extensively? Maybe, oh, 5% of the people that purchase them. Most of the time, they'll be spent guzzling gas on a city street or expressway, and I guarantee you that a majority of them will never see dirt and mud on their treads, unless they've driven through a puddle.

You also mention the Zire. Again, who do you think that caters to? New people. People who've never owned a PDA before. While some may be drawn to the craziness of the NZ90 when seen in a store, do you think those new to the PDA world will want to drop that huge amount of money on complicated looking piece of machinery, or a c bill + tax on a small, straightforward (albeit limited) PDA?

You do have a point which I agree with, however, and that is Sony is going after new customers. If they're doing it well, though, is another matter altogether. While the cool factor (and I'll be the first to admit that Sony PDAs definitely have that going for them) will reel them in for the purchase, how many will realize that they could've bought a similar PDA (with regards to feature set) for much less, with a smaller footprint? The danger of turning what was designed to be a highly focused device into a general, laptop-esque/walkman type device is that while it looks great superficially, will the new buyers want something that although does a lot of things, does them awkwardly?

Good sales that grow steadily come from establishing a stable core and expanding outwards, making sure that everything works as well as possible as more features are added. It may be slow, and it may not have flash, but it works. Perfect examples of this are Palm and the PPC. Bad examples are Sony and WinCE; WinCE devices, like Sony, tried to to all sorts of cool/fun things but didn't quite make it at the time. Not until they revamped a lot of the internals and rebranded it as PPC did microsoft finally get on the ball about trying to focus on being a PDA, not a mini computer (and it's still suffering through some growth pains). Sony's approach is similar - they take a whole bunch of features, throw them at the fan and have them shoved into a package, ignoring what made PDAs successfull in the past. They're, in essence, working the exact opposite way that Palm (and others) have done - they start on the outside, with a huge set of features, and work their way in, integrating stuff slowly into their thinner and less expensive models. Even their way of drawing in new customers is reversed from the others: Sony is trying to draw new people in by offering a very expensive, large, and even intimidating (for new people) machine, while everyone else is scrambling to put out low cost machines that eventually have people upgrading to more expensive ones. Doesn't that seem a bit weird?

I find it ironic that you believe Palm hasn't adapted to the climate. They've adapted quite well, actually. All their models are natural progressions - there aren't huge jumps forward that catch things on fire, because, well, Palm slowly follows the market. One might argue that they are becoming a bit too slow lately (a very valid argument I might add), but you can't deny that they have followed the market quite well over the past years, stretching all the way back to the Palm Pilots.

Which business model will prevail? Who knows. I have a feeling that Sony will become very prevalent in the consumer grade purchaser's mind, but more business oriented individuals will lean towards other companies (or at least whatever Sony uses in the T series, heh). Most likely, Sony will manage to brainwash everyone again into thinking their products are top of the line when they're not. How many people own Sony A/V receivers (ES series or not) and think they're audiophile quality because they paid a ton of money for them?

RE: It's a beast!
mashoutposse @ 1/30/2003 7:30:46 PM #
The idea of the 'Zen of Palm' is one of the biggest scams in all of consumer electronics. Basically, it is a license for Palm to be as lazy as they want to be with product development -- after all, too many features goes against 'the Zen of Palm.'

It's not too long ago when the 'Zen' outlawed things such as:

-MP3
-video
-320x320 res
-external memory storage
-polyphonic speakers
-built-in wireless of any kind
-entertainment or multimedia of any kind
-battery life less than 2-3 weeks between charges
-COLOR

Whatever, man.

"Good sales that grow steadily come from establishing a stable core and expanding outwards, making sure that everything works as well as possible as more features are added. It may be slow, and it may not have flash, but it works. Perfect examples of this are Palm and the PPC. Bad examples are Sony"

-Funny; Sony has seen by far the most growth of ANY PDA vendor anywhere. They have gone from 'bit player' to the number 2 position in about 12 months. What a bad example they must be setting.

"It may be slow, and it may not have flash, but it works."

-And Sony's stuff doesn't? Have you ever used a CLIE before? My NX70V does everything that Sony said it would, and it does those things with more than acceptable performance. They 'threw in' mp3, camera, video, audio recording, 320x480 res -- and they all perform as advertised. There's a reason that CNET gave it their highest rating of ANY PalmOS PDA ever released (yes, that includes the Palm Vx) and made it the only PalmOS PDA to receive their Editor's Choice award.

"WinCE devices, like Sony, tried to to all sorts of cool/fun things but didn't quite make it at the time. Not until they revamped a lot of the internals and rebranded it as PPC did microsoft finally get on the ball about trying to focus on being a PDA, not a mini computer (and it's still suffering through some growth pains). Sony's approach is similar - they take a whole bunch of features, throw them at the fan and have them shoved into a package, ignoring what made PDAs successfull in the past."

-Sony came out with the revolutionary (for PalmOS, especially) N710C/760C -- mp3, high resolution, an attractive body, Jog Dial, and a speedy 33MHz Motorola CPU. And, oh yes, it did everything that any other Palm on the market could do. This, by all accounts, was the best PalmOS PDA for its entire duration on the market as Sony's top model. They have since built upon this model, grabbing huge chunks of marketshare along the way. Your last statement is quite puzzling, frankly.

