MobileInfocenter

Sony Japan Unveils the Clie TH55 and TJ37

Sony Japan has announced 2 new clie handhelds for Japan. The TH55 features built in Wi-Fi a larger 320x480 portrait screen and a integrated digital camera. The T37 has a square 320x320 screen and a built in digital camera. Both models will be available this month.

Sony Clie TH55
The TH55 runs Palm OS 5.2.1 and has a high res+ 320x480 pixel, TFT 65k color screen. The model features built in Wi-Fi (802.11b) as well as an, 300k pixel VGA digital camera on the back, IR port, stereo headphone output jack and a Memory Stick PRO slot. It comes with 32MB of RAM, of which the full 32MB is user available.

Sony Clie TH55 Japanese ~ Click for largerInternally the TH55 runs the Sony "Handheld engine" the sony custom chip-set that first debuted on the UX50. Under the hood of the "engine" is 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, to prolong battery life and varies the speed depending on system demand.

This unit's front-side is dominated by the large portrait only display and has row of small of application buttons along the bottom. It has a integrated clear flip cover, similar to the TG50, to protect the display. On the backside of the device, is a built in camera, which has a retractable lens cover. Above the camera is a different, top rear center mounted jog dial with left and right directional arrows and a back button. The unit is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery.

The TH55 will include a new PIM suite developed by Sony called the Clie Organizer. The new software builds on the classic Palm OS PIM functionality, and adds a new level of multimedia and organizational functionality.

Sony Clie TH55 Japanese Sony Clie TH55 Japanese

Its dimensions are approximately 3 4 7/ 8 17/ 32 inches (73.3 121.5 13.4 mm) (w/h/d). With the cover attached it is approx. 3 4 / 8 / 8 inches (73.3 121.5 15.7 mm). It weighs 5.8 oz (165 g) without the cover, 20g more with it attached.

The device will sell in Japan for around 40,000 YEN or roughly $370 USD. Pre-orders for the model in Japan will go on sale Feb 9th, with the handheld shipping and available by Feb 14th. It is likely it could be announced in the US around the time of the PalmSource developer conference next week.

Clie TJ37
The TJ37 has a 320x320 pixel, 65K TFT color screen and a built in 300k pixel VGA camera on the back. For number crunching is has a 200 MHz Motorola i.MXL dragonball ARM processor. For memory the model has 32MB of RAM (of which 23MB user accessible). It also has a IR port, stereo headphone out jack and a Memory Stick slot.

Its dimensions are approximately 3 x 4.5 x 17/32 inches (w/h/d) or (75 x 113 x 13.2mm) and weigh 5 ounces or 145g. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery. The TJ37 has a suggested retail of 30,000 Yen, or roughly $275 USD.

Sony Clie TH55 Japanese ~ Click for largerInformation previously leaked about the US model indicated the TJ37 would have build in Wi-Fi. There is no word of this in the Japanese specs, though this could very well change when officially announced in North America. Both models have already been approved in the US by the FCC.

Article Comments

 (132 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down View Full Comment Thread

Good Job

yoyolai @ 2/3/2004 11:42:52 AM #
Wow... beautiful ID, only if it has built-in BT..:(

RE: Good Job
a3 @ 2/3/2004 12:20:34 PM #
I agree! I would like Bluetooth so I hope that the US version includes it!

____________________________________________
Former Tapwave's Helix fan, now a T|T3 fan.
RE: Good Job
a3 @ 2/3/2004 4:03:37 PM #
I would like to know why (THE HELL) we can't get a Palm OS device with Bluetooth AND Wi-Fi for the same price PPC users can!!!!!! (or am I missing some model?)

iPaq 4150 = Wi-Fi + BT = US$450.oo

____________________________________________
Former Tapwave's Helix fan, now a T|T3 fan.

RE: Good Job
Hal2000 @ 2/3/2004 8:11:18 PM #
Do not wish it had Bluetooth........It doesn't. So just say its a good PDA w/o Bluetooth and leave it at that.
If you have ever played video on a newer Sony long term, you know what I mean. Nuff Said (great)



Zodiac2/T616

RE: Good Job
s_teve @ 2/4/2004 4:21:54 PM #
Here's the main problem with both bluetooth and wifi.
The Battery life.
Unless there was some way to improve battery life, you wouldn't get much time on the internet.
But, it would be good to have both bluetooth and wifi

