Sony N710C Can Display 16-Bit Color

To many, the only thing keeping the new Sony N710C from being the perfect handheld is that its 320x320 pixel screen can only display 256 colors. However, according to Red Mercury, that limitation is caused by the fact that the Clié is running OS 3.5, which has no support for 16-bit color. According to Red Mercury's site, "the high resolution screen and graphics chip in the PEG-N710C not only supports 320x320 resolution, but also supports 16-bit color."

As proof, the game developer is offering an application called Sixteen, which displays a series of 16-bit color images on the N710C's screen. This app won't run on any other device or even the emulator.

The implication of this is, when Sony releases a version of OS 4.0 for the Clié, the 265-color limitation will be removed. The N710C does have flashable ROM so it can be upgraded.

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Ed @ 6/7/2001 4:36:39 PM #
I don't have a N710C to test this app with so I can't guarantee that it is for real. I have no cause to distrust Red Mercury so I'm running this article but I'd be happier if a few of you wrote in to say that Sixteen really does what they say it does.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter
RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 4:48:15 PM #
I have a N700C and have only one thing to say :
Waw ! Impressive !

I was pretty sure it was possible, now it is 100% sure :-)

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 6:08:58 PM #
Ed, yes, it is true. I tried the demo program, impressive, brilliant colors!

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 11:55:05 AM #
Yes, I have a N700C, and it really works, very pretty presentation of colors....great!

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 3:14:29 AM #
I just got a Clie N710c and love it. The 8bit display aready beats the m505. The Clie is so sharp and bright and has way better contrast than the M505 (I know because I returned my M505 in a week). But when I saw the 16bit test by Red Mecury. My jaw dropped. I then gave my Visor Prism to my fiance.

The Clie 320x320 Hi-res screen will change the expectations PDA displays forever. Hell the device as a whole will change the PDA world.

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 10:19:15 AM #
> I then gave my Visor Prism to my fiance.

Of course, if you really loved her, you would've given her your N710c. Better rethink the relationship. ;)

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2001 4:25:34 AM #
Yes, it works. The demo basically shows a bunch of pictures with color fades and transparencies that you can't fake with 256 colors.

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/24/2001 3:52:12 PM #
Hi...I owned a PalmVx for a couple of years and when the Palm m505 came out, I traded the old Vx for the m505. I have had the m505 for 3 months now and although it does its job, it is disappointing. The screen forces me to have the backlight on all the time... I saw the Clie PEG-N710C and thought the display was great. I would wait for the N610C but can't tell when that is going to ship. The only thing preventing me from buying the PEG-N710C is the ability to upgrade to OS 4.0 and 16-bit color. The ability is theoretical but I haven't see any plans from Sony to support that. Anyone knows something else on that?

RE: Confirmation?
Ed @ 7/24/2001 4:33:59 PM #
The N610C and N710C will also require you to have the backlight on all the time.

I have absolute confirmation from someone high up in Sony's US division that they are working on a version of OS 4.0 for the N710C, though they can't tell me when it will be available. It will definitely allow the screen to display 16-bit color.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 2:08:15 AM #
How come the N 710c "is limited by the palm OS version" so it cannot display 16bit color, when the Visor prism can with the same OS version?

RE: Confirmation?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 9:07:24 AM #
Handspring wrote a special version of 3.5 to let the Prism do 65,000 colors. They then gave this code to Palm to use in 4.0. Sony didn't use this on the 710 so it is 256 colors but once 4.0 is installed, it will have 65,000 colors, too.

released early?

edward green @ 6/7/2001 5:09:35 PM #
hmm. the clie seems to offer so much more than the packaged software can handle!

i wonder if sony rushed it to market?

RE: released early?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 6:21:32 PM #
I don't think it was rushed to market as much as they would rather devlopers create the apps that take advantage of the system. Probably like what Handspring does with their Springboard additions.

//Panda Fan

RE: released early?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 7:14:36 PM #
Palm has long term delivered crippled software package with their products (like the crippled calculator, Memo pad, lousy expense). Many people have to buy better software like ActNames, PMT... to replace those cripplewares. So Palm has always rushed all their products to market?

Awwww :(

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 4:31:09 PM #
Classic..! Another highly used justification down the drain. Does anyone need to run out and get a security blanket now?