"They're, in essence, working the exact opposite way that Palm (and others) have done - they start on the outside, with a huge set of features, and work their way in, integrating stuff slowly into their thinner and less expensive models. Even their way of drawing in new customers is reversed from the others: Sony is trying to draw new people in by offering a very expensive, large, and even intimidating (for new people) machine, while everyone else is scrambling to put out low cost machines that eventually have people upgrading to more expensive ones. Doesn't that seem a bit weird?"

???

It's Palm that's doing things 'backwards:' But then again, they're forced into that strategy due to their not-so-good financial position. Most companies with the wherewithal develop high-end models that come as close to properly representing "the goal" as possible with current technology... IN ADDITION TO lower-end models SIMULATANEOUSLY. It has been proven in many different industries many times over that high-end models CAN and DO attract customers to lower end models. Case in point: Yesterday, I brought my NX70V over to the house of a friend; they were thoroughly impressed with it (as an aside, they were actually amazed by how SMALL it was). They then asked me if Sony made any similar models that were cheaper. I told them about other models from other companies, even showed them some of those models online, but they made it perfectly clear to me that they wanted a Sony.

Why?

Like I intimated in a previous posting, the vision set forth by the top-of-the-line model projects its image not only over that very model, but over the entire line as a whole. That's a tried and true method of building brand equity. It is the $125k+ dream car 911 Turbo that makes Porsche the hallowed brand that it is, and that helps them sell tons of $40k Boxsters.

Let's apply this to Sony: It is your belief that people have been 'deluded' into thinking that that certain Sony audio HT gear is audiophile-quality. Fine, but I think you can agree with me when I say that this is a sign of a very strong brand name. Now, do you think that Sony built this brand equity by:

a) releasing cheap, bare-bones, brand-defining, low-end consumer electronics, and slowly working their way upward to those particular models, or

b) releasing expensive, brand-defining, high-end consumer electronics, and working their way downward?

By going the B route, Sony builds desireability into the CLIE line as a whole, which helps the sales of EVERY model. And remember, they can develop high-end AND low-end models simultaneously.

Once again, you getting a job as a higher up at Sony = not a good thing for our Japanese friends :)

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/31/2003 12:04:32 AM #
I was going to be done with this thread, but mash's post is so full of misinformation that it's silly.

First of all, the Zen Of Palm never outlawed *anything*. Did you even read it? It is a guideline for useability, not a restriction on features. It goes in depth about the philsophy behind PDAs - ease of use, quick information access, and efficient use of a small screen. I dare you to find ANYWHERE in the document that stipulates anything against sound abilities, video, high res, color, or wireless connectivity (that last one in particular is the most moronic thing I've ever heard, as Palm has ALWAYS intended the PDA to evolve into a net-connected device).

For the sales: read again carefully.

For the flash part: my god, you really DON'T read do you? The original post was about how the NX/NR/NZ compared its feature set to existing models. It pointed out what it could do, and I pointed out what the other models could do in comparison. And in your genius state, you managed to repeat the NX/NR/NZ feature list. Circular logic at its best.

Next topic. First of all, I clearly stated that I am aversed to the NR/NX/NZ series, NOT ALL SONY MODELS. I've also stated many times how Sony has done some great things for POS - and one more time, the T series is one of the greatest Palm devices around (with a few caveats, but no device is perfect). Therefore, your entire statement about them being revolutionary is moot. I never said they weren't. The problem I have with the NR/NX/NZs is that they take everything that made the T series great and pretty much throw it out with the bathwater. READ CAREFULLY!

And finally, to your silly point that Sony products (outside of Palm devices) are viewed as high end because they have a high end is ludicrous. The problem with that logic is that Sony doesn't have a high end. They never did. You will never see a real audiophile with a lot of Sony equipment, because most of their high end tops out in the department store/mega store stereo department. It may look impressive with its huge price tag and slick styling compared to the other shelf items, but it's strictly middle of the line stuff. You will rarely see any Sony equipment at all in serious audio stores. Perhaps their DAT players and a few XBR TVs for the low end.

Their brand name is exactly like Microsoft's. Those that don't know a lot about the products they are buying will default to the big names, the ones they hear about the most, ie Sony, Microsoft. Does it stand for quality? Hrm...

No more of this, because I've repeated myself multiple times already, and apparently some people don't seem to understand the basic points of my opinion (note the very important *my opinion*).

