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Sony Clie UX-50 Begins Shipping

Reports have come in that Sony's latest, the Clie UX-50, has started to ship in limited quantities. The UX series has a mini laptop like design with a swivel screen, digital camera and built in keyboard. The PEG-UX50 has both integrated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, while the UX40 just includes Bluetooth.

A number of PIC readers and posts in the Sony forum have reported receiving notices that the devices have begun to ship and other have already recieved their pre-ordered models. PDAGeek also reports that some CompUSA stores in the US also have a few in stock.

The Clie PEG-UX50 and UX40 run Palm OS 5.2 and use a new processor system developed by Sony called the Handheld engine.

Sony Clie PEG-UX50 ~ Click for largerFor the first time, Sony has designed, engineered and manufactured a new processor for the handheld that has been optimized with three key benefits in mind: multimedia processing, battery life and miniaturization. Dubbed the Handheld Engine™, the new processor (model CXD2230GA) is expected to find its way into future iterations of CLIÉ handhelds. By integrating various I/O functions including two-dimensional graphics engine, digital camera and Memory Stick PRO media interfaces onto a single chip, Sony was able to reduce the overall size of the CLIÉ UX50 handheld

The Handheld engine combines a Sony manufactured ARM926 based processor, a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a CXD2230GA graphics accelerator. The processor speed varies between 8 MHz and 123 MHz, depending on the demand. The system and dedicated graphics chip will support a version of OpenGL and can play back MPEG video at 30 frames per second.

The screen is a swivel design that can be rotated and used in both the flip up and tablet mode. It is a TFT color backlit display with 480x320 pixel, 65k color screen. The display is used in a horizontal landscape mode. The screen lifts to expose the keyboard, or swivels to hide the keyboard and use as a touch screen. With this design more room is available for the built in keyboard, which allows for more space between each key.

The models have a total of 104 MB or RAM. Of that 16 MB is available for traditional storage of files and programs, another 16MB is used for the dynamic heap. Another 16 MB or non-volatile memory is dedicated for system back up to save the contents of RAM when the battery is low. Finally, there is an additional 29 MB available for media storage, that acts as a traditional memory stick.

The devices has integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Bluetooth for wireless communication. The UX40 model does not include WiFi. There is also a IR port, speaker, microphone, Stereo headphone jack and a memory stick pro slot.

The digital camera is a 300k pixel camera and has 3x digital zoom. The camera supports up to VGA (640x480) resolution, You can also record and play back video (MPEG4, 30 fps, 160x112) and can upload images directly to Sony's ImageStation website.

The device measures 4 x 3.4 x .7 inches (103 x 86.5 x 17.9mm) and weighs 6.2 ounces (175 grams). The handheld body is made of magnesium. Sony rates the battery life at 14 days with 30 minutes of typical use per day.

The devices can be ordered from SonyStyle.com. The PEG-UX50 retails for $699.99 and the UX40 is $599.99 USD. Some online retailers are offering the UX-50 starting at $629 USD.

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Cool!

jonecool @ 9/9/2003 2:30:34 PM #
Looks sweet, can't wait to try one out! Put a CDMA phone in there with more AVAILABLE RAM ,Sony, and I'll consider buying a future model. Until then, I'll be sticking with my Kyocera 7135.

RE: Cool!
Fammy @ 9/9/2003 4:01:45 PM #
A phone? I hope that's a joke. This thing would be more clunky than the NGage with a phone. =)

-- Fammy
RE: Cool!
TTrules @ 9/9/2003 4:33:17 PM #
Must...Have!

One Palm to rule them all!

-Sniffer

RE: Cool!
treo007 @ 9/10/2003 1:35:50 AM #
>>A phone? I hope that's a joke.

Last time I checked, CDMA does more than voice.

RE: Cool!
pstreck @ 9/10/2003 5:15:11 PM #
Clunkier than the n-gage? You're just not thinking. Add a bluetooth headset and a bluetooth keypad and your set. The keypad wouldn't be neccessary of course.

I'll get to play with one...

GregGaub @ 9/9/2003 2:31:32 PM #
at my PUG meeting tonight. If anyone is in the Puget Sound area, come to the SeaPUG/PSHUG combined meeting tonight. PalmSource and MS will both be strutting their technological stuff, so it will be a very interesting meeting. I can't wait to fiddle with one of these new Clies.

