Sony Japan Unveils the Clie PEG-UX50

Sony Clie PEG UX-50Sony Japan has taken the wraps of the new Clie, expected to be officially announced in San Francisco tomorrow. The Clie PEG-UX50 has a mini laptop like design with a swivel screen and built in keyboard. The device has a integrated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless as well as a digital camera.

Update: The Sony Clie PEG-UX50 and UX40 have been officially announced in the US and more details are now available. Both can now be pre-ordered from

The Clie PEG UX50 runs Palm OS 5.2 and uses a new processor system developed by Sony called the Handheld engine. The Handheld engine combines a Sony manufactured ARM926 based processor, a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a CXD2230GA graphics accelerator.

The screen is a swivel design that can be rotated and used in both the flip up and tablet mode. It is a 480x320 pixel, 65k color screen. The display is used in a horizontal landscape mode. It has 32mb of RAM, with 16mb available for use.

The devices has integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Bluetooth for wireless communication. 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 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. There will be a extended battery clip on accessory that will increase the battery life.

More details and an official US announcement are expected tomorrow (7/18) when Sony's handheld President, Masanobu Yoshida, holds a press conference in San Francisco. The UX50 will be available in Japan around August 9th, pricing and worldwide availability is not yet known.

Sony Clie PEG UX-50 ~ Click for largerSony Clie PEG UX-50 ~ Click for larger

Thanks to the many that sent in tips, and Paul Groves for help with translation.

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My reaction:

Moosecat @ 7/17/2003 10:59:01 AM #
All I can say is: Gadzooks! Holy moly! Criminy! Jiminy whillikers!

I just bought a Tungsten C, so it won't affect my life much, but it sure is interesting.

RE: My reaction:
a3 @ 7/17/2003 11:51:40 AM #
Well it sure packs a lot of stuff... Its a pity that no one for Apple's design division works for Sony, cuz this thing does not have a nice look.

Anyway all the things included makes me give it a thought...

Already a Tapwave's Helix fan.

RE: My reaction:
maddie @ 7/17/2003 5:08:08 PM #
Not for me it doesn't. 32MEG with 16 available to user, same predicament that I am in without the big price tag it will carry, $500+. It might it been called the NX, NR series!! What a put down, I think they could of refined the unit a little more.

RE: My reaction: GREAT
graph @ 7/17/2003 9:32:52 PM #
Somehow they managed to put their trademark, lousy keyboard. from the looks of it its still not raised enough like normal miniKB, i mean not raised- period.

RE: My reaction:
spn @ 7/18/2003 3:30:01 PM #
Heh, couldn't help notice the one comment that Sony
should take styling cues from Apple - Please... If
Apple is the style leader, wouldn't everyone be
using their products?

Whatever floats your boat I say, I just don't think
Apple is the be-all end all of technology with style.

I think Sony does just fine without their help.
Hey, I love what Palm did with the Tungsten
very cool...

I just held off on getting one because of the audio
playback issues.. but now I've heard they've been resolved... May be getting a TT soon

Also known as...

Fammy @ 7/17/2003 11:00:03 AM #
You could call this the world's smallest laptop. Or at least it looks like a laptop. =)

-- Fammy
RE: Also known as...
epall @ 7/17/2003 11:57:29 AM #
I (and others) believe that this type of Clie will come to compete with sublaptops and tablets.

RE: Also known as...
Geek Geezer @ 7/17/2003 12:35:02 PM #
People don't believe it, but if, like most of my co-workers, all you do is lug your laptop back and forth to work, then a capable handheld can cover you 90% of the time. Files can be pushed to the web for use on the home machine and the handheld runs your tools when not home. Given the tendancy to get laid off at a moments notice I don't run any of my personal tools on the companys machine anymore.

What about --

mikecane @ 7/17/2003 11:00:00 AM #
NO portrait mode! NO Decuma! The Mini-Stylus of the NXes, 73 and 80.

It'll sell a million -- but not to malcontents like me.

OTOH, maybe tomorrow Sony will say the version coming to America *will* support portrait mode and include Decuma. Remember: the original CLIE that came to the US included MP3 playing, while the released-earlier-in-Japan one did not until later.

RE: What about --
gfunkmagic @ 7/17/2003 11:07:22 AM #
Also, still no dual expansion? If sony wanted to get rid of the CF slot b/c of size restictions etc...fine. But why not dual MSPro or even MSPro + Duo combo?!

-better living through better technology.
RE: What about --
mikecane @ 7/17/2003 11:12:37 AM #
Well, it can use Duos, apparently. Single slot, though.

I'm wise to Sony's tactics now.

They *do* think of *everything* -- then pare away 10% of that and OK for production. They think if they put in *everything*, people will stop buying.

Hey, Sony! In this rotten economy, you're lucky people can still buy anything at all!

RE: What about --
izadwen @ 7/17/2003 11:14:01 AM #
RE: What about --
Tungsten @ 7/17/2003 11:14:54 AM #
"Also, still no dual expansion?"
Sony incorporated CF into their high-end handhelds specifically for the WLAN card. It was a temporary measure to keep costs down. Did you really think they were pushing CF as hard as their homegrown MS?

"If sony wanted to get rid of the CF slot b/c of size restictions etc...fine."
This thing is not much larger than a GBA:SP. It's pocket- not laptop-sized. It has built-in WiFi + BT. Just how else would you fit a CF slot in there?

RE: What about --
mikecane @ 7/17/2003 11:16:03 AM #
&^%$#@! I *missed* that tiny screenshot when going through the pages. I remember now that I was staring at that ridiculously-small Spacebar in the photo at left.

Thanks for the correction.

OK, Sony! You only have to add portrait mode!!

RE: What about --
rened @ 7/17/2003 12:07:00 PM #
This my only hesitation too. But maybe it's in there (?). Or maybe it's impossible. What if you start an app an then switch from landscape to portrait mode, the app should get a message from the hardware and switch. Hope it's on their list.

RE: What about --
hoodoo @ 7/17/2003 12:34:13 PM #
You guys are hilarious. I thought everyone was hoping for landscape mode! You still have 320 vertically, and you're all complaining. Give me a break. It will be awesome for spreadsheets.

RE: What about --
hoodoo @ 7/17/2003 12:47:56 PM #
Oh yeah and web surfing -> landscape all the way.

A wide keyboard. It's clamshell! you don't need a stupid flip cover/ case. I new someone would turn the Gameboy Advance SP into a PDA. Yeah.

Probably will clock in at $999 CAD.

RE: What about --
Foo Fighter @ 7/17/2003 1:00:46 PM #
So, Mike. The screen isn't square, eh? Hmm...who was it that said this screen would not be landspace? ;-)

My blog:
What on earth is Documa?
Enfors @ 7/17/2003 1:05:15 PM #
What on earth is Documa? I see it in the screenshot in the link given above, but I can't figure out what it is, and what all the fuss is about? Is it some type of software allowing you to write Japanese signs with the stylus or something?

The evils of Landscape mode
johnbartley @ 7/17/2003 2:34:20 PM #
The evils of landscape mode only are aparant to 9-11% of world population; the Sinister (left-handed).

Imagine trying to use the stylus for text entry on it, if you are left-handed.

RE: What about --
cmoney @ 7/17/2003 3:06:23 PM #
That would be a real shame if they don't include left hand support. It would be pretty much useless to me in that case. Otherwise, this looks pretty awesome. I've been wanting a color Sidekick, but with BT and my phone, this may serve well enough, along with saving the extra data fee for the Sidekick.

RE: What about --
rsc1000 @ 7/17/2003 3:10:43 PM #
Why do you all think that there is no portait mode? I am hoping spny is not so dumb as to break compatibility with all of the apps that use their hi-res+ API. Think about this - the simple addition of portrait mode adds the ability to run what has become hundreds of apps that use this - surely they would f$@% that up? OK - they might. But i'm betting portrait mode is their.

Now for some real beefs:
-The keyboard should have a more 'laptop' like look and feel (like on many wince landscazpe devices of yor).
-a freaking d-pad! come on sony - your the PalmOS manufacturer who openly declares yr devices (its what the name clie stand for for petes sake) as enterainment devices - so let us play games already.
-screw the camera. get rid of it , making the device narrower when in tablet mode and then - presto! - it might fit in the pocket of a actual humn being!

All complaints aside, this looks like a very cool and innovative device.

RE: What about --
JonAcheson @ 7/17/2003 3:47:31 PM #
John Bartley,

I do wonder why anyone wanting to input via graffiti, left or right-handed, would be using such an obviously keyboard-centric device in the first place.

"All opinions posted are my own, and not those of my employers, who are appalled."

RE: What about --
mikecane @ 7/17/2003 5:46:21 PM #
Foo sputtered: "So, Mike. The screen isn't square, eh? Hmm...who was it that said this screen would not be landspace? ;-)"

-- I ate my crow in the original thread where I said that. Did you?!

And Decuma is a great handwriting recognition alternative to that Spawn of Satan: Graffiti 2! Go try Decuma on the new NXes, the 73 and 80.

RE: What about --
Foo Fighter @ 7/17/2003 6:01:40 PM #
Mike Cane: "Did you?!"

Did I what?

My blog:

RE: What about --
JKingGrim @ 7/17/2003 10:30:45 PM #
I do wonder why anyone wanting to input via graffiti, left or right-handed, would be using such an obviously keyboard-centric device in the first place.

What if its dark and you can't see the keys? Or what if you cant stand the @%#$&$* keyboard!

RE: What about --
Fly-By-Night @ 7/18/2003 5:28:08 AM #
Backlit keyboard matey!


Ceci n'est pas une signature.

Just about right

izadwen @ 7/17/2003 10:57:28 AM #
I have been sitting on a SJ20 for a while now and I have to say, this one has got my attention. Sure its not perfect, but all the people complaining about, the missing CF, the amount of memory, the awkwardness of one hand use, all have to understand that concessions have to be made. You me not get exactly what you want but give Sony credit for pushing the limit. Now to find the Ca$h


orev @ 7/17/2003 11:11:16 AM #
What, there's no DVD player? Not even DSS 5.1 digital sound? It better have at least 1 GB of RAM in there, otherwise it is a total waste of money. It may do Wi-Fi, but that's soooo out of date. Where's the 802.16 WiMAX? What about Firewire? Where's the 1600x1200 screen? How about the battery life - it better last at least 6 months between charges, I mean, come on!

Anything over $50 for this unit is going to miss out on their target market anyway...

What's the problem Sony?? Are you listening?!

(I figured I'd get the ball rolling - I know some dumbass is going to start in with stuff like this)

RE: Sucks!
mikecane @ 7/17/2003 11:20:44 AM #
Oh, hell. All I want is portrait mode! What's so wrong -- or technically difficult! -- about that?!

RE: Sucks!
reigndub @ 7/17/2003 11:48:25 AM #
what is totally strange, This dual wireless handheld can't handle streaming media whatsoever.

The OS is not able to handle streaming .mp3 or video. It cannot do video conferencing either, despite having camera and WiFi/BT.

Man the OS is really showing some strain against cutting edge hardware.

What do people suppose to use this dual wireless for? email, browser and IM? Such a shiny hardware, and so little software capability.

RE: Sucks!
mashoutposse @ 7/17/2003 12:05:18 PM #
Mikecane: Wasn't it you who INSISTED that this new Clie COULDN'T POSSIBLY have a landscape screen layout???

Please ****, friend.

RE: Sucks!
a3 @ 7/17/2003 12:06:49 PM #
Well, correct me if Im wrong but according to Infosync it can paly video at 30fps. This may not be streaming video when compared to my DVD player but it definitely beats the crap out of any other PDA (Palm and Pocket).

Regarding Mike's portrait mode request: why don't you wait until next friday? If not here's my guess: since they allow the screen to flip then they can do two things: allow a right end virtual grafitti to pop out and then portrait mode will be there. Kinda awkward since the hard buttons were not included below the screen as with the latest Clie's even though there seems to be space left. On the other hand, since they used Palm OS5.2 you'll write on the screen so no VG area will be needed and landscape will be the only way... in othe words, lets wait until next friday.

Already a Tapwave's Helix fan.

RE: Sucks!
rened @ 7/17/2003 12:10:46 PM #
@orev: that's what we have laptops for :-) I don't want a dvd-player sized pda.

RE: Sucks!? NOT!!!!
a3 @ 7/17/2003 12:32:29 PM #
Well maybe somebody else said it already, but just in case: IT HAS A COOL ORANGE BACKLIGHT KEYBOARD!!!!

Already a Tapwave's Helix fan.
RE: Sucks!
Be_True @ 7/17/2003 12:55:51 PM #
"30 fps beats the crap out of all the other PDA's"

Since when??

My Tungsten C can do 100 fps
without a "graphics engine"

Why isn't this one faster?

RE: Sucks!
mashoutposse @ 7/17/2003 1:11:23 PM #
Your Tungsten C doesn't play MPEG files. It plays Kinoma .pdb's, which definitely aren't MPEGs. Every Palm OS5 device can play these at framerates (far) exceeding 100fps.

This Sony will allow you to transfer your MPEG files from the desktop WITHOUT CONVERSION and play them at 30fps. NO other PDA can do this at this time.

RE: Sucks!
Be_True @ 7/17/2003 2:07:51 PM #
I stand corrected.

Thanks for clearing that up.
I knew something wasn't adding up right.

By the way, what is the CPU speed of the Clie UX-50?


RE: Sucks!
bcombee @ 7/17/2003 2:19:06 PM #
OS 5 isn't preventing anyone from writing streaming media software. It had most of the support needed, including strong networking and sound playback. The only real limitation would be not having a good multimedia timing infrastructure which is needed to syncronize audio and video playback. You can still do that, but it becomes more difficult for the application.

Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at
hotpaw4 @ 7/17/2003 3:12:07 PM #
According to this web page: ,
the "Handheld Engine" ARM926 CPU in the UX50 clocks at a max of 123 MHz. That's slower than the OMAP in the TT. Like the OMAP, the HHE includes a DSP, this one optimized for MPEG video and 2D graphics. Also included on-chip is lots of high-speed frame buffer memory. If Sony opens up the API's, this might make for a very nice handheld gaming machine.

The 4.5 hours using wifi is excellent battery life. That's seems to be the beneficial trade-off one gets in return for a slower CPU and only 16 MB of RAM storage memory (but you also get 16 MB of program memory + 22 MB of built-in card memory + 16 MB of suspend/backup memory).

The UX50 is also thicker, and higher than the TT is wide, so I'd have to hold one before deciding whether this Sony small enough for a use as a pocketable handheld.

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