RE: It's a beast!
the_iceman @ 1/31/2003 9:48:55 AM #
Lido,

I do think you make somewhat of a valid point in your statement: "but it's strictly middle of the line stuff". You make this statement in reference to Sony's Line of Products. Sure not all of their stuff is the Highest quality... or the best of the best. However I do think you are incorrect in your assessment. When Sony put out Walkmans... they were the BEST/first in the business. They were the Pioneers in Personal Audio with DOLBY NOISE REDUCTION(DNR) and Dolby Surround Sound (DSS) and now even Dolby Digital surround sound (or whatever it is called). Whether you buy a sony component or a SUPER-HIGH-END Receiver.... I'll bet it has the suite of Dolby Surround features in it. I don't call that low/medium quality. I call that Sony is in everything from low end to the highest end. Later flatscreen TVs came out... and Sony was right there with one of the BEST flat-screen TVs (may not be the best anymore... but it sure was when introduced). How about the '90s? Everyone KNEW if you had a NEC or a SONY TRINITRON monitor... you had the best of the best computer monitors with computer geeks drooling over your awesome monitor. To make statements that Sony only puts out middle of the road stuff is a grave dis-service to the company as a whole. You obviously haven't done your research in what that company has produced, what has made them successful, and the low-failure rate their products have.

Getting away from the Company as a whole... and coming back to the CLIČ series......

I don't think any of the components in the CLIČ could necessarily be considered the absolute best components available in the industry... but then again ... I don't think anyone out there in the PDA world makes anything with the absolute best components.

Some people want a Home computer for Word Processing, financial programs ... and some web-surfing. Others want their PC to be the Ultimate Game/Audio machine. While the first person may only spend $799 for a machine to suite his/her needs, the 2nd may end up spending $3000+ for his/her machine. Does that make the $799 inferior? I don't think so. Does the $3000 price tag for the GAMING/AUDIO PC make it superior? I don't think so either. It is all about what we want. Maybe the $3000 Gaming/Audio Computer comes with a CD and/or DVD Burner which the user may never use or use only once a year. Does that mean it isn't good to have it or was simply a waste of money? Again I don't think so. If the person is happy with his/her $799 computer and the other is happy with his/her $3000+ computer and it suits their needs....that is enough said.

It is Fine to compare Sony TVs to Hitachi... or Audio Equipment to compatible equipment. I don't think you can really compare the CLIČ to the rest of the Palm Community. If you read my previous post I do think I have made valid points as to why you can't just classify it as a PDA. It is really a Multimedia PDA.

I would hedge bets that you can compare the just the pure PDA functionality of the CLIČ against any other PDA's functionality out there and I don't think you will find anyone builds a better PDA as far as speed or functionality in regards to the PalmOS operating system. I'm not saying I believe SONY's PDA Functionality is Better than anyone's for comparible CPU Speed, Memory, PalmOS version, but I don't think they are worse than anyone who puts out PDAs with the same CPU/RAM/OS-version. I would agree with the negativity if you could provide some comparrison to the Palm Tungsten functionality against the NZ90 functionality and show where the Tungsten still way out performs the CLIČ in benchmark testing. I don't think you can realistically do this.

If the NZ90 was stripped down, placed in Credit-card Sized Palm Shell and sold Plain Jane.... There would be just as many people complaining. Instead of complaining it is too big or heavy or full of 'crap' the complaints would be it is too small or not enough real-estate.... hard to use the stylus on such a small screen and other things. The smaller something is... is not always the better. Fine if you are 20yrs old. But as we begin to get up in age, I don't care to pull out my PDA and necessarily have to put on some magnification glasses to be able to access the data I want on my palm. There becomes a time where size is too small and I do believe the size PALMs are at now is just fine. I work in the Wireless Phone Industry and I wouldn't buy 2/3 of the available phones out there due to them being so small. Buttons get too small and they try and cram all this 'web-stuff' on 1" screens. Not for me I tell ya. Maybe for others that is fine. I'll stick to a 'normal-sized' Wireless Phone anyday.

. I don't think that anyone will disagree with you that some of the 'gadgets' it puts into the PDA aren't the BEST quality. I don't think one would expect to put a $700 quality digital camera in a PDA which sells for $799 to begin with. Sure it isn't the top of the line digital camera, mp3 player or whatever.... but who else has all this stuff already all built into a PDA to compare it with? Nobody. So there is nothing to really compare the CLIČ with.

When the NR Series came out... Sony put in a Camera which took small pics(320x200). Then came the NX Series which had a camera to do Pics at a higher resolution of 640x480. Now they have found (I'm sure through feedback/research/sales) people like the camera feature, and they have once again upgraded the camera to more of a REAL functioning digital camera with auto-focus, 2mp capability (1600x1200), flash ...etc.