No Bluetooth = No Sale. Sorry, Sony.
;-) @ 2/5/2004 12:31:30 AM #
As usual, Sony puts together an interesting mix of features, but then they do something to mess it up at the last minute. Possibly saving to make the UX-100 (UX-50 replacement) the ultimate PDA with:

Clamshell design
OLED screen
802.11b
Bluetooth
Landscape view
Portrait view
Good keyboard
PalmOS 6
MP3
1 MP digital camera
New Sony custom desktop + applications
12 hour battery life
128 MB RAM

All for only $599

If you want it all, don't settle for the TH-55. You'll just end up kicking yourself in a few months. The new UX series will be astounding. If you have a Bluetooth cellphone, you might finally be able to dump your laptop once the new UX is released.

And to the posters below who say they prefer the Palm T3: Keep it. You can keep your Palm with its third rate, sloppy construction and I'll buy a CLIE. Guess who's PDA will still be working flawlessly in three years? And guess who's PDA will be in a landfill dump?


It's just too big.

RE: Good Job
Wollombi @ 2/5/2004 12:43:01 PM #
Yours will be in the landfill dump. I suspect you will get frustrated in your attempt to understand the PalmOS and throw your PDA in the trash.

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

RE: Good Job
mikecane @ 2/5/2004 2:28:12 PM #
Thank you, Sean. You provided a smile this day.

No Bluetooth = No Sale. Sorry, Sony.
;-) @ 2/6/2004 1:37:25 AM #
Yours will be in the landfill dump. I suspect you will get frustrated in your attempt to understand the PalmOS and throw your PDA in the trash.

Where you would no doubt catch it.



It's just too big.

RE: Good Job
;-) @ 2/6/2004 1:40:00 AM #
Thank you, Sean. You provided a smile this day.

Did he swallow this time?


It's just too big.

RE: Good Job
mikecane @ 2/6/2004 10:28:02 AM #
You are really sick and should seek help.

Or get better help than you're supposedly getting.

RE: Good Job
Wollombi @ 2/6/2004 4:56:14 PM #
>>"It's just too big."<<

Meaning his overinflated ego. =)

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

M.C. + Wolly = TLF
;-) @ 2/7/2004 4:02:21 AM #
You two are just too cute. Nice to see you're taking your lithium again, Mike.


It's just too big.

RE: M.C. + Wolly = TLF
Wollombi @ 2/8/2004 10:40:24 AM #
Heh. It's nice to know I can easily manipulate you into a response any time I want. This particular response unviels just how immature you really are.

_________________
Sean

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

RE: Good Job
mikecane @ 2/8/2004 4:54:30 PM #
It's good to see that your time in institutions have made you fast friends with the USP. If only you'd stop projecting and take your medication as prescribed.

And how empty a life you have that you must stalk other people. Poor sad existence of yours.

Manic M.C.
;-) @ 2/11/2004 12:53:12 AM #
Sure Mike. Just remember to take the lithium with a lot of water and everything will be OK.

And what are the odds you'll either find yet ANOTHER reason to not buy a new PDA or will buy one and return it a few weeks later? Probably close to 100%. Can't you at least do something different for once?


It's just too big.

Portrait only?

bookrats @ 2/3/2004 11:47:18 AM #
[The TH55's] front-side is dominated by the large portrait only display

Sorry, I'm a bit confused -- by "portrait-only", do you mean that Palm apps (which are enabled for this) can't display in "landscape" mode?

Because the 2nd screen shot (of the guy on the mountain bike) appears to be in landscape mode.

(I think I'm just not up on the terminology...)

----

"I'm warning you ... if you kill me, they'll just send 008!"

Jeff Meyer

RE: Portrait only?
Admin @ 2/3/2004 11:55:52 AM #
well there is nothing to indicate the device supports landscape in either the press release or the first draft of the user manual. The movie player has been able to do landscape since the nx series, there is nothing to stop individual apps from supporting it but it does not appear to be a system feature.

-Ryan

RE: Portrait only?
skennedy1217 @ 2/3/2004 12:06:03 PM #
Why are the T3 and the Zodiac the only models that have built in support for both Landscape and Portrait? I was looking forward to a tablet (non-sliding) design like this one...the Zod's too big for my tastes. Perhaps the rumored T|E2 will fit the bill?

Is there a program that allows landscape on Clie's (like the one folks use on the Toshiba PPC's)?

