MobileInfocenter

Sony Announces the Clie VZ90 Handheld For Japan

Sony Japan has released a new Clie for the Japanese market only. The Clie PEG-VZ90 is a Palm OS multimedia Clie handheld, that features a large OLED screen, slider hidden buttons, plentiful memory and WiFi.

The Sony Clie VZ90 features a 3.8 inch, 65k color organic EL display, with a 480x320 pixel resolution. According to Sony, the display provides a contrast ratio of 1000:1, a fast response time and a 180-degree viewing angle. This is the first Palm OS handheld to ship with a OLED screen.

The handheld runs Sony's 123 MHz handheld engine system on the Japanese version of Palm OS Garnet v5.2.1. It includes, 64MB of RAM, of which 40MB is user available, as well as 128MB of built in Flash, where 95MB of that is available to the user. The unit also features dual memory expansion, with a memory stick PRO slot and a Compact Flash Type I/II slot that can also accommodate select IO CF expansion cards. The handheld also has built in WiFi wireless and a IR port for connectivity.

The unit places a strong emphasis on multimedia, with a included range of media software for playing audio and mp3's, watching movies (MPEG4 supported) and photos. The screen is primarily orientated horizontally, with a hidden row of buttons and a control pad which slides outs from behind, it is sandwiched on the sides by a pair of stereo speakers. The display can be used in both vertical and horizontal modes, depending on the application. The unit also includes Sony's Clie Organizer PIM software.

The handheld has dimensions of 109mm (W) x 87mm (H) x 23mm (D) (4.3 x 3.4 x .86 inches) and weights in at 270g (9.5 ounces). It has a internal Li-ion Polymer rechargeable battery that Sony claims will last up to 18 days, given 30 minutes of use per day in dim mode.

The VZ90 has a price tag of 89,800 Yen (approximately $820 USD). It will be available in Japan on September 25, but will very unlikely be sold outside of Japan, as Sony has announced they will no longer market or release handhelds for the US and European markets.

Thanks to Rich, Alfredo, Jonathan and other for the tip.

Article Comments

 (40 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down

1223MHz?

edabe @ 9/14/2004 1:29:53 PM #
I guess you mean '128MHz'...

:-)



RE: 1223MHz?
Admin @ 9/14/2004 2:06:29 PM #
thanks, you got me, meant 123

Grey Market

RhinoSteve @ 9/14/2004 2:02:19 PM #
The grey market is going to be huge for this one in the states! I don't see one if these Stateside for less than a grand. Why didn't they do this in the States? Simple, Japanese are more prone to pay higher prices for consumer electronics than Americans.
RE: Grey Market
ray00pal @ 9/20/2004 10:13:07 PM #
I would have wanted to by 10000 of VZ90. Too bad they don't sell it here! This is my dream Clie!

Sweet OLED

JarJar @ 9/14/2004 2:06:17 PM #
Too bad this device ain't available in US, but I hope we'll see more electronic devices with OLED screens in the next year. I want my OLED.

Bright colors like wild crazy!

RE: Sweet OLED
Ezra4no1 @ 9/14/2004 4:07:21 PM #
Ok... somone help me out here..

What makes Oled so great? If I understand correctly... Doesn't OLED have a lower life span than current LCDs?

RE: Sweet OLED
abosco @ 9/14/2004 7:15:04 PM #
The advantage is battery life. OLED means Organic Light Emitting Diode, and in short, it means when electrical current flows through the pixels, the color that is created actually gives off light. This is actually bright enough to null the need for a backlight. See where this is going? You end up with a screen that's bright, yet doesn't need a backlight, so you can make a MUCH thinner device, as well as it having incredible battery life since the biggest battery drain is indeed backlighting.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T637
RE: Sweet OLED
JarJar @ 9/14/2004 10:57:43 PM #
OLED currently has a shorter life span than LCD so it isn't good for things like monitors that are on all the time.

