Additional Details on the New Sony NR Series
Since Sony announced the PEG-NR70 and PEG-NR70V in Japan earlier this week, they have garnered unprecedented attention. While as much information was released as possible immediately after the announcement, the original report was a bit sketchy in some areas, mostly due to the English/Japanese language barrier but in some cases because the information simply wasn't available yet. Some additional details on these new handhelds is now available.
This isn't a full repeat of everything from the announcement article. If this is the first you've heard of the NR series, you should read that article first.
The NR series has the enhanced speaker from the T series. Unlike the N760C, which they are replacing, they can play MP3s through this built-in speaker without the headphones. Of course, music sounds better and louder through the earbud headphones. Unlike previous models, there are small openings on the back to let the sound pass through.
There is a rumor going around that they have also can do audio recording. This simply is not true.
As everyone should know by now, these pack a 480 by 320 16-bit color screen. According to witnesses, the screen is brighter than a T600C but not as bright as an N750C at max brightness. The brightness level is adjustable. The colors are better than on the T series model, too, with stronger reds.
According to people who have had an opportunity to take these handhelds for a test drive, Virtual Graffiti is on by default. The application launcher always has the Graffiti area up and there is no way to turn it off. The NR series comes with a couple of apps that use the full screen, like an image viewer. However, the built-in apps, the Address Book, Calendar, etc., have the Virtual Graffiti area displayed and there is no way to switch to full-screen mode.
It will be up to individual developers to create apps that make use of the larger screen. Sony has given developers access to the the APIs needed to create applications for its hi-res screens before. It is only logical that they will do so for this new screen.
When writing in the Graffiti area, lines appear briefly on the screen where the stylus touches. This provides feedback for the user.
Actually, the Graffiti area isn't the only option. These handhelds can also display a virtual keyboard, useful for some when in tablet mode.
When these handhelds are in tablet mode, the hardware buttons aren't accessible. They have been replaced with small icons on the bottom of the screen. There is also a battery level display there.
The keyboard is not one piece of soft plastic like some small keyboards. Each key is an individual piece that moves when pressed.
As stated earlier, the NR series is 5.4 by 2.8 by .65 inches when closed. Though no one would call them slim, they have a fairly normal width and depth. However, they are the tallest Palm OS models to date. A comparison with Sony's T600C really brings this out.
It's made of magnesium, which is stronger and more scratch resistant than aluminium. It uses the same HotSync port from the T series so these can share many of the same peripherals.
In one of the most unusual features of the NR series, the stylus slot is on the bottom, next to the HotSync port.
There is a button to the left of the camera on the outside of the hinge that, when pressed, launches the camera application. If it's already running, a picture is taken.
Despite some people's hopes, the NR series has only one Memory Stick slot. The Memory Stick fits almost all the way into its slot, sitting deeper than in any previous model.
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