Comments on: Sony Clie TJ37 Handheld Review

The Sony Clie TJ37 is a new mid range personal entertainment organizer from Sony. The TJ37 incorporates a high resolution screen, built in WiFi wireless and a digital camera. Read on for the full review.
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Missed negative?

Gar @ 4/26/2004 7:20:04 PM #
OK... what am I missing? This seems like such a great device. Why isn't it getting serious press? A business unit that is too much for the personal users?

My wife has to sell a lot of candles ( to buy her new Palm.
RE: Missed negative?
Hal2000 @ 4/26/2004 7:35:08 PM #
All that for $242.00
Are we snobs or what?

1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Missed negative?
Timothy Rapson @ 4/26/2004 7:47:08 PM #
For the same price you can get an HP 1945 with all this plus virtual input area, SD expansion, hot swappable battery, and 64 meg of RAM. True, the HP lacks the camera, but for many people a camera model PDA is a minus as cameras are barred from so many places.

That HP will also get twice the battery life.
If this model or the coming Zire 72 had virtual grafitti I would be first in line to buy one. As it is, I am more than happy to forego memory stick and grafitti II.

Gotta' say though, that if someone can take hard grafitti and memory stick, the TJs are very good values. We would have killed for these features and prices when OS 5 debuted 18 months ago.

RE: Missed negative?
rojo @ 4/26/2004 7:59:45 PM #
I've been using my jt-37 for about a month, and I love it. I used to have a Palm TE and the battery life is much better in the Clie. While using WiFi, the battery goes a bit fast, but it pretty good.

The camera wasn't really desired when I bought it, but now I really like it. It's nice to have a camera to make a photo diary of sorts.

As I did with my TE, I replaced the graffiti2 with with the origional, and I have a Vaio PC, so memory sticks are compatable.

I am really impressed with the Netfront browser. It can handle almost any website.

Overall it's my best PalmOS device I've had (not that I've had the most high end devices).

Pilot1000 > PalmIIIx > Palm m105 > Palm m500 > Palm TE > Clie JT-37

RE: Missed negative?
gfunkmagic @ 4/26/2004 8:33:26 PM #
>>>>>For the same price you can get an HP 1945 with >>>all this plus virtual input area, SD expansion, hot >>swappable battery, and 64 meg of RAM

Hello?! The h1945 does NOT have wifi!! How can you compare them? There is no other handheld in the market right now for which you can get a lower price with integrated wifi...not even the Dell Axim X3i. This combined with the VGA camera, decent software bundle (Piscel, DTG Decuma etc) for all under $250 USD is damned good deal....

I support


RE: Missed negative?
hotpaw4 @ 4/26/2004 11:23:51 PM #
>For the same price you can get an HP 1945

Furthermore, the hp1945 has a display that's 25% smaller, in terms of pixel count.

RE: Missed negative?
Timothy Rapson @ 4/27/2004 8:34:28 AM #
And the TJ37 won't have the bluetooth.

RE: Missed negative?
Timothy Rapson @ 4/27/2004 8:36:03 AM #
By the way, these are perfect models for the Office Max deal of the week. They are offering $100 off any PDA priced $299 or higher and there is another $20 off too. This week you can get either the HP 1945 or the TJ37 for an amazing $179 after rebate. Great deals both.

Most of my negativity over the Palm OS models of the past year has been the SSS (small square screen). It is just way out of date. I begrudge the device even the wasted side and top margins. In my ultimate PDA very tiny buttons along the bottom