Don't worry... I won't that mean old Clie hurt your m505 (or your ego), promise. ;)


RE: Awwww :(
atrizzah @ 6/7/2001 9:06:25 PM #
Why does it matter to you what people think about the Clie? It sounds like you need a security blanket because you need to try to put down other peoples opinions on handhelds to make yourself feel better about yours. Let's face it, all of you who post on why some PDA is superior and try to put down others are just trying to make yourself feel better. Whichever PDA you like, you're not gonna change anyone else's mind about their favorite PDA by saying "Clie Rulez! m505 sux!". Ask yourself, who's justifying, the people who state their opinion on why they made their decision to buy their device or the ones who feel the need to bash the device they didn't buy?

Peace Out
RE: Awwww :(
Raishe_werk @ 6/8/2001 12:31:13 PM #
that is Clie Rewlz.. m505 sux ass.. get it rite!!! cheezuz

on the serious side, i agree with Alan. seems that half of the posts now are flame wars between m505 users and Clie users.
kick back, we all family and we all on the same side.

"Monster Pig kills Jesus
More at 11"

RE: Awwww :(
Michael @ 6/8/2001 4:36:29 PM #
Which is particularly ironic so they both suck. Handera Forever...

Don't try to convince m505 owners that their PDA is crap
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 2:38:49 PM #
Don't try to convince m505 owners that their PDA is crap (even though it is).

They will tell you things like:

"The m505 is thinner" - even though it doesn't fit the hand as well as the CLIE.

"The m505 is lighter" - by a massive 1.5 ounces than the CLIE.

"The m505 has a full metal case" - as if anyone really cares.

"The m505 screen is *adequate*; I can usually read it without squinting too much if I keep the sidelight on all the time" - even though the screen should be the one part of a PDA you don't compromise.

"The m505 lasts longer between charges" - even though the battery life difference essentially vanishes because most people have to keep the m505's side light on to be able to read the screen.

"I don't like proprietary formats like Memory Stick; I prefer open standards like SD" - even though the I/O standard (which needs to be implemented before ANY new SD peripherals are built) hasn't even been decided yet. And how long will it take to release peripherals after the standard is ratified? There may be a new memory "standard" by then.

"I don't need MP3, high resolution color, jog dial, or multimedia support" - just like some people used to say they didn't need color screens. Or 2 MB of memory was enough. Or 16 MHz processors were fast enough. Or rechargeable batteries were a bad solution. You "don't need" them until you try them and find out how nice it is to have the advanced features, whether or not you use them all the time.

"I think Palm has better customer support" - perhaps because they have so much practice with the defective devices they have released. Given the m505's profit margin, it should come with a Palm technician that is dispatched to your home to resolve any problems.

"The m505 is cheaper" - even though it's incredibly overpriced compared to EVERY other PDA on the market. The m505 is Palm's new Vx (a model legendary for fleecing those fashion-conscious people with a lot of money to burn.)

Palm expected to make most of their profits this year from the overpriced m505 and now that it is being rejected, they may go bankrupt unless they can produce a model with the screen quality of the new CLIE. Since they already buy their color screens from Sony (open up your m505 case and look who manufactured the screen!) they could beg Sony for the N710 screen, but this would mean abandoning the sacred Vx/m505 form factor.

Palm needs to stop pretending that anyone really needs to have a battery runtime of over 10 hours. Once they admit this, they will stop making design decisions that are destroying their company.

So please don't badger or make fun of the m505 owners. They're a dying breed and pretty soon they will be extinct. If/when you see them in public squinting at their dim screens, please don't laugh or point at them. Don't smile smugly or sneer or call them gullible idiots for being suckered by Palm's Zen of Palm/Simply Palm bullshit. Don't offer to show them your CLIE or iPAQ or Casio or Handspring Twist screens. Just walk away and leave them in their m505 misery.

Thank you


Palm m505: 65,000 blurry colors! Yes please!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 4:45:59 PM #

RE: Don't try to convince m505 owners that their PDA is crap
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 4:58:51 PM #
You've made the same mistake so many other people who post on this site have. You think what is right for you is right for everyone. If that were true, everyone would drive the same style of car, wear the same clothes, and eat the same food. It would be a very dull world. Fortunately, that turns out to not be the case. Some people value other things than you do. Please try to grasp the idea that that doesn't make them stupid or insane. For example, though you clearly don't, some people really do need their Palm to last more than 10 hours. I think long battery life is important. I'm not wrong to think this, just different.