I did a little comparrison shopping.... just for kicks. and decided to look at some of the extra functionality the CLIČ NZ90 has compared to buying the stuff as extras (I liked the post earlier where it talked about the batman gadget belt). Data collected is from BESTBUY.com

Camera - 2mp

Lowest Price - $149.99 (same 2x zoom no strobe flash nor picture-modes like outdoor/sports etc or Video capability)
Medium Price - $299.99 ( 5x total zoom, Same type Flash and Video capability).
High Price - $499.99 ( 9x total zoom, Same Flash & video modes)

MP3 Players (providing we have the 128mb stick in the CLIČ)

Lowest Price - $99.99 (multiple found) with 128mb RAM
Medium Price - $169.99 (multiple found) with 128mb Ram
High Price - $199.99 (multiple found) with 128mb Ram

Just Taking the Middle of the road ones (since you said they are middle of the road for quality) of just the Camera and MP3 player itself which are truly Non-PDA needed necessities) that would come to a total of $469.98. Now... just for kicks I'll cut that in half. Maybe the Mp3 Player isn't the best or has all the same options as a REAL Mp3 player and the Camera's Optics are lesser quality than a real Digital Cam. That would still make the amount $234.99

Take the top of the Line Palms for Speed/Memory/OS-Version which end up being the PALM Tungsten and SONY CLIČ NX/NZ series. Take The current PALM TungstenT Price of $499 and add $234.99 and it comes to $733.99 for just those 'middle of the line stuff' as you called it.

Now.... tell me what you think... a USB port is worth... abilities to swap batteries is worth.. AV-out is worth.... and the other things the CLIČ offers which most/all other Palm brands don't? I almost forgot the Keyboard (why it is a clamshell design)$50 maybe?

Drives that price up to $783.99 (pretty darn close to the $799.99 they are asking for. I get to put my batman belt away so I only have to have one physical piece of electronic equipment, and don't have to have a digi-cam hanging from my neck everywhere I go. One nice PDA with medium-quality extras! Sounds good to me I think. I don't really think they are trying to just put out 'crap' with high price-tags. I think they are doing their best to put out the hightest quality they can in as small of a footprint as possible. Better the Camera/Gadgets... Bigger the device. Low quality gadgets... much smaller footprint. Medium quality... and we get just what they are offering...

15 yrs ago.... we would have had to have an electronic Organizer (no PDAs really out then)
Micro-Cassette Recorder
Camera
Video-Camera (boy think about the nice size of those 15yrs ago)
Walkman
Laptop Computer (to really run programs like Databases or word processors)
.... even 15yrs ago... price those items out and tell me what that would have run.... more than whatcha get with today's CLIČ. I think they are really going in the right direction.

I'll be right on your bandwagon when I see another company come out with a comparible CLIČ like PDA and it be better quality, significantly smaller footprint and lower price.

Sure... I, and everyone, wish the CLIČ NZ90 was as small as the tungsten... but unfortunately you can't put ALL of that stuff into a PDA that small.

Have a great day!

RE: It's a beast!
mashoutposse @ 1/31/2003 12:50:29 PM #
"First of all, the Zen Of Palm never outlawed *anything*. Did you even read it? It is a guideline for useability, not a restriction on features. It goes in depth about the philsophy behind PDAs - ease of use, quick information access, and efficient use of a small screen. I dare you to find ANYWHERE in the document that stipulates anything against sound abilities, video, high res, color, or wireless connectivity (that last one in particular is the most moronic thing I've ever heard, as Palm has ALWAYS intended the PDA to evolve into a net-connected device)."

When I referred to the outlawed PDA features as intimated by the 'Zen of Palm' in my original post, I wasn't drawing specifically from the contents of that document. Heck, I wasn't even commenting on the book at all. I was bringing to light the (apparently) bastardized version of its ideals that is forced on anyone with the nerve -- the NERVE! -- to openly suggest that Palm's offerings fall short in the features department.

The following questions all have one thing in common. Can you guess what that is?

'Why doesn't any Palm have mp3 playback capability (and why did it take nearly 18 months since the release of the first mp3-capable PalmOS device for Palm to even think about incorporating it into their own offerings)?'

'Why is Palm charging $400 for an m505/m515 when you can get a fuller-featured N760C/T665C for the same price (and, in some cases, less)?'

'It's been nearly 18 months since the release of the Clie N710C. Why hasn't Palm released a 320x320 Palm?'

'Why aren't the majority of Palm PDAs in color?'

So, what do they have in common? Answer: If you posed these questions to Palm users when they were valid, you would have been referred to the 'Zen' of Palm (not necessarily the book, but rather the perceived ideals of Palm Inc.).

'Who needs so-and-so feature? I'll never use it.' That was (and continues to be) the Palm-fan battlecry. Heck, we're seeing it in action in this very thread. See your posts? Similar ones were written by many before you denouncing frivolous mp3 playback, power-draining built-in wireless and high res screens, any multimedia experience that can possibly be deemed as 'rich,' and color, yes, even COLOR has spent some time in the crosshairs.

Of course, as Palm incorporated each feature into their models, each one of these 'Zen-violators' ceased to be an issue. I believe that, one day, Palm fans will heap praise upon the idea of a built in camera, extolling the virtues of keeping pictures of your contacts and locations... Of course, this won't happen until Palm releases their new Technetium Tc w/ 320x480 digicam in 2005. What a crock.

"For the sales: read again carefully."

-What is there to go over? You said that good sales numbers that grow steadily come from "establishing a stable core and expanding outwards, making sure that everything works as well as possible as more features are added." You also said that Sony was a 'bad example' of this. I pointed out that Sony has seen by far the most growth of any PDA vendor during this past year -- shouldn't Sony have seen modest or even negative growth based on your theory?