RE: Portrait only?
anchung @ 2/3/2004 12:45:04 PM #
Hi, Jeff:

The picture that you saw is for "Clie Movie Player" which supports landscape play mode. It already exists in NX series so it doesn't mean the TH55 should have landscape support.

RE: Portrait only?
rsc1000 @ 2/3/2004 1:55:01 PM #
>>The movie player has been able to do landscape since the nx series, there is nothing to stop individual apps from supporting it but it does not appear to be a system feature.

Yeah - nothing to stop apps from 'supporting' landscape - except the code they must write for each new app that must do screen rotation itself by having its own routines to draw to the screen in this orientation. These apps do not 'support' landscape - they actually DO landscape. There is no help what-so-ever from the OS - or OEM customizations - except for the above mentioned T3 and Zodiac (and the old Handera?). This is a shame as it would be so easy to do at the OS level. Of course the UX has landscape - but no portrait (very dumb, Sony). OS 6 will include landscape - though no word on whether OEMs can or will override this (hopefully not).

RE: Portrait only?
rened @ 2/3/2004 3:15:28 PM #
Dows netfront support both (on the TH)?

whoah.

scaught @ 2/3/2004 12:28:55 PM #
this is almost the perfect device*.
320x480 color.
no dinky keyboard.
wireless.

droool.

*there shall never be a "perfect" device.

palmIII>HandERA330>SonySJ20>TungstenE

RE: whoah.
iNOMAD @ 2/3/2004 5:20:27 PM #
the ipaq 5555 is as close to perfect as ive seen. its only downfall is its size. (by the way, i have a program that enables landscape)

Im going to buy a Sony TH55!
RE: whoah.
I.M Anonymous @ 2/4/2004 2:10:13 AM #
The TH55 would be my ideal palm, if only it had usable buttons. I like buttons that aren't so thin that you need to use your fingernail to press them, and I'd prefer a 5-way navigator over a rear jog dial any day. It is so easy to use my T|E one handed, and without the ability to go left and right, the jog roller doesn't do me any good. Besides, how am I supposed to use the Game Gear and NES emulators with a scroll wheel and four sliver buttons? I don't want to have to carry around an extra game pad.

If they could just put the innards and screen of the TH55 in a T|E form factor, I'd buy one right now.

TH55 no good for gaming...

RSC @ 2/3/2004 12:35:37 PM #
The TH55 button layout pretty much makes it worthless for gaming. But I guess that it was designed for business users anyway...

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
Dural @ 2/3/2004 1:18:55 PM #
Yeah, there is no five way controller!!! That majorly kills it for me, even for business apps.
RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
Doo @ 2/3/2004 1:21:25 PM #
I doubt the 55 is aimed at the business end. Camera's are bad on a business pda.

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
hkklife @ 2/3/2004 1:53:36 PM #
What we are seeing on the latest crop of handhelds from both Palm & Sony (actually, on all Sonys released in the past 2 years) are increasingly poor button layouts for games, even as the screens, sound subsystems, and CPUs are increasingly capable of playing Doom & SpyHunter (or similar) style games.

Palm is obviously trying to accomodate portrait & landscape users with the T3. Zires will probably continue to have "stick" type controllers that are not great for gaming but still acceptable. The 4 hard buttons for launching apps are actually the key to any sort of action title, though, and should remain in a row on most Palms for the forseeable future. Besides, Tapwave's there (assuming they stay in business) to pitch the Zodiac to the hardcore gamers.

So that leaves me thinking that Sony has something big up their sleeve...something niftier than the PSP that'll be based on Palm architecture. How about...a video-centric 480*320 Clie with similar formfactor to the Th55 for Christmas '04 with a built-in Toshiba 1.5gb micro HD (I am assuming they are somehow going to integrate an IDE controller into the basic Palm architecture), running OS6 and with a PS-style d-pad where the flip cover hinge is? I really see no competition or overlap between Clie audiences and the prospective PSP owner. Such a device could be billed as "game-capable" instead of an outright portable gaming machine.

