Sony Clie PEG-UX50 and UX40 Announced
Sony has officially announced two new handhelds. The PEG-UX50 and UX40. The models have a mini laptop like design with a large swivel screen, digital camera and built in keyboard. The PEG-UX50 has both integrated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, while the UX40 only includes Bluetooth. Sony is billing the new device as a "personal entertainment communicator."
For the first time, Sony has designed, engineered and manufactured a new processor for the handheld that has been optimized with three key benefits in mind: multimedia processing, battery life and miniaturization. Dubbed the Handheld Engine™, the new processor (model CXD2230GA) is expected to find its way into future iterations of CLIÉ handhelds. By integrating various I/O functions including two-dimensional graphics engine, digital camera and Memory Stick PRO media interfaces onto a single chip, Sony was able to reduce the overall size of the CLIÉ UX50 handheld
The Handheld engine combines a Sony manufactured ARM926 based processor, a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a CXD2230GA graphics accelerator. The processor speed varies between 8 MHz and 123 MHz, depending on the demand. The system and dedicated graphics chip will support a version of OpenGL and can play back MPEG video at 30 frames per second.
The screen is a swivel design that can be rotated and used in both the flip up and tablet mode. It is a TFT color backlit display with 480x320 pixel, 65k color screen. The display is used in a horizontal landscape mode. The screen lifts to expose the keyboard, or swivels to hide the keyboard and use as a touch screen. With this design more room is available for the built in keyboard, which allows for more space between each key.
The models have a total of 104 MB or RAM. Of that 16 MB is available for traditional storage of files and programs, another 16MB is used for the dynamic heap. Another 16 MB or non-volatile memory is dedicated for system back up to save the contents of RAM when the battery is low. Finally, there is an additional 29 MB available for media storage, that acts as a traditional memory stick.
The devices has integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Bluetooth for wireless communication. The UX40 model does not include WiFi. 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 camera supports up to VGA (640x480) resolution, You can also record and play back video (MPEG4, 30 fps, 160x112) and can upload images directly to Sony's ImageStation website.
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 is an extended battery clip on accessory, the PEGA-ED40 that will increase battery life up to 3 times the standard capacity. It costs $120 and attaches to the bottom of the handheld.
"When people think of data, they typically think of office documents, or in the handheld world, things like address books or calendars. But at Sony, we see beyond the 'tool' aspect of the handheld market," said Masanobu Yoshida, president of Sony Corporation's Handheld Computing Company, "We have the capability of injecting wonder, joy and levels of customization into a portable device so it becomes like a companion or a friend to a lifestyle that uses digital technology."
The devices are now available for pre-order from SonyStyle.com. The PEG-UX50 retails for $699.99 and the UX40 is $599.99 USD. The UX50 is expected to begin shipping on or before September 12th, while the UX40 will begin on or before September 21st.
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