"For the flash part: my god, you really DON'T read do you? The original post was about how the NX/NR/NZ compared its feature set to existing models. It pointed out what it could do, and I pointed out what the other models could do in comparison. And in your genius state, you managed to repeat the NX/NR/NZ feature list. Circular logic at its best."

-Did you even read the statement that I was replying to? Your statement implied that Sony is throwing a bunch of features at the CLIE, and that the final product didn't live up to what was promised and what those features suggest. Remember what you said?

'Good sales that grow steadily come from establishing a stable core and expanding outwards, ***making sure that everything works as well as possible as more features are added.*** It may be slow, and it may not have flash, ***but it works.***'

I pointed out that they DO work, excellently in fact, and that those very features are the reason for the critical acclaim the NX70V has received (in addition to the huge gains in marketshare experienced). It follows, then, that Sony's agressive product development is a strategy that WORKS -- and that Palm's way is unnecessarily slow.

"Next topic. First of all, I clearly stated that I am aversed to the NR/NX/NZ series, NOT ALL SONY MODELS. I've also stated many times how Sony has done some great things for POS - and one more time, the T series is one of the greatest Palm devices around (with a few caveats, but no device is perfect). Therefore, your entire statement about them being revolutionary is moot. I never said they weren't. The problem I have with the NR/NX/NZs is that they take everything that made the T series great and pretty much throw it out with the bathwater. READ CAREFULLY!"

-Are you even reading the statements that I'm replying to? This is your comment:

'Sony's approach is similar - they take a whole bunch of features, throw them at the fan and have them shoved into a package, ignoring what made PDAs successfull in the past.'

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines and understand the tone of this comment. I replied to you that these models have come through on their promises, garnered critical acclaim, gobbled up chunks of marketshare, and redefined what can make a PDA successful in the process.

Regarding your thoughts on the NR/NX/NZ: That is your opinion; one that I am not even debating, as I have not deluded myself into thinking I can change it. Again, my comments only relate to the above.


"And finally, to your silly point that Sony products (outside of Palm devices) are viewed as high end because they have a high end is ludicrous. The problem with that logic is that Sony doesn't have a high end. They never did. You will never see a real audiophile with a lot of Sony equipment, because most of their high end tops out in the department store/mega store stereo department. It may look impressive with its huge price tag and slick styling compared to the other shelf items, but it's strictly middle of the line stuff. You will rarely see any Sony equipment at all in serious audio stores. Perhaps their DAT players and a few XBR TVs for the low end."

-I know full well about Sony's position in the audio HT gear arena... It's pretty similar to their position in the digital camera marketplace. Without taking this discussion off on a tangent, I think you can agree with me that you don't build the type of brand Sony's trying to build with the CLIE (multimedia & entertainment PDAs) by developing low-end stuff and working your way upwards.

"Their brand name is exactly like Microsoft's. Those that don't know a lot about the products they are buying will default to the big names, the ones they hear about the most, ie Sony, Microsoft."

-And why do you think they hear about those names? Because they have a reputation of building low-end, low-desire, cheap products?

"No more of this, because I've repeated myself multiple times already, and apparently some people don't seem to understand the basic points of my opinion (note the very important *my opinion*)."

-You know, too many people feel absolutely threatened whenever someone takes it upon him/herself to question the opinion (yes, opinion) that they posted on the internet for the consumption of others. If you don't want to discuss it, maybe you shouldn;t have posted it in the first place.

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/31/2003 6:01:07 PM #
Again, you seriously fail to understand anything of what I've said.

The Zen Of Palm (repeated for the umpteenth time) is a guideline. It does NOT restrict. Maybe in your strange world do people say that color and MP3 playback are against the document, when in reality it isn't. In the least. At NO time did Palm ever say color went against their ideals, however they did wait until it was viable. It wasn't in their best interests to make a color PDA when people were still using AAA batteries, now was it? Why do you think I want a Sony T series handheld with the thin form factor, BT, and every single gadget under the sun thrown in with long battery life? THAT is an example of following the document. If you believe that adding features goes against the Zen Of Palm, you have seriously missed the point of the document. READ IT. UNDERSTAND IT. DO NOT LISTEN TO FANBOY INTERPRETATIONS OF IT. Only idiots made criticisms against other companies for including MP3 playback. My contention is that it's not (at the moment) practical - limited and expensive storage space, terrible drain on the battery, and limited sound quality.

Please stop being a fanboy, read what I post, and stop being so rabid.

As to being top of the line, notice I said "mostly". Because most of Sony's products ARE NOT top of the line, though there are exceptions, and I clearly said that also. Nothing is absolute, and Sony is no exception.

BTW, Trinitron monitors were hardly the best. No photo editing shop would touch them.

RE: It's a beast!
Lidocaineus @ 1/31/2003 6:01:07 PM #
Oh and mash, I can have a real discussion, however with you, it's rehashing stuff over and over and over. That's not a real discussion. That's a shouting match.