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
rsc1000 @ 2/3/2004 2:08:16 PM #
>>What we are seeing on the latest crop of handhelds from both Palm & Sony (actually, on all Sonys released in the past 2 years) are increasingly poor button layouts for games,

I kind of agree except that with Palm, the d-pad found on the TT, the T2, and even the TC was actually a huge step forward for game playibility. So then they fix almost every complaint about the TT line with the T3, but then go and screw up the D-Pad. I actually decided against the T3 (still have my TT) just because of this stupid d-pad. WHY palm? Wtf? Im a palm developer and i use my PDA for lots of things - but gaming is essential to me (how else to kill time on my 2hrs+ per day on the subway? the only 'guilt free' gaming i get).

>>So that leaves me thinking that Sony has something big up their sleeve...something niftier than the PSP that'll be based on Palm architecture.

No - this leaves me thinking the opposite: Sony has deliberatley messed up the Clies for gaming SO they can sell more PSPs. They want the PSP to be a success - they don't want people to spend $100 more and get a mobile internet terminal/video player/mp3/PIM/office doc editor that also is a kick ass game machine. Who would buy the PSP? Many would of course; not as many if they saw that the Clie was a great PDA AND was great for games for only a little more. Thats my guess anyway.

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
Altema @ 2/3/2004 2:23:43 PM #
"I kind of agree except that with Palm, the d-pad found on the TT, the T2, and even the TC was actually a huge step forward for game playibility. So then they fix almost every complaint about the TT line with the T3, but then go and screw up the D-Pad."

I fell in love with the d-pad on the TT as well... it was the first time I could actually play Defender2 effectively. I destroyed my entire high score history in the first day. For most games, the T3 button layout was a step backwards, especially for game that could not remap. I know that palmOne had to accommodate the landscape mode by making something that would make sense in both layouts, but it almost was a deal breaker for me. I have found a few exceptions though. Some games that take full advantage of the d-pad make the four hard button locations irrelevant, and some even capitalize on the new layout (Dreamway, Cubis, SpaceCombat, Jack, Agent-Z2, RifleSlugs, to name a few). In SpaceCombat, all ten buttons can be assigned, even the record button. Still, there are others that just cannot be reconciled to the new layout in a logical fashion. Perhaps user-swappable button pads?

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
Edward Green @ 2/3/2004 2:35:42 PM #
Sony have that nifty game pad that should work with this Clie.

I find that the dpad on the Treo600 is great for games. Shame it isn't supported by more apps.

Edward Green
--
http://www.khite.co.uk

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
JKingGrim @ 2/3/2004 3:03:33 PM #
Geeze, does SONY have to always screw up the button layouts? Like the UXs. Why have only 3 app buttons and no up/down rocker? The jog dial is no replacement for an up/down rocker. Jog dial is useful, but functions differently. Is it such a crime to have a d-pad and a jog dail? That would be the best button layout I've seen.

And whats up with the no landscape? Is it so terrible to just use the latest OS vesion wich already has it implemented? So many app are bringing landscape support, but SONY is in its own world.

Those are my only two probs with the new devices (besides the MS), but other than that, theese are a step in the right direction.

BTW, I hope that if you don't like the SONY organiser, you can go back to the old launcher and PIMs.

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
rsc1000 @ 2/3/2004 3:11:19 PM #
>>Sony have that nifty game pad that should work with this Clie.

True - but who wants to carry around an extra, dorky looking device? wheres the mobility? The point is to have an all in one device - its especially silly to add this silly thing on top of yr clie just to get a d-pad that would cost $0 if they just built it in ( a d-pad is just a bunch of cheap buttons under a round, single peice of cheap plastic - and they want to charge me for that?

While im ranting - the price of the Japanese version of the th55 works out to $375 us. Dells X3i (400mhz, 64mb, built in wifi)is only $285. Im a Palm OS fan - so i'll continue to resist the PPC lure. But the point is that Sony has some gone from leader to lame follower here. This offers crap in the way of value. We are supposed to be snapping this up because they have finally given us a full VG screen in a tablet device?? That should be standard on ALL palm os devices now (just like it has on all PPCs for almost 4 yrs - including low-end $199 PPCs). Instead companies like Sony slowly 'dole out' features like this and we are supposed to be excited like they've just invented the damned wheel or something. And the 'Sony handheld Engine' is as yet unproven. It has problems ramping the speed up as it is suppoed to and developers are complaing about not be able to get enough juice out of it (ranges from 8mhz to 123mhz to save power). Hell - i'd go with the low-end device here - at least the 200mhz motorola IS a solid 200mhz (i know - mhz isnt everything but the motorola has proven better thus far in everyday applications - also used in the Zodiac no?). I'm not exited by this. I don't mean to come across as overly negative but i this should have been here 12 months ago or realsed now at $250.

