Sony PEG-T615C Preliminary Review|
By Ed Hardy
The PEG-T615C, to give its full name, is Sony's new high-end color handheld. It has all the hallmarks of a good Sony device, including a hi-res color screen, a Jog Dial, a Memory Stick slot, and 16 MB of RAM.
I've only had the T615C since the middle of the day on Saturday so I haven't had a chance to fully test it out. This is mostly my first impressions, with a longer review to come later this week. I have to do it quickly because Sony wants their handheld back by the weekend.
I can confirm that the T615C's screen is a bit weak at displaying strong colors, reds especially. Its absolute brightest red is brownish. This is especially clear in Clié Paint, where you can draw big boxes or circles in the primary colors, letting you see that green also isn't terribly vibrant.
I loaded several pictures with lots of red in them into PG Pocket and looked hard at them. While I'm not thrilled, in my opinion this isn't a fatal flaw. I wish the colors were stronger but my vacation photos still look pretty good.
For those of you who want to use it as an ebook reader, its whites are very white. Black-on-white contrast is excellent. Like all hi-res Sony models, the screen is incredibly crisp and sharp. The 320 by 320 screen actually looks crisper than my monitor does.
It's also quite bright. It certainly does not suffer from the T415's dim screen. Even with its backlight dimmed down as much as it will go, it is still brighter than some of its competition. However, you'll still need to have the backlight on much of the time you are indoors, unless you are in a quite brightly-lit room.
Outdoors, the backlight becomes unnecessary. The T615C looks great in direct sunlight and much of the time I'm outdoors I can't tell if the backlight is on or off.
I don't much like to comment on the appearance of handhelds because, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have the silver model, not the blue, and I'll just say I think it looks very professional and a bit more "slick" than the N610C, which it is replacing.
Buttons and Such
The Jog Dial also looks cool and is much, much easier to use. I think I'll spare you this time my usual spiel on how great I think jog wheels are but I promise you nothing has changed. The T615C's Jog Dial makes maneuvering through long pages easier and just navigating around in the Launcher is better. Sony included a Back button, which I think is indispensable with any jog wheel.
Memory and Storage
Of course, it also has a Memory Stick slot. No Memory Stick came with it but these are readily available in sizes from 8 MB to 128 MB. The official Sony price for the 128 MB one is $150 but you can find them cheaper than that.
This slot can also be used with Sony's Memory Stick digital camera, the PEGA-MSC1. Sony has promised to loan me one of these soon so I should be able to get out a review.
You can convert WAV and MIDI sounds on your PC and move them onto your T615C and use them as alarms. This means you can have your wife or girlfriend say, "It's time to wake up" rather than just have your handheld beep at you.
Just to make it clear, the T615C has no built-in ability to play MP3s. You can buy a attachment from Sony for about $130 that will let you, though.
To program it, you just pick the name of the company who made the device you are trying to control and the type of device. You don't train it with your current remote. I've heard a couple of people say that this doesn't make it a "universal" remote. All I can say is I have a regular universal remote and it works pretty much the same way.
I've also heard a rumor that this only works with Sony electronics, which isn't at all true. It has profiles for 18 different companies, like GE, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, and Sharp.
The flip cover is the best one I can remember from any Sony model. It's leather and connects to the back and runs over the top. It looks good and works fine. I'm sure some of you will want to buy a hardcase for more protection but the T615C's flip cover will be fine for many.
The cradle is the same one from the T415, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I don't much like Sony's new cradle. It has a lot more wiring than their previous one and isn't as convenient. I guess I miss that previous Sony electric cables could double as a travel charger, which the one from the T series can't.
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