RE: It's a beast!
mashoutposse @ 1/31/2003 6:38:53 PM #
I apologize if I came off as confrontational. Certainly nothing personal; I've heard the "I'll never use half of the features, so your Clie/PPC/whatever is a toy/useless/inferior" line many times over, and it just hasn't made much sense to me given the whole situation... Just thought I'd try and get to the bottom of it this time ;)


Iceman: Excellent post.



RE: It's a beast!
M3wThr33 @ 2/1/2003 1:23:57 AM #
It's a gimmick that I feel isn't well thought out. If ya got the cash and think it's nifty, go get it, but I'll keep holding my breath for the Kyocera 7135. My precious...

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: It's a beast!
abosco @ 2/1/2003 2:50:54 AM #
"And finally, to your silly point that Sony products (outside of Palm devices) are viewed as high end because they have a high end is ludicrous. The problem with that logic is that Sony doesn't have a high end. They never did. You will never see a real audiophile with a lot of Sony equipment, because most of their high end tops out in the department store/mega store stereo department. It may look impressive with its huge price tag and slick styling compared to the other shelf items, but it's strictly middle of the line stuff. You will rarely see any Sony equipment at all in serious audio stores. Perhaps their DAT players and a few XBR TVs for the low end."

Wow, you seriously are clueless. So, you're judging that Sony isn't the highest quality in the PDA market STRICTLY because in other markets they may be expensive and of not the best quality? TRY OUT A CLIE! The quality is MUCH higher than ANY Palm out there. I'm still a big Palm-Zealot, but I have to admit, I love what Sony is doing. I, myself, own an NX70v and love it for EVERYTHING. I questioned my use of the camera, the MP3 player, voice recorder, remote control, huge screen, wireless, etc, and guess what? After wanting a TT every since early July when it was the Oslo, I realize that it's overpriced for its feature set. $500? For another $100 you get a screen that's brighter and of better quality, higher resolution, physically bigger, and it's obvious that a rectangular-shaped screen beats out a square screen, no doubt. No competition. Battery life? The battery life of the NX can last through a full 2 hour and 30 minute movie in FULL WIDESCREEN resolution on FULL BRIGHTNESS at ~35 FPS before it hits the low battery warning, which is at 15%. From there, you can still use it for about a half-hour for PIM.

I think the problem you are having understanding the Clie line is that there are different needs for different people. If you fail to realize this, you appear as an indolent to other people who do understand this concept. There's people who don't care about battery life and size if they get a gorgeous feature set along with it. There's other people who SOLELY care about battery life and size. There's a good chance I will get the NZ90. I love its offerings, and while my NX70v is so perfect, for a $200 difference, I'd upgrade (but only if my NX meets its death, which I will by no means induce).

The NZ really can't be compared to the TT. Come on, it's got a huge screen that's so much better, built-in MP3 and video, and a slew of applications.

You go Sony. You go Palm. Side by side in partnership, they'll be unbeatable. I just want to see MicroShaft go down. That's my one wish.

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3

RE: It's a beast!
adamrichman @ 2/3/2003 12:01:26 AM #
You guys should be journalists, you all wrote like 8 pages worth of info/opinions/facts/etc. for this discussion. Do you guys work?

:)

RE: It's a beast!
the_iceman @ 2/3/2003 9:10:26 AM #
Hopefully my last comments regarding this thread....

I've taken time to go back to read ZEN of Palm since that seems to be something several writers here in this forum have either quoted or referenced. It had been some time since I read through all of it.

One such statement from the ZEN OF PALM is:

"A necessary precondition of perceived speed is an uncluttered and essential set of features. It's fine to sell someone a knife that has 56 different uses, but if the user can't find the main blade or the bottle opener without flipping dozens of identical-looking levers, the knife is a novelty, not a tool. Likewise, a handheld application has to offer what the user needs to do and offer it in a way that's quick to learn and easy to use. "

Another Comment from the ZEN OF PALM:

"The practicalities of the handheld world call for a different design approach. Rather than brute force, you have to focus on clever solutions. Hone in on what really matters. A handheld application that is overstuffed with features actually fails its users. You must carefully consider what's important to put in and what's important to leave out. You will find this approach more challenging, but the sleek, usable handheld application that results will be worth your effort."

There are truths in both of above statements. I do think, however there is a time and place for things and there is also a time and place to have things changed.

This isn't really a post in regards to Palm TT & Sony Clie features nor who is better than who in the Palm world, but more of my observations.

In the PC/Windows world we have many applications which are packed to the gills with .DLL files. Share and Share alike as it seems. Use this .DLL for this application... the next application.. and as many as possible to share. I HATE the way that MS Windows does many things. I hate all the extra layers and 'crap' it shoves into every operating system and host of applications. However, what they do well as a whole, is 'integration'. MS Office is a great example. Share data between applications. Rather than having to enter data in a spreadsheet... then transfer it to MS-Access.. and then run a query and re-type the data into a MS-word report... you can integrate it all together. Sometimes Complexity in things makes life easier, and less work because of the integration involved.

