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Sony PEG-T415 Review Part II
By Ed Hardy
This is Part II of my review of the Sony PEG-T415. When I wrote Part I, I'd only had the T415 for a few days and I was hesitant to draw too many conclusions from my limited exposure. Now that I've had it for much longer, I stand by my original conclusions. If you haven't read the first part yet, you should go and do so now.
I hope by this time the myth of the T415's "paper white" screen has been laid to rest. It only existed in people's hopes.
The screen is slightly smaller than a typical Palm powered handheld's screen. It is 1.95 by 1.94 inches, while the Palm m505's is 2.12 by 2.12. Not a big deal but I thought it should be pointed out.
I'm not a professional photographer and my digital camera is fairly lame but I snapped a comparison shot with the T415 and a Visor Pro. It's far from the best photo I've ever taken but it does show the difference in the screen contrast and size on the two models.
I'm not saying that the screen is unreadable. It's just a bit dark. In bright light it looks great. The high-resolution part is good. If you want more screen real estate than a 160 by 160 screen can give you and you don't care about color, the T415 might be a nice option for you.
You can create images from 320 by 320 down to 160 by 120. Once created, you have various drawing tools you are probably familiar with from other drawing apps, like a pencil, an eraser, a spray can, and tools for drawing geometric shapes. You can also import small bits of clip-art.
You can open drawings you created in Clié Paint in PG Pocket and even edit any image that is in PG Pocket format.
Like I said, Clié Paint isn't a full-featured image editing program but it has two big advantages: it runs on a handheld so it can go with you everywhere and, best of all, it's free.
Before someone asks, it runs only on 320 by 320 handhelds. I tried installing it on a 160 by 160 one and it refused to run. However, if you have an N series model, you can download it from nXt's Clie Club.
If any of you want to email me an example of a picture you created with Clié Paint that you are especially proud of, I'd be happy to attach it to this review. Mine all looked like they have been created by a 3-year-old.
I think this is a darn useful function. I almost always have my handheld on me so it saves me the hassle of hunting up the remote when I want to change the channel.
Programming it is quite easy. You just need to specify type of device (TV, VCR, etc.) and the manufacturer and you are good to go. This works pretty well. I've been able to control everything I've tried to, with the irritating exception of my VCR. Still, it's worked fine with lots of other TVs and stuff I've tried.
You can also set it to do things with the Jog Dial and hardware buttons, like change channels. This makes channel surfing a breeze.
It's got a good range; at least as good as my regular remote.
The T415 comes with an app called, uncreatively enough, Sound Utility 1.0. Together with a conduit on the PC, it lets you import and play files in WAV and MIDI format. These sound pretty good. Well, to be honest, I'm not fond of MIDI music but the WAV files sound good enough that you can understand a voice.
This is Singing Bird a sound that comes with the T415. I played it on the handheld and recorded it with my computer, so this is mighty close to what it sounds like in real life.
World Alarm Clock
You can control almost anything about each individual alarm. For example, one alarm can play a tune for 30 seconds and use the vibrating alarm while another can play a different sound for five seconds, not vibrate, but blink the LED. Alarms can be set to go off once or repeat by day of the week.
When the alarm goes off, it displays a screen that looks like the one from the built-in Date Book, with an OK button and a snooze one, too.
The World Alarm Clock lives up to the other part of its name by displaying the time in three different places or time zones.
It isn't meant to be a complete Date Book replacement. It can only keep track of five alarms at any given time.
While I'm on the subject, the T415 does have something for the built-in Date Book. Once a sound has been imported with the Sound Utility, the Date Book can use it, too.
Documents to Go
I'm not terribly fond of Docs to Go's user interface but it does a great job of transferring the files between handheld and PC without messing up the formatting. In fact, it does a better job that Microsoft's own Word and Excel editor for the Pocket PC.
It clips onto the back and stretches across the top and then down the front. This blocks access to the Memory Stick slot, which really doesn't need the extra protection as it has its own door to keep out lint and such.
Sadly, it doesn't cover the stylus slot, which does need the protection. I've been worried since I got the T415 that I would lose the stylus as turning the handheld upside down and shaking it will cause the stylus to fall out.
If you like to use your handheld one handed all the time, the T415 has some great features to help. Say you are in the Address Book. Hold down the Back button for a second. The Category drop-down box will be highlighted and you can use the Jog Dial to scroll through it. Hold it down longer and the first Menu will drop down so you can scroll through it. You can even add additional functions to the menu, like Power Off or Find.
And it is really great if you read a lot of eBooks on your handheld. Scrolling down a long document is so easy.
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