-Greg

PS. Woot! first post! ;-P

-- SeaPUG: http://www.seapug.com --

RE: I'll get to play with one...
GregGaub @ 9/9/2003 2:33:25 PM #
DOH!

-- SeaPUG: http://www.seapug.com --
RE: I'll get to play with one...
GregGaub @ 9/10/2003 3:29:03 PM #
Well, it's a neat little unit, I'll give it that. The one I saw had a great screen, though small. Disappointed that there's no portrait mode, and the launcher UI *does* suck. I also tried the keyboard, and hated it. Completely flat, tactile-feeback-lacking keys are NOT what should be used on a PDA. To each his own, I guess, since *some* people seem to like it. Don't buy one without trying it, though, as I'm sure it's a love/hate thing. the main thing is how TINY it is. "Eets waffer theen!"
-Greg

-- SeaPUG: http://www.seapug.com --

USB Support

BlackMax @ 9/9/2003 3:33:01 PM #
Does anyone know how functional the USB port will be.
I would think you could use a portable USB-DVD drive to watch full-length movies.
Delorme's tiny USB GPS should also work.
A USB drive could be used for extra storage and playing more media.
And last, a small USB printer.

Anyone know if Palm drivers are being created for these devices?

RE: USB Support
rened @ 9/9/2003 4:37:26 PM #
It just for hotsyncing.

RE: USB Support
Gar @ 9/9/2003 7:02:54 PM #
The USB doesn't even allow for charging through it. This unit was really designed with it being a stand alone device. The cradle is built so you can continue using the unit while it's sitting in getting charged. Sure you can do that with the others, but not like this.
Basically, you have a sync only usb connection on the left and four charging connections on the bottom.
Now... with it's built in bluetooth and 802.11b you can always run outside devices feeding the unit that way. I already (took me less than a minute, the 'connections' prefs are way better!) have it on the home and work networks moving files around in a flash!

-----------------
My wife has to sell a lot of candles (www.ccandles.com) to buy her new Palm.

Portrait?

digilaw @ 9/9/2003 5:04:03 PM #
I am sure this has been answered somewhere but I couldn't find it. Can these Clie's do portrait mode as well as landscape or is it stuck in portrait?
RE: Portrait?
digilaw @ 9/9/2003 5:05:56 PM #
oops. I meant stuck in landscape? The article only mentions the landscape. Sorry.

RE: Portrait?
Gar @ 9/9/2003 7:07:14 PM #
Landscape is it. It's version of the OS wont let it rotate the views. Newer versions such as that on the T3 does allow for rotation. Maybe a software upgrade patch in the future from Sony... not likely.

-----------------
My wife has to sell a lot of candles (www.ccandles.com) to buy her new Palm.
RE: Portrait?
electroport @ 9/11/2003 4:33:02 PM #
You should note that apps like the Flash Player and Picsel (sic?) Viewer have menu settings allowing you to rotate the display thus providing portrait mode support. I imagine other apps, going forward, could be updated with this feature.

So while not a feature of the OS, running your applications in portrait mode does seem possible given those few that already possess this feature.

CLUX SUX!

mikecane @ 9/9/2003 7:12:15 PM #
Sorry, but it's so.

I just plyed with one at CompUSA in NYC (5th Ave & 37th St).

The screen is not only too fekkin small, it is DIM DIM DIM!!

Really, the NX80 is at least 2-3x brighter.

The dimness of the CLUX is about the same as their lowest-end color unit. It is really sad!

In addition, I found their new Launcher to be very confusing and not intuitive at all.

The good part is this thing is easily shirt-pocketable and the keyboard is nice. I think it's perhaps the best included keyboard I've tried (including that of the Linux Zaurus clamshell).

If you've been drooling for this one, you'll really have to overlook that DIM DIM DIM DIM DIM screen (and yes, I *did* have it on full brightness!).

RE: CLUX SUX!
rcartwright @ 9/9/2003 7:35:57 PM #
So Mike, I take it you didn't like it.

Life is a great adventure or nothing.
RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/9/2003 7:40:22 PM #
I was hugely disappointed.