Many-a-time integration will not follow Zen of Palm. I think many of us would agree that there are times we would much rather have one application to solve a majority of a certain need than have 8 applications running seperately and paying for 8 applications and keeping track of licenses. If you have a need to 'store' information... suck as Bank Information, Credit Card, Automobile, Personal Information for you and your family, Software Licenses, Hardware Licenses/Serial Numbers, etc etc etc... You may end up needing to have 2-5 applications to suit your needs, rather than one. To have the Information ready at your fingertips with one application is much easier and less frustrating for the end-user to keep hunting for all the same little applications needed to track such data. If I have an application which I can set some type of alarm on (like for a birthday), I would definately want it to be able to write that record to my datebook and possible (if I wanted) to write a record to my TO-DO-LIST. It doesn't do any good to have 8 applications.... where I have to go and search the 8 applications to see if I have something significant coming up. Nice if there is one or two places to look instead. Complexity does have its place in our every day lives. :)

I'd like for just a moment to look at the first ZEN OF PALM statement I posted at the top of this response.

At first glance it makes sense. Why have something with 1000 features in it which will only confuse the user. I don't really agree 100% with that statement. If you KNOW the only need you have is to widdle wood... I'd recommend buying a simple knife for the job. But what if you also need a bottle opener as well...so you buy one of those. How about that pair of Tweezers. Ok go and buy one of those as well. A few weeks later you find the need for a small pocket pair of sissors and that is yet another purchase. Just for those few items you now have purchased 4 items. Now I'm forced to remember where I put all 4 objects. If I had one tool I only have to track one tool rather than all 4.

I agree with consolidation/complexity so long as it it is designed for a particular purpose. If I have a Knife which is considered a Utility Knife, I wouldn't want it to perform non-utility functions (like have a mini rod-n-line installed for emergency fishing). If you use ZEN OF PALM's example.... I may go on a day-hike with a bottle opener, a knife, some toothpics, and tweezers and a pair of sissors. Now, when I have a need for one of those items, I may be forced to now search my bag for which utensil/item I need. Each one taking up their own space and easily getting lost. Instead I could simply grab the one-utensil, which may be a bit bigger in size than any of the individual items, and find the necessary part of it to use for the need I have. Even though I may know know exactly which item in the knife is the one I want... I know It is in there and can find it in short order. I call that convenience. And I do think most of us are about convenience. Sure... if we hardly ever use the knife we may not remember where the bottle opener is at all times, or the miniture leather tool... but use of the knife over a short period of time... will give us the memory of where is what... and make the use of the knife much easier. That is like everything in our lives.. the more we use/do something.. the easier it is the next time and the following time until such time we don't have to think about what we are using/doing... we just do it. I'd venture to say.. that most people have a Car Stereo with the Time in it. We hardly ever change the time.... and when we need to.. it seems most of us probably have to get the owner's manual to get that time reset. That is how most things are if we infrequently use them. Does that simply mean (according to zen) ... that because it isn't intuitively easy to change the clock in our cars... that we shouldn't have a clock? I don't think so. My Car stereo has probably 30-50 different things it can do... and each feature has a seperate function from the next.

I do have some concerns at times for people who take writings too much to heart and feel that if people think or act outside the box... then they aren't right or doing things the Palm Way. Those individuals need to re-read the ZEN OF PALM because the beginning of the entire article/publication shows this is not a guide. I've heard multiple people say it is a GUIDELINE. The ZEN OF PALM starts out immediately saying it is a Philosophy. Specifically a "Design Philosophy & practices". I don't know where it really says it is a guide.. or guideline. The mention of of it being a GUIDE/GUIDELINE is in reference to application development. http://www.palmos.com/dev/support/docs/zenofpalm/Enlightenment.html#939992

It is Palm's belief, not a belief that must be shared by the rest of the world in order to be successful. The Statement is Palm's philosophy in order to be successful. I don't think their philosophy is working very well, as a whole for them, right now. I truly believe if their writing was 'true' in all aspects, they would not have many or any financial issues. I feel some statements in the ZEN OF PALM are good, but some are very narrow-minded.

Those individuals who may have very strong beliefs in the ZEN OF PALM writing... may be in for a bumpy ride. I don't know how long that philosophy will remain intact for them without necessary revisions.

The Zen of Palm.... well it is called the PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT. This Heading alone tries to tell the world/community they know it all in the PDA world. If that was true in itself, they would always be the best of the best in the marketplace. However I don't really think that is a true statement in itself either nor agreed upon by the entire PDA Community.

I seem to remember one of the biggest Personal Computer firms back in the early 80s called IBM. Many of you may have heard of them. They made attempts to dictate how fast and when things would be developed and put out on the market. In the early days of Personal Computers... they were the forefront runner. If you didn't own an actual IBM (non Apple Owners)... it was called an IBM-COMPATIBLE. Talk about a company who had the market cornered from a DOS-BASED perspective. They kept their current 'business model' the same, thinking they were the cream of the crop and the world would simply follow them to the end.....and I think we can all see what happened to them. They simply went away in the PC market. Sure they still exist to some degree in the PC world... but look at what they are now in the PC world compared to the rockin Late 70s and Early 80s. It is now an 'INTEL World'. And if INTEL doesn't watch it... it will be someone else who will have the common household name.