A PDA or Camera isn't on all the time. If you think about it, a PDA screen is probably on for a few hours a month. At this rate the OLED could theoretically last for decades (although the PDA wouldn't).

Less battery power is one benefit. Fantastic picture is where the OLED really shines. Add to that, literal paper thin dimensions and weight. OLED was made to go with PDAs.

RE: Sweet OLED
sledgehammer @ 9/15/2004 6:33:49 AM #
Despite the OLED screen, it ends up being 0.86" thick, definitely on the bulky side.
RE: Sweet OLED
JonathanChoo @ 9/15/2004 11:30:10 AM #
It has a 2600mAh battery. That explains the thickness. Sony is probably marketing this as a TiVo like player for those who wants PDA functions as well. Expect the next version to include a proper harddrive.

--
Generic PDA > 5mx > Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > m550 > h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630 > K700i (nxt week)

"handheld engine" kinda weak

pkuhns @ 9/14/2004 2:25:38 PM #
Am I the only one who thinks this 128 (123?) MHz handheld engine seems kinda weak? My NX70, which is not exactly speed racer, has a 200 MHz chip.


Perhaps Sony's motherboard offloads a lot of video processing to a separate chip and leaves the little handheld engine to pure processing?

Nokia 3650 bluetooth magnate

RE:
just_little_me @ 9/14/2004 6:29:16 PM #

You can't compare MHz ratings between different CPU's. There is so much more involved than plain clock speed ratings - and it's only dumbo's who trust those ratings. That's the old trick Intel used to play against the Mac community - it's now coming back to bite them on the ar$e... :-)


JLM.

RE:
abosco @ 9/14/2004 7:17:33 PM #
No, you can indeed compare MHz ratings to each other if they have the same ARM core. Regardless, the HHE is slow as hell, and anybody who uses a Clie with that horrible 123 MHz processor will tell you so (and if they don't, you'll hear the inevitable "it's good enough for me!").

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + T637
RE:
JonathanChoo @ 9/15/2004 7:11:41 AM #
Maybe you can on processors using ARM9 instructions but on x86 processors you can't. So many things can be a factor from the chipset to type of memory to FSB, cache size etc etc etc. Even Intel's own CPU (Pentiums) can't be compared Mhz to Mhz despite it all being x86.

--
Generic PDA > 5mx > Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > m550 > h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630 > K700i (nxt week)
RE:
Wolfgard @ 9/15/2004 9:51:56 AM #
Yes, you can't compare on the x86 line of processors due to numbers of instructions executed per sec and all, BUT from what I know, most ARM processors are comparable. The TH55 (which uses the 123mhz Sony HE), chugs when displaying Divx video even when compared to a z71 144mhz Texas OMAP!

Maybe the VZ90 has a dedicated graphics processor like the Zodiac. That should help offload some processing off the processor.

pen & paper -> m515 -> Zire72

RE:
jho4thclie @ 9/15/2004 10:21:01 AM #
Whether or not you "can" compare processors via clock alone is irrelevant.

The 123MHz HHE is damn slow compared to my 400MHz T|C, and that's what counts. :-D

-JWH

RE:
Edward Green @ 9/15/2004 2:13:27 PM #
The Handheld engine has dedicated Media processors, which I seem to recall only Sony knows how to use.

So they have gone back to the days of the n770c et al(still have one) which will still play mp3 in the background and play games better than my 144mhz Treo, because it has seperate Audio hardware.

Well that is the theory. I have no idea what sort of slowdown the Sony Media players actually give ...

Edward Green
--
http://www.khite.co.uk

I want one...

GearHead @ 9/14/2004 2:55:55 PM #
I thought SOny was out of Palm business. Maybe they change their mind. Anyways if they decide to release on in U.S. I definetely want one. As long as it come with the new 270 series Intel processors at least 312MHz. I love the SONY Craftsmanship, I am sure this would be a winner. Think about almost same time as Palm about to relase their new handhelds...

Palm III>Palm IIIx>PalmV>PalmVx>Palm m505>Palm M515>Tungsten T
Dell X30 624Mhz w/BT+Wi-Fi
Nokia 6600 w/BT

RE: I want one...
LiveFaith @ 9/14/2004 3:46:07 PM #
Wow,
Imagine gaming on that! OLED awesome. I wonder if Sonly will do an OS6 unit, since they are rumored to be disappointed with PSRCs direciton?

At first glimpse, this device hearkened back to PSRC execs putting out feelers for a "notebook" / "tablet" device running POS. I wonder if that's alive anywhere in siliconville?

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com

RE: I want one...
Sleuth255 @ 9/14/2004 4:29:16 PM #
Damn! Now that is some crazy sh!t!

Innovation aint dead in PDA land yet!

RE: I want one...
statik @ 9/14/2004 6:04:39 PM #
The screen is great, but to be honest, everybody was expecting OLED, so it is no surprise there.

The jog dial on the other hand? The jog dial / dpad combination is an awesome idea. It even looks like the jog dial is useable when the Palm is folded up.

Too bad Sony is only releasing this for the Japan market. Oh well, let's see what PalmOne can come up with. Are you listing PalmOne? That's the EXACT style of Dpad I want on the T5 or whatever is next!

RE: I want one...
hkklife @ 9/14/2004 8:05:08 PM #
BEST d-pad (from the looks of it, at least) on a Sony yet!! I have to admit that this one came out of nowhere. I figured Sony would just slowly wind down Japan Clie operations just like the USA...a shame about that CPU, however.

Junk

UZI4U182 @ 9/14/2004 5:08:09 PM #
As far as I'm concerned, it's a worthless addition to the market. The only thing new about it is the screen. Wow, way to go Sony, still continuing on with your little "stepping stone" CLIÉ's.

I would never buy this, or even consider it for that matter. Also, it's probably huge if it also has a CF slot.

UZI4U182@suscom.net
Main PDA: NX70v + WL100
http://clieflash.shorturl.com

VZ90

JeffreyM @ 9/14/2004 7:08:49 PM #
Hmm, I'd never buy it, I use a Newton MP 2100 myself, but the OLED certainly sounds interesting.. It does have Sony's usual design shortfalls (i.e. ease of use, what ease of use?..)

-Jeff

Which one would you buy?

Rome @ 9/14/2004 7:35:39 PM #
I know that I am comparing apples and oranges somewhat, but would you buy:

The Clie VZ90 for around $850

Or

The OQO for around $2,000.

For those of you who are not familiar with OQO, you can find out more about it at www.oqo.com.


It was an easy decision for me, VZ90 in a nano-second.

RE: Which one would you buy?
JonathanChoo @ 9/15/2004 12:37:00 AM #
Why the OQO when you can have a Sony Vaio U50/U70 now?

--
Generic PDA > 5mx > Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > m550 > h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630 > K700i (nxt week)
RE: Which one would you buy?
GearHead @ 9/15/2004 7:27:39 AM #
It seems like SONY got their essence from OQO. I wish OQO was a little cheaper though! I am ready to shell out $1,000 for OQO. It seems great. I wonder what kind of processor in it? Does it come with a bigger HD? I am sure in near future others will follow OQO concept. Either way it is a very innovative idea.

Palm III>Palm IIIx>PalmV>PalmVx>Palm m505>Palm M515>Tungsten T
Dell X30 624Mhz w/BT+Wi-Fi
Nokia 6600 w/BT
RE: Which one would you buy?
yusakugo @ 9/15/2004 9:51:52 AM #
The unit comes with a 1Gz transmeta processor. I don't think the HD is upgradable yet... since the HD is likely a 1-1.5 inch drive to maintain the size of this thing!

I think comparing the Sony PDAs to the OQO is like apples and oranges... the OQO is technically a fully functioning ultra-mini-laptop from what I'm reading (sans floppy or optical drive built in).

Rich

RE: Which one would you buy?
A9700rO @ 9/15/2004 12:48:08 PM #
OQO... you all know it slaps all the Palm OS devices out there, It's a "uPC" as they put it... Palm OS, is a PDA. PDA's sync, etc with a PC. So, yeah, OQO is superior.

RE: Which one would you buy?
hyperdaz @ 9/15/2004 4:34:14 PM #
VZ90 Dimentions.... 109mm (W) x 87mm (H) x 23mm (D) (4.3 x 3.4 x .86 inches)

OQO Dimensions: 4.9" x 3.4" x .9"....

its over 3 times bigger then my palm... so hows this the same



Portrait Mode

teryan2006 @ 9/14/2004 8:59:23 PM #
The VZ90 does have portrait mode. Atleast in CLIE organizer.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/14/sony_peg_vz90/

Best PDA Screen So Far...

ender wiggins @ 9/14/2004 11:50:35 PM #
Check out the screen quality at the Japan's Clie Users Club web site. They compare it to a couple of other Clies and the VZ90 screen quality is in a league of its own. Too bad it doesn't play DVD movies :(

http://www.clieclub.jp/review/rev_vz90/index.html

Sony Is So Good At Being Maddening!

phoneboy @ 9/15/2004 12:37:43 AM #
I love, love, LOVE my Clie UX-50. It kills my T3 in so many ways. (I can't beleive I ever compared the two.)

I would kill to get an OLED in my UX-50. (I love the keyboard, wi-fi, and BT.)

Why would Sony just pull out of the US market? It made sense to me when I thought they were dropping their Palm PDA line all togehter, but with all of the R&D, design, testing, and manufacturing costs required for new Japanese units, it seems that those costs would be more easily defrayed when supported by the US market as well.

Sony's combination of proprietary software/hardware, overpriced MS, and must-have innovative cool design makes me crazy. Pulling it all out of the US just adds insult to injury.

RE: Sony Is So Good At Being Maddening!
yusakugo @ 9/15/2004 9:55:47 AM #
Not if they have to sell it at such an elevated price. Even with a limited production run, the costs of importing the units to the US and the marketing on top of the low number of sales probably doesn't add up for Sony... they probably would lose money from doing so. $850 will get you a pretty decent laptop already that may not be as portable but is certainly much more powerful. The Japanese market (and many of the Asian markets) are more likely to pay the premium for such devices... Sony has a target number for sales to break even on the unit. Sony probably can sell tens of thousands of these units in Asia where the market in the US and Europe is just a fraction of that for their high end units.

It also seems that Sony's experience in the European and US markets of having people return CLIEs because of their complexity (not because the units were defective) was another reason Sony didn't want to support these markets... they were losing more money in the returns and the technical support that they wouldn't face in the Japanese market.

Rich

not in US

swatts3413 @ 9/15/2004 4:08:55 AM #
I am so glad I don't want this since I can't have it anyway

Not fair!!!

A9700rO @ 9/15/2004 12:37:34 PM #
This bool-shee-it isn't fair, that one, I'd consider over my Zire 72..!!!

RE: Not fair!!!
hyperdaz @ 9/15/2004 4:41:17 PM #
wonders how many ppl want demand an OLED Display for the new T5??????

id luv one p1

woow
I.M Anonymous @ 9/15/2004 6:28:22 PM #
u guys are so freaken nerdy lol...get lives

RE: Not fair!!!
GearHead @ 9/15/2004 7:47:17 PM #
I AM PROUD TO BE A NERD. I THINK YOU SHOULD TRY IT! INSTEAD OF BEING A JERK!

Palm III>Palm IIIx>PalmV>PalmVx>Palm m505>Palm M515>Tungsten T
Dell X30 624Mhz w/BT+Wi-Fi
Nokia 6600 w/BT
RE: Not fair!!!
Strider_mt2k @ 9/16/2004 6:49:55 AM #
Say it, brother!

Top

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass:

Latest Comments