Decision list is now:

1) NX80 with CF WiFi
2) TT3 (3, not 2) with SD WiFi or Enfora WiFi portfolio
3) wait for mythical "T770" from Sony -- although if that has WiFi included, the scren will probably be as miserably DIM DIM DIM as the CLUX...

RE: CLUX SUX!
Gar @ 9/9/2003 8:09:55 PM #
The launcher: you can choose to have the 3D effect or the original launcher. As well, there is a slider for the amount of 3D effect and a button to go from large to small icons.
The Screen: may vary a bit from unit to unit... used to be the way on older palm devices. It is not as bright as the 80 for sure, but appears brighter than the NX70. At least the couple we have here look that way. While the screen is small, that isn't an issue for some folks... it's very clean and crisp.
The size: is very nice... it's getting old hauling these big units around... I want to power and need it handy so I have to carry a device in my pocket all the time. The UX is about the size of a small wallet so all of a suden it just blends right in. No external wireless cards sticking out... it just works! Hard to read for me, but it works, and I need new glasses anyways.

-----------------
My wife has to sell a lot of candles (www.ccandles.com) to buy her new Palm.
RE: CLUX SUX!
blue9 @ 9/10/2003 1:38:59 AM #
Or it could just be a bad egg out of the bunch.

RE: CLUX SUX!
treo007 @ 9/10/2003 1:39:09 AM #
Sorry, Mike Cane is the last guy I'm going to look to for an honest assesment about anything. I'll trust my own reviews thank you.

RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/10/2003 9:23:38 AM #
As usual, some idiot gets up on his hind legs to display his congenital brain damage...

Now The Moron Set are taking my *Comments* as reviews.

Wow, I'm really going to take seriously some imbecile whose handle is a fekkin BRAND NAME. No *two* brand names: Treo *and* 007.

I don't think I saw a bad unit. I think Sony dimmed the screen to eke more out of the battery. That was a mistake.

What people here forget is that you would *never* see this kind of discussion on one of the PPC Thought Nazi sites. Over there, *every* PPC is out of Lake Woebegon: "above average."

Sony got the size and keyboard right. Next version I hope they get the screen -- and portrait option -- right. As well as boost the speaker volume.

Oh, and did I forget to mention it was also slow? Calling up CLIE Viewer to display thumbnails was significantly slower than on the NX80. YMMV, as they say... hie to your local CompUSA to play around with it.

RE: CLUX SUX!
helf @ 9/10/2003 10:04:57 AM #
well for one thing the ux50 runs at a max of 123mhz... And you don't have to have a blindingly bright screen :) I was perfectly happy with my m505 which I could easily read in any kind of light. And the brighter the sunlight, the brighter its screen was. I'd muh rather have that than a new pda with a realyl bright screen... indoors..

RE: CLUX SUX!
helf @ 9/10/2003 10:04:57 AM #
well for one thing the ux50 runs at a max of 123mhz... And you don't have to have a blindingly bright screen :) I was perfectly happy with my m505 which I could easily read in any kind of light. And the brighter the sunlight, the brighter its screen was. I'd muh rather have that than a new pda with a realyl bright screen... indoors..

RE: CLUX SUX!
treo007 @ 9/10/2003 10:52:06 AM #
Cane: You typically make outrageous comments that have that rare and unfortunate mix of arrogance and ignorance. Why should this time be any different?

The Clie may suck, but you probably couldn't wait to way in and tell us so.

RE: CLUX SUX!
guitarchick @ 9/10/2003 2:08:08 PM #
Sorry Treo but I think you are the one with the arrogance. Mike Cane's comments are usually on the money and welcomed by those who want an unbiased opinion. Your opinion, however, doesn't seem to be doing anyone any good.

BTW, "way in" ??? Don't you mean "weigh in" ?



RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/11/2003 10:51:54 AM #
You know, I'm just going to ignore idiots who have handles that are brand names. That alone tells everyone the person behind that handle is stupid and gauche and tasteless.

RE: CLUX SUX!
electroport @ 9/11/2003 4:46:10 PM #
Regardless of whose comments are more "on the money," I know from my personal experience in real world situations using the UX50 (getting mine 1.5 days ago) that I have to at least disagree with the "DIM DIM DIM" comment.

I find that the brightness of the UX50 screen is just fine. Perhaps there is some difference between the UX and some of the larger clies but definitely not enough to write home about, IMHO. Also, I have found that playing with these devices in computer / electronics stores, while helpful for overall feel, is the last thing you want to do to get a good sense of screen clarity / brightness.

These devices are pawed and prodded all day long - the very bright flourescent lights too not helping matters - and I find that the reality can often be significantly different from the scratched, smudged demo model on display.

Just my .02

RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/11/2003 7:04:24 PM #
>>Perhaps there is some difference between the UX and some of the larger clies but definitely not enough to write home about, IMHO.

What nonsense. I held the NX80 up to the CLUX today and had to move the 80's brightness slider *past* the halfway point before it even began to match the CLUX.

Go hold the CLUX up to the lowest-end color CLIE. That's the "brightness" Sony is giving people on a $700 machine.

No doubt they did it to lengthen battery life. Bugger that. Brighter is always better and let the *user* decide how how down the brightness scale they'll go to lengthen their bettery's life.

Ah, and enjoy the performance that is slower than a Platinum Visor too...

RE: CLUX SUX!
electroport @ 9/11/2003 7:20:51 PM #
Couldn't really care less about how it compares with the platimum visor. All I know is that I have had the NX 70V and NZ 90 and I actually sold my NZ 90 to move up to the UX 50.

And from my extensive experience with this line of Clie's, I can still confortably say that the screen brightness on the UX 50 is on par with the Clies I have used before which is just fine with me. As for performance, the UX 50 is just as snappy if not faster on many tasks than the NZ 90, such as the Clie Viewer, etc.

Don't think so? Well, it doesn't really matter since in my use of these pdas, it is so and to me, that is all that matters. Perhaps you should let others make up their own minds too and not think you are here to save others from their "mistakes."

RE: CLUX SUX!
helf @ 9/11/2003 8:14:47 PM #
I wouldnt compare a m505 to a nz90.. That thing was a real POS.

RE: CLUX SUX!
Palmary @ 9/12/2003 12:01:13 AM #
For what it's worth, Palmsolo wrote of his first impressions on PDAGeek and his comments strongly support Mike with regards screen brightness.



RE: UX50 Screen Brightness just fine!
JPVann @ 9/12/2003 10:56:13 AM #
I don't know where the "dim" screen comments come from either - my screen is bright enough that I turned down the level to 2/3 and it is more than bright enough - even in daylight.

However, it is almost impossible to use without backlighting on.

Jer 23:29

RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/12/2003 3:01:09 PM #
>>Perhaps you should let others make up their own minds too and not think you are here to save others from their "mistakes."


Yet another nitwit who needs "In my opinion" stated somewhere so he can parse reality...

RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/12/2003 5:07:30 PM #
>>I don't know where the "dim" screen comments come from either - my screen is bright enough that I turned down the level to 2/3 and it is more than bright enough - even in daylight.

I just saw a *second* CLUX. The one at CUSA must be defective. This second one had a much brighter screen. I could not compare it to a nearby NX80, however, because aside from the CLUX, all of the other demos PDAs were uncharged.

This kind of ^%$# happened to me when I first saw the hp 221x. The first one had a *very* bad screen -- subsequent looksees in other stores revealed that the first one was clearly defective.

Yet another quirk: You can use Pg Up/Dwn in Netfront (blue key plus PgUp/Dwn) -- but you cannot use the left/right arrow keys similarly. You have to reach for the stylus! Doesn't anyone actually *try* these things before sending them to final production?!

RE: CLUX SUX!
Timothy Rapson @ 9/12/2003 7:16:12 PM #
Say, that is a nervey of you (admitting you were basing the screen dimness comments on a single bad one). It is nice to see someone can have the guts to state his opinions and also have the guts to back down from them when the facts show they were premature.


Anyway, I think screen brightness is way over emphasized. Of course, I would like every screen to be as bright and vibrant as the HP 1910. But, in the real world as long as it is as bright as a Clie SJ 30 or so, all the rest is gravy.

I think the manufacturers could stop wasting much effort on brighter and concentrate most on battery life, resolution, standards for the widest variety of good software (something the UX just tosses into the toilet again!) and other things.

Overall, I agree the CLIFTY ain't so nifty.

RE: CLUX SUX!
abosco @ 9/12/2003 9:28:57 PM #
I apologize in advance, but I feel the need to defend Mike on behalf of a few statements against him.

>>Decision list is now:
>>1) NX80 with CF WiFi
2) TT3 (3, not 2) with SD WiFi or Enfora WiFi portfolio
>>3) wait for mythical "T770" from Sony -- although
>>if that has WiFi included, the scren will probably
>>be as miserably DIM DIM DIM as the CLUX...

Honestly, I'd say wait for #2. The NX80v is only good if you want the 1.3 MP camera and few features only the 80 provides. Otherwise, it is severely overpriced. Take it from a user (me). #2 seems small, compact, good screen and specs, and Wifi will be a month later. #3 won't happen. Ever. I called this a year ago.

>>Sorry, Mike Cane is the last guy I'm going to look
>>to for an honest assesment about anything. I'll
>>trust my own reviews thank you.

Sorry, Mike Cane is the FIRST guy you should look to for an honest assessment of (especially) this device. I see him as a guy who has a stat sheet of stuff he wants with little room for compensation. Probably the reason his current Palm is two years old (am I right?). From what I've seen, he wants a good processor/RAM, good HVGA screen, and Wifi. If they can't do this, it fails. He's even surprised me as being one of the first people admitting the H2215 screen is sub-par after anticipating it for so long - a thing people are STILL too afraid to do in fear of excessive crow ingestion.

>>Wow, I'm really going to take seriously some
>>imbecile whose handle is a fekkin BRAND NAME.

Mike, do me ONE favor? Next time an 'imbecile' smacks you in the face, respond in a half-decent way? I'm not asking for decent, I'm asking for half-decent. Might make people not hate you as much. Try it?

>>What people here forget is that you would *never*
>>see this kind of discussion on one of the PPC
>>Thought Nazi sites. Over there, *every* PPC is out
>>of Lake Woebegon: "above average."

ALL PPC sites rate every PPC as 'above average'. Find me one that doesn't and I will seriously consider becoming a regular there.

>>Cane: You typically make outrageous comments that
>>have that rare and unfortunate mix of arrogance and ignorance.

What some call arrogance, others call humor.

>>These devices are pawed and prodded all day long -
>>the very bright flourescent lights too not helping
>>matters - and I find that the reality can often be
>>significantly different from the scratched, smudged
>>demo model on display.

Very true! I know my NX80v takes on a hideous blue tint while in excessive flourescent lighting. Without that, it's perfectly crisp.

>>Yet another quirk: You can use Pg Up/Dwn in
>>Netfront (blue key plus PgUp/Dwn) -- but you cannot
>>use the left/right arrow keys similarly. You have
>>to reach for the stylus! Doesn't anyone actually
>>*try* these things before sending them to final production?!

Bingo. #2 problem with my NX. #1 being the lack of Bluetooth, and this being the lack of an integrated D-Pad. SIDE SCROLLING IS THE WORST.

Alright, I'm done. I'll post my quick judgement of the UX in a day or two when I get around to driving to BB.

-Bosco

RE: CLUX SUX!
mikecane @ 9/13/2003 11:48:59 AM #
>>Say, that is a nervey of you (admitting you were basing the screen dimness comments on a single bad one).

Why shouldn't I admit it?!

I would have seen a *third* one yesterday as well, but the place (Circuit City!) didn't have it charged.

I hate these screen variations. I'm used to seeing them in the PPC world (along with variations in functional bugs!), but I haven't come across it in the PalmOS world til the CLUX...

I still can't see why people hate the keyboard.

RE: CLUX SUX!
Timothy Rapson @ 9/13/2003 9:03:00 PM #
So, if there is so much room left over around the edge of that 3.2 inch screen why did they do it that way?

What if they are getting ready for that T770 and want to use the same screen (to save money and get the T770 price down to Zire 71 level) and still leave room for the camera at the top and buttons at the bottom.

All less than the size of an HP1910....

...


...

...

Yeah, I know. I'm dreaming.

Voice Recorder...

sford @ 9/9/2003 8:42:57 PM #
...does it have one?

Thanks in advance!

_____________________________________
http://www.EscapeTheGrind.com

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