Why the Hell do you care what I think about my m505? I'm happy with what I bought. You are happy with what you bought. End of story.

Don't feel bad, maybe you can return your m505.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 5:26:29 PM #
Too late? Oh, there's always eBay. Better sell it soon, before the price gets reduced (AGAIN) by retailers. Expect the m505 to be going for $300 - 350 by July.

Did you pay $450? How does that make you feel? At least you know you helped support Palm's payment towards their planned dumping of $300 million worth of unsold Palm Vx and parts.

Step right up folks! Behold the wonders of the 65,000 color screen! Tremble in the presence of the mighty (useless) SD slot! Marvel at the amazing (bigger than a Vx) form factor! Tickets are only $450, no $400, no $350, no $300, no whatever you'll give us!

There's one born every minute.

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 7:02:43 PM #
You know, the reason there aren't so many m505 supporter posts arguing with Clie posts anymore is because we've grown up. You Clie users can't get outside your kindergarden insults. Go somewhere else to complain.

RE: Awwww :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 7:05:59 PM #

"Palm expected to make most of their profits this year from the overpriced m505 and now that it is being rejected, they may go bankrupt unless they can produce a model with the screen quality of the new CLIE. Since they already buy their color screens from Sony (open up your m505 case and look who manufactured the screen!) they could beg Sony for the N710 screen, but this would mean abandoning the sacred Vx/m505 form factor. "

Turn on your Clie. You'll see the Palm logo everywhere you look. Which do you think needs eachother more, Palm needs LCD Screens (Panasonic, Sharp, Sony are the main makers). Sony needs the Palm OS (Palm is the only maker) Palm isn't the one in trouble if they break off their agreement, you are. Palm doesn't have to give Sony an O.S. release, and then it won't really matter if your Clie is 16-bit, because it won't have an O.S. to run on anymore. Unless you want to be more radical and have somebody create a new O.S. (Something Sony has never done, for more than a few reasons)

m505 return rate
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 7:53:56 PM #
I think you mean "the reason there aren't so many m505 supporter posts arguing with Clie posts anymore is because everyone is returning their m505s".

If you know your local Staples or other office supply/electronics store manager, ask them to tell you what has been going on with m505 sales. If it's anything like around here, the first two weeks were great, but only limited stock was available. The third week saw improved supply but stores began seeing the highest rate of returns they have ever had for a PDA, including the Palm IIIC. Each week after the second has shown decreased sales and increased returns.

No No. Trust me, I mean we've grown up.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/9/2001 8:27:01 PM #
One, Comments like yours just help to prove my point.

Two, Walk into a Staples or Best Buy, Or Office Depot in the Bay area and ask for a Clie, and they'll say "What?"

Three, Where exactly did you get the idea you have? Did you personally call the managers and ask about sales? Did you do this out of your town?

Four, Need I say more?

Yeah right!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 2:30:16 AM #
Palm m505 owners, don't give us that "We have taken the higher road...we have grown-up" horse-crap!!!

Face it, if the tables were turned, you guys will be all over the boards exulting the superiority of you m505. You KNOW you would!!! The only reason that you are taking this "high road" approach is that's the ONLY remaining argument that you have.

Don't pull us to your level
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 11:35:08 AM #
You're just trying to get us to sink to your level. How do you know how we'd react if the tables were turned! There is no proof you're at the higher end of the table anyway! Show me any figure other than what you think, comparing Clie and m505 sales, and then tell me why your handheld is great.

The m505 is a piece of crap. This is the plain truth.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 12:48:31 PM #
Furthermore, since when did higher sales = better quality?

For now the m505 has a MUCH wider distribution channel, since Palm is better known and more established than Sony. It is likely that once average customers start seeing the CLIE in use by others, sales will skyrocket. By the way, Palm is predicted to be downgrading their expected sales for the current quarter (AGAIN) later this month.

Now that Palm finally has competition, it would appear that people are no longer willing to accept poor quality or relatively primitive equipment being sold for a premium price. Don't be surprised to see Palm slashing prices in the next week or two, in an effort to kickstart sluggish sales.

You Win
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2001 2:19:02 PM #
Yes, you are completely correct. Your handheld is infinitely superior while mine is a total piece of camel dung. Your decision to buy the model that you did was totally justified while mine was a hideous mistake that will inevitable leave my family out on the street and subject to daily shame and humiliation. Everyone who has ever doubted your genius on any topic really is a total moron who is in the fast lane to the loony bin.

There, now that you have been declared the utter and complete winner, can you drop this argument and move on to something interesting?

RE: Awwww :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 12:03:49 AM #
come on guys! I've never seen anything so dumb as what I'm seeing here. I love my palm Vx. I love it because it is slimmer and makes it so I hardly notice it inside my coat breats pocket. it's comfortable to have. I used to use a palm IIIc but I couldn't read it outside in the sunlight very well so I returned it for the Vx. I'm sure that you Clie owners use your Clie because it fits your lifestyle and I'm sure there are some that use it because you have been please with past sony products. I am the same way with a lot of things like that. For example, I have always used Abit motherboards when I build my computers. I use them because I have always been please with their performance. It is the same with my Palm. I have been using Palms since the Palm Pilot Pro. I don't really need anything exravagant to make it so my appointments, my phone numbers, and my documents (and games :-) ) are better looking. I use it because it is a good platform. Granted, I would probably switch to a m505 or even a clie if I could justify spending a few hundred dollars for upgrading to features that I would use very little of.

The point that I am trying to make is this: We all use the Palm platform. We all make use of the datebook, phonebook and other essential parts of the Palm OS. Some of us just have different tastes. For example, I have a friend who loves his Visor Prism because of the color, where I don't care either way as long as I could justify paying extra for the color. I also know someone who has TONS of gizmos for his Visor but I don't like lugging stuff around with me. Some go for performance, while others go for price and just plane value.

We all have different needs and wants. So why do we need to bash each other? I think all of you guys need to grow up a little and accept the fact that we're all in this for the same cause: getting both companies to make their parts better for us both on features and on our wallets.


RE: Awwww :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/11/2001 3:49:09 PM #
Why the hatred and bitterness? Shouldn't this be going on between Palm and PPC users? I like both the 500 series and the Clie (prefer the Clie). But at the end of the day it's all about the OS for me. I just switched back from an iPaq and know that I will NEVER go back to PPC. Chill

RE: Awwww :(
Smaug @ 8/20/2001 12:28:21 AM #
To the poster saying palm can take away the OS. Not likely, they are in a contract until 2005 I believe.
I personally do prefer the clie because I have my doubts about SD. Does it really matter though? The 505 does have some benefits and so does the clie.

RE: Awwww :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/18/2001 5:38:43 PM #
All you people are so wound up that the 710c has 16bit color AND A high resolution screen. I dont no if any of you have been to best buy, but in the pda department it says something like Pocket PC. The superior choice. It is twice as good. 16 bit color, superior OS(the new PPC2002 at least), the high resolution. What are all you people so amazed about? Are you stupid?



I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 5:23:05 PM #
I just loaded this on my N710C and it's VERY NICE. It looks like there is going to be a significant hit on speed as the images loads rather slowly. But I can't say for certain if this is due to the additional colors (likely) or due to the display application.

...Sony, hello, anyone listening? You boys are sitting on a potential homerun here!

RE: Wow!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 6:20:26 PM #
I'm sure they are listening. They probably have people reading these Forums everyday.

//Panda Fan

RE: Wow!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 9:09:03 PM #
After the initial shock wore off, I ran the application again with Afterburner on. Much smoother transition then before.

Hoping to see that OS 4 upgrade soon!

RE: Wow!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/26/2001 10:14:25 AM #
The speed problem with sixteen from RedMercury is most likely due to having to run the 16bit driver, a slideshow app and the graphics from one app. I think native OS support for 16bit colour will be faster than RedMercury's Demo.

It is gratifying to see that the N710 can do it when Sony gets around to offering an OS4 upgrade.

It matters not.

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 5:31:29 PM #
If this is true and it doesn't slow down the Clie to a crawl, then I'm happy for you Clie owners out there. However, my decision to keep my m505 was based mainly on the 505's superior form factor, SD slot, and dislike for the cheap, gaudy look of the Clie.

RE: It matters not.
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/7/2001 6:29:25 PM #
Yet another premature m505 buyer justifying his purchase. Hey, you can always sell it on eBay! You don't HAVE to keep the thing, ya know.

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