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
rsc1000 @ 2/3/2004 3:57:15 PM #
The more i think about this the more annoyed i get. Nobody has ever, in the history of online Palm OS forums, asked 'Please sony, make the buttons smaller! Please Sony no d-pad! Please Sony put the jog-dial on the back!'. What they have asked for is "A VG device in tablet form!" - mentioned on every online forum for 2 years now, every time a new device that isnt this is announced. So, Sony has delivered on this finally - but not without punishing us with the worst button layout ever. They should not be allowed to call it a 'Clie' (Communication Link Information Entertainment) anymore. It should be shortened to 'Cli' - because they have killed a good deal of the devices entertainment capability with setup. GRRRR. I am only asking that they not go off in stupid directions that nobody is asking for. Same goes for you palmOne - put that D-Pad back the way of was!!!

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
bmari20007 @ 2/3/2004 4:31:25 PM #
At the risk of going off topic here, I'd like to point out that the reason T|T3 seems to have changed the D-Pad (and the only thing they changed was make it bigger, same functionality as before it seems to me) was to support landscape as well as portrait. You couldn't have used the old layout in landscape mode as easily as the new one.

They definitely have the right idea whereas Sony has failed miserably on button design (tiny buttons, tiny munchkin keyboards, and wacky uncomfortable button layouts).

It seems like they made it and then said--"oh yeah, we need buttons too don't we? Where can we fit these... this'll work"

However, in fairness, I think this is probably the best button layout they've had since the first one they released--it does fit one's hand more naturally than the awful T6xx layouts.



RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
TTrules @ 2/3/2004 6:39:11 PM #
I like the T3 d-pad. I always game with two hands on the d-pad, and this is perfect for me. In landscape it's even better

One Palm to rule them all!
RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
hkklife @ 2/3/2004 8:09:03 PM #
Couple of updated thoughts from my end since my earlier post:

1. I got my new issue of PSM magazine today. It has some juicy info on the PSP that I hadn't read about online. It said that it has digital d-pad arrows around the analog stick on the left side of the unit, along with two "shoulder" type buttons next to the screen. It said the unit's internal memory is being increased to 40mb (it was going to be 32mb last I heard) and will use a NON-touchscreen 480*320 Clie screen. The whole story was given a "high" probability rating by the magazine. So having read this, it sounds like Sony is indeed positioning the PSP as a hardcore gaming platform and relegating the Clie to multimedia-type stuff. Might we someday soon see the abandonment of all hard buttons (sans power & reset) from a high-end Clie? Very possible, IMHO.

2. I cannot stand the T3's button layout & d-pda. That combined with the yellow screen on my replacement T3 and the continued horrors of G2 are making me seriously think about (I never thought I'd say this) jumping back to a T2 or selling my T3 and using my T|C full-time. For the record, the Treo 600's 5 way navigator is excellent and probably the best PDA controller yet. I'd love to see Palm release a Zire 71 replacement with that navigator and decently sized hard app buttons. It wouldn't compete directly with a Zodiac, but it'd be fine for light gaming usage.

3. The best Sony button layouts were either the original 710/610 series or the cheaper S320/360 monochrome units. I briefly owned an S320 and played many a mean game of Zap! 2000 on its impressively usable buttons!

RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
Hal2000 @ 2/3/2004 8:21:58 PM #
Anybody want my optional game cluster from my old tg50? It's in a drawer collecting dust since the Z2 and should work.

Zodiac2/T616
RE: TH55 no good for gaming...
rsc1000 @ 2/3/2004 8:36:38 PM #
My problem with the T3 d-pad is that it is not round like the T, and T2. I dont see how that helps landscope mode - but i can how the new button placement would be better for landscape. The problem with the d-pad is that although it is fine for some games, it is horrible for games with 360 degree type of movement. Diagonals are much harder on the T3 than the T1 (where they were already lacking a little). On the T3, pushing up or down is harder then left or right because there is less plastic to leverage the underlying button press with (less 'lever'). If they would ditch the slider (which i suppose is not a flaw - just a matter of preference), and put back the T1 d-pad BUT surround the d-pad with buttons like on the T3 (though with a bit more distance between them and the d-pad), they'd have my perfect PDA (ok,ok - throw in wifi).

Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass: