Sony Announces SL10 with Hi-Res Mono Screen

After having some info on it leaked on Friday, Sony officially announced the PEG-SL10 today. This is a low-end handheld, costing just $150. It has a 320 by 320 monochrome screen, which is an improvement on Sony's current low-end model, the S360, which has only a 160 by 160 monochrome one. It has other features typically on Sony's handhelds, like a Jog Dial with Back button and a Memory Stick slot for extra storage. It will be available sometime next month.

On one side is a USB port. It is very unlikely that the SL10 will be able to operate as a USB master, which would allow it to use USB peripherals itself, like keyboards. However, it should be possible to hook the handheld up to a standard USB hub to HotSync. The handheld might even appear as a removable hard drive. Details are still sketchy as Sony's official announcement and the webpage on SonyStyle on this model don't even mention the USB port.

The USB port isn't the SL10's only one. It also has the same HotSync port as on the T series. This means that all of Sony's handhelds will have the same connector for the first time since Sony introduced the T415 late last year. This will allow them to share many accessories, like keyboards and cables.

In order to cut costs, Sony had to make some compromises. The SL10 has only 8 MB of RAM, half that of the S360, the company's current low-end model. It also lacks an internal rechargeable battery. Instead, it uses AAA batteries. It also comes with a USB HotSync cable, not a cradle.

Incidentally, a Sony company spokesperson said officially that the SL10 will replace the S360, which will be discontinued.

The SL10 runs Palm OS 4.1 on a 33 MHz Dragonball processor. It has a 4 MB flashable ROM.

It is 4.1 by 2.9 by .66 inches. It can't be too slim because two AAA batteries need to be able to fit inside. It weighs 3.6 ounces without batteries. For comparison, the S360 is 4.6 by 2.9 by 0.59 inches and wighs 4.3 ounces.

Though the design is similar to the S360's, it isn't the same and the buttons have been changed. Fortunately, the SL10's new buttons appear to have nothing in common with the ones on the T series.

This handheld comes with Documents To Go Standard Edition, which will allow it to access Microsoft Word and Excel files. It also comes with PictureGear Pocket and can use Sony's PEGA-MSC1 Camera Module.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:30:11 AM #
Interesting to note that the Sony Style Web page says 8mb of RAM (7mb available). Could the OS be in RAM to cut costs?
Ed @ 7/22/2002 10:33:02 AM #
No. The SL10 has 4 MB of flash ROM.

News Editor
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:41:21 AM #
OS in RAM?!?! Nice idea... So if you let your SL10's batteries die you lose your OS?

Think before posting nextime maybe...

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:47:52 AM #
Sony Clies use 1MB for stack space for better stability.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:48:16 AM #
Why the antagonism? It's possible that they've moved some of the built-in apps to RAM. Handspring does this on their Treo 90: after a hard-reset, it decompresses a number of the built-in applications from ROM into RAM, leaving 14.9M of 15.7M free.
OS in RAM?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 11:12:59 AM #
>OS in RAM?!?! Nice idea...
> Think before posting nextime maybe...

I guess you've never heard of Franklin's Ebookman?

Yeah - OS Dynamically loaded in RAM. And it's as (un)popular as you'd think. Particularly when they had that spate of bad capacitors that dropped the memory every time the battery lost contact, combined with the weak battery springs that would cause the battery to disconnect momentarily from a light thump.

It's a stupid idea, granted, but that dosen't make it IMPOSSIBLE.

hotpaw4 @ 7/22/2002 1:49:32 PM #
Clies use 1 MB not for stack space, but for the 4x larger frame buffers that games (and other graphics applications) require when customized for a 320x320 display.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 7:18:10 PM #
> Could the OS be in RAM to cut costs?
Ha ha ha! Thanks for making my morning with this ridiculous idea. ;)

> Ebookman? Treo 90?
These still have compressed OS in ROM... Not the same thing. ;) Is that what you meant?

I can see it now. "Sony recommends that you keep fresh AAA batteries in the device at all times. Replacing the OS in RAM in the case of flat batteries is considered an out of warranty repair."

Wait! Microsoft would probably want to get in on this one too... Windows XP - RAM edition! "Minimum requirements: 2GB RAM. If you power down for any reason, please reinsert the recovery CD to compeltely reinstall Windows XP-RAM edition. You might lose some files. Microsoft strongly recommends that you never power down. Ever."

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/23/2002 1:40:47 PM #
> Ebookman? Treo 90?
> These still have compressed OS in ROM... Not the same thing. ;)

The EBookman (at least in the early versions, I haven't kept up with the later iterations) actually stored the whole OS in RAM - You had to download the OS image directly into the machine from Franklin via their conduit. If you lost power or hard-reset it, the only thing it would do is sit and tell you to connect it to a computer.

They may have changed this later (In fact they probably have - I see the occasional working (Inasfar as you can call the Ebookman 'Working') model at stores. You may remember that earlier models were almost never actually running at stores?)

I believe that their centrally-controlled OS revision system was supposed to be a selling point - at least from the view of content providers - The ability to patch DRM holes as quickly as they were discovered would hopefully keep content secure. But, of course, Microsoft deciding to pull out on their promises of implementing Pocket Reader for the platform has all but doomed them.

It's a shame in a way - It's pretty nice hardware. Too bad the OS/DRM stuffis so buggered up. The marketing could probably use a lot of help as well - The top model last I checked was the EBookman 911 - Hardly an auspicious model number.

Up/Down Rocker Buttons

costein @ 7/22/2002 10:32:29 AM #
I see that Sony still loves to provide new variations on the up/down button. :-)
How functional will this one prove on a daily basis...?

RE: Up/Down Rocker Buttons
Lock @ 7/22/2002 12:19:48 PM #
Well, at least finally they built "human buttons", big enough to be used with big fingers and pen... :]
I even like the shape, too bad for the b&w display (well, afterall it's a low-end model)... ;]


I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:36:20 AM #
Ummm, is it just me or is this unit not exactly the prettiest thing on earth?
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:37:10 AM #
Ahhh, the art critics once again. Who cares how good it works? Appearance is all that matters.
RE: ugly?
BiffK @ 7/22/2002 10:37:34 AM #
I don't mind it... I'd have to see one in person before I could say for sure... 8 MB though... that sucks!

-Biff K
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:40:21 AM #
is it just me or is this handheld $150 dollars ?? what kind of design do you expect .. ~~ and the size is just really small ... it's not the thinnest palm ever, but probably the smallest palm ever.
RE: Matter of opinion
Foo Fighter @ 7/22/2002 10:40:29 AM #
Some might find it unattractive, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. I think it looks very cool. Though I wouldn't buy it (can't go back to grayscale). This will make a wonderful PDA for new users, although I would have liked to see SONY add a few tantalizing new features to the low-end market (such as MP3 playback). Still, it's a winner. :-)

Now...when is SONY going to bring out the big guns?

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:47:34 AM #
I think it looks rather cool too, but the grey scale screen is the only reason holding me back from getting one. But it runs on 2 AAA battery, probably no a good idea to use it with color screen.

Anyway it's a good surprise, I was expecting something big and fat ...

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:49:31 AM #
Please people, tell me which $150 PDA looks better? Can't do it can you?

I think this is a great value considering what else you can get for your $150.

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 10:53:52 AM #
$150 for a hires screen? Damm good deal to me.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 11:43:25 AM #
It seems like GREAT value. Just compare with a Palm M500: At twice the price, it's larger and heavier, it's got the same 8 Mbytes of RAM, has no jog dial, and the screen has 1/4th the resolution; it is a bit slimmer, though, and has got rechargeable batteries built-in (which is not a big point if the AAA's in the SL10 last as long as Sony say).

I'd say Sony's *cheapest* PDA seems as powerful as Palm's second best ... Palm should better offer something competitive soon.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 12:23:24 PM #
OH MAN. this is Sony?! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
this thing is ugly.....
did a member of the handera team move to sony or what cause i'm surprised sony actually stamped the clie name on this.... sony should have released a new line and called it, UGLIE....

just playing. but honestly. i was expecting something more on the eye candy side from sony... with that said, it IS nice to see that sony is not abandoning the lower end market, it must have taken a lot of ballz, or a really dumb upper level manager, to kick out another hi res grayscale model after that whole T415 debacle. lets see how well this model fairs... i'm personally not too worried about 8mb or ram. it IS for the lower end market and those who do go for this model probably wont be too up in anything other than the basics. Dont like the batteries though. bad personal memories from the m105 i guess....

3.6 oz without batteries. good stuff.

jog dial! unlike those handspring guys who left it out in their treo 90.....

up down buttons! ha... those sony guys.... not sure how well these will work... but it looks better than the ones on the T. actually, i dun get it. the buttons for the S and N are so well designed.... then all the sudden the T was like... blah.

on a side note. i currently have a n610. is sony going to release a 0S 5 model anytime soon cause this puppy needs to upgrade. actually, does OS5 have anything for this puppy the T665 doesnt?! i'm thinking no... any ideas people? i heard from some people that an OS5 model will be a ways off: announced in japan, sold in japan, then announced in the US, then finally sold in the US. whole thing will take around three months. but i'm thinking, the SL 10 came from almost no where- skiped the japanese cycle as a whole... so could a OS5 model be on the way....?

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 12:36:12 PM #
Can you EVEN compare this to an m1xx series???? not even a Vx or an m500 can compare to the beauty of this thing.

PLUS they finally fixed the damn up/down buttons.

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 12:40:48 PM #
It's not ugly, just...funny-looking. I'd still buy, carry, and use one.

I am one of the few people, ever to find the m1xx series kind of cute. And the Palm Vx is just wonderful, IMHO. A more accurate statement is that the m1xx and the Palm VX couldn't possibly compare to the VALUE and BENEFITS, considering the cost, of this thing.


RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 12:42:24 PM #
I must agree, they don't get much uglier (HE/TRG maybe).
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 12:44:21 PM #
Cīmon! Have you ever saw a Sony handheld that you can really say has a good design in terms of aestetics, not from a technical point of view? And yes, I do think thatīs important too.
Maybe we should wait until Apple releases itīs PDA -probably never- to see a nicely designed one. Until then, Iīll stay with the original Palm V
RE: ugly?
useybird @ 7/22/2002 12:53:25 PM #
The Palm M500 has 1/2 the resolution of the sl10 not 1/4 as you put because 320x320 is double the 160x160 of Palm's M500

--(Josh)-- Support the USA in the war against terrorism.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 1:01:30 PM #
You did good in math in highschool, didn't you?

160x160 is 160pixels wide and 160 pixels tall - think back to the calculation table - 12x12 = 144

160x160 = 160 x 160 = 25,600
320x320 = 160x2 x 160x2 = 102,400

Anyway, each pixel in a 160x160 becomes four pixels (a 2x2 block) in direct translation - four times the resolution... 2 times the resolution in any given direction, but this isn't print media this is screen real estate.

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 1:02:50 PM #
Dust off your math: It DOES have 4 times the resolution.

320x160 WOULD be twice the resolution.

RE: ugly?
nXt @ 7/22/2002 1:06:14 PM #
Wrong, the m505 is 1/4 the resolution of high res.

m505 = 160x160
hires = 320x320, yes it's DOUBLE the number, BUT it's a SQUARE so it's actually 4 times more.
You can fit FOUR 160x160 boxes into ONE 320x320 box. like this:

this is 1x1:

This is 2x2:
_ _

Notice 1x1, and 2x2 in numbers it's 2 times.. BUT there are four 1x1 squares in a 2x2 :) get it?

160x160 = 1/4th the size of 320x320.

nXt's Clie Club
Place To Be For Sony Clie Discussion

RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 1:06:57 PM #
Didn't you take basic highschool math, useybird? 160 pixels x 2 is 320, but 160 pixels squared x 2 increases by a factor of 4. A Sony hi-res screen is 4 times the resolution of a Palm/Handspring screen.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 1:21:32 PM #
Whoever waits for a Apple PDA, I am sorry to tell you that Steve said that PDA is going aways soon, Phones will replace them in the near future, so there will be no PDA from Apple ever.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 2:13:13 PM #
I dunno about the word 'soon', but the point Jobs is making about the direction the market will take is *right on*.

Their will be phones out within 12 months that do everything a Palm can, and more.

It's up to Palm Source to get their OS in as many products as possible.

Symbian is so far ahead of Apple, Palm, and even Microsoft in this area that it's scary.

It doesn't matter that you don't see many devices in your local store that carry Symbian.

The point is that in 3 months from, YOU COULD. Not so with the other companies.

My personal preference would be to have Blue Tooth enabled tablets in the workplace, with your phone/pda acting only as a briefcase, from which you'll beam your work to your home computer if need be.

There is simply NO NEED for most Americans to edit Excel and Word files on a PDA. But that's not just me talking.....the marketplace has made this clear. And so have enterprises.

For the few Nazis that DO engage in this'll be easier to do on a tablet. Or better yet, continue being a part of the 10% (and shrinking) of PDA buyers who use PocketPC.

Still, that said, I don't see PDAs ever FULLY going away.....sort of like wrestling.

I don't see convergeance units having a huge stake in the marketplace for another year and a half, and I don't see them dominating the market for another 3.....but I'm no expert.

I do know one thing.....that IS the direction the market is heading.

People only want enhanced organizers....snicker all you's a fact.

RE: ugly?
Davy Fields @ 7/22/2002 2:35:56 PM #
Ah, I love the internet. We can get four math explanartions in the space of 5 minutes, all with that wonderful brand of e-criticism.

-Davy Fields
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 3:34:33 PM #
Couldn't help but jump into the math fray. =)

You are talking about two seperate concepts here

Resolution refers:
x by y

so if you say twice the resolution it would be:
(x * 2) by (y * 2)

screen size refers to the cumulative amount of pixels.
So the product of x by y will be 1/4 the product of (x * 2) by (y * 2)

So the resolution it twice that of a palm,
but the screen size is 4 times larger.

Confused yet?


RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 4:16:59 PM #
It's TWICE of nothing.

Try to explain to me in what way a 32x32 room is only twice as big as a 16x16 room. It isn't is it? You cna fit 4 times as many thing into a 32x32 room than you can with a 16x16.

This thing is a bargain
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 4:51:28 PM #
I think it's absolutley disgusting. $150 for this it doesn't have os 5 gps or blue tooth. Yeah right. Every one slating this item for it's lack of features, STOP! For some one on a tight budget this is brilliant. If you want MORE features you need to spend MORE money.
RE: screen size
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 5:26:00 PM #
Just to get this straighten out:

When talking about desktop monitors, examples of "screen size" are "17 inch LCD", "15 inch CRT" right?

Resolutions like "1024x768", "800x600" right?

So for PDA, a "320x320" resolutions are 4 times of "160x160". For screen size, Palm & Sony Clie (except NR) are similar -- "about 2x2 sqaure inches", right?

Resolutions & Screen size are totally two different things.

RE: ugly?
hotpaw4 @ 7/22/2002 7:06:58 PM #
Resolution is usually measured in units such as dots per inch, or lines per millimeter (linear). If a 320x320 display has twice the diagonal measurement of a 160x160 display, then the resolution (in DPI) of the two displays will be exactly the same, even though the 320x320 display has a 4 times larger area. Since the diagonal of the S360 and the SL10 are both given as 3" on the Sonystyle web site, the linear measure of a side is sqrt(3), or about 1.73 inches. So the resolution of the SL10 is about 184 DPI, and the resolution of the S360 is about 92 DPI.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/22/2002 9:28:39 PM #
I'd like to know how or why "foo fighter" would like to see Sony put mp3 playback in a LOW-END model. $150 w/mp3 is currently a pipe dream. But then, judging from the majority of foo fighter's posts on this site and others, he may well be smoking some strange type of pipe.
RE: ugly?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/23/2002 2:25:24 AM #
"resolution" means "the power to resolve", how well an image can be represented. So, with 4 times as many dots in the same space, you've got 4 times the resolution. Doubling the dot density in one direction and leaving the other direction would double the resolution. Doubling the dot density in both directions _quadruples_ resolution.
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