I think when Palm first came out, much of the ZEN-OF-PALM was very good, in giving people/companies decent strategies on the direction where PDAs might need to go, and for application development.

I think, in world of 2003, Palm needs to re-address the 'box' they have placed themselves in. I do not think they have done a good job at keeping up with other companies. I think Palm was definately the fore-front winner in the beginning, but I do feel as time has gone on... they think they should be successful in the future based on past successes. I do believe we all know this is not a winning formula. I think if PALM doesn't 're-invent' the wheel, and make the necessary changes for the future... they will only be left, at best with OS development... which who knows if that will even truly last. I think companies who are thinking outside the box with the gadgets and gizmos are helping the PALMOS to retain a larger marketshare.

It is hard to compete with gadgets/gizmos. If PPC devices are willing to offer them to grab more market... how is PalmOS devices to remain strong in the PDA world? We must keep up with our competitors and come to the market sooner than our competitors in order to remain profitable, and successful. Those who are slow to move, as Palm has been for awhile, will be in risk of losing out to everyone else.

ZEN OF PALM fans may want to slam PPC users and PPC devices for the gizmos and gadgets they contain... and Overhead that PPC has compared to PALMOS... but the trend seems to be that people want the gizmos and gadgets. For the PalmOS to remain strong, it is critical that Palm and other companies show they can produce PDAs ... faster and BETTER than any competition out there. Whether it be the same platform, or different.

Near the bottom of the ZEN OF PALM is a 'riddle-question' which they ask & answer:

Q: How do you improve perfection?
A: Are you kidding? Perfection is a balancing act. Change the environment, and you have to re-adjust the balance.

Our world is in constant change. People are in constant change and the needs/wants people have change quicky. As I stated in a previous post... I work for a Wireless Phone Company and the needs/wants which consumers have in the Wireless Phone industry have changed significantly over the last 3 years. I know for a fact that if we didn't change to what the customer's want...we would be out of business in a heartbeat.

I also stated... that I don't care much for all the gizmos and gadgets in our Wireless phones that are our these days, but I do also recognize that we would not be profitable and doing so well if we were not giving the public all available options. Why lose 3-10% of your customers to a different company because you refuse to keep up with the times? That doesn't seem like a very good strategy in my opinion.

I would venture to say that Sony is doing just that in the PalmOS world. They are giving the public what they want and doing a great job of keeping PalmOS alive. The more Sony/Palm/etc Models sold... the more PalmOS Stays alive and widens the customer base.

I do wish that PALM itself will realize they need to change with the times, and revamp ZEN OF PALM. The original model they built is somewhat outdated today, and improvements to their philosophies need to be revisited and revised for continued success of the entire PalmOS community.

I hope everyone has a great day!


RE: It's a beast!
jimmyrae @ 2/4/2003 12:38:28 AM #
To summarize...
Some people like gadgets, some people don't, some will pay a small fortune to have their gadgets, some will pay a fraction of that.

Some people take offence when they figure out their pocket is too small for their PDA and they have to carry it in their tennis bag:P

Basically, if you want a buttload of mediocre features, lots of cool software and a heavy pocket buy the NZ. If you want an address book and planner, buy the zire. If you want something in between, you are also cool, you have gadget.

Mid-Feburary can't get here soon enough.

Peace.

Samsung SPH-i500

Gekko @ 1/28/2003 7:36:39 PM #
The Samsung SPH-i500 is the best of show in my opinion. It is the only Palm-Phone small enough to take the place of my Nokia 8265.


RE: Samsung SPH-i500
xolstis @ 1/28/2003 8:05:01 PM #
Features wise looks like the kyocera seems to be winning out mate = ). And dun forget the treo 90 as well, thats a rather small phone cum PDA

xolstis
RE: Samsung SPH-i500
Cutting Crew 2 @ 1/29/2003 12:50:24 PM #
Keep in mind the Treo 90 is not a phone... ;)

---
Mike Compeau
RE: Samsung SPH-i500
cbowers @ 1/29/2003 3:39:37 PM #
If only the I-500 had the SD slot of it's near identicle PocketPC version twin.

RE: Samsung SPH-i500
sub_tex @ 1/29/2003 4:02:30 PM #
I'm all about the i500.

The kyocera is way too big to be my phone. It's a great device if you want your pda and phone to be one and the same.

Me? I just want my phone to have the palm address and datebook as well as SplashID and Eudora. i500 is a perfect more-phone-than-pda phone.

The rest is poo!



RE: Samsung SPH-i500
xolstis @ 1/29/2003 4:47:13 PM #
Someone said "keep in mind the treo 90 is not a phone"

Sorry my mistake = ). Just cos of the name treo, just assumed .... = )

xolstis

Does Toshiba mobile run Palm OS?

gfunkmagic @ 1/28/2003 8:00:00 PM #
Ryan,

Does the prototype Toshiba mobile phone you mention run Palm OS? If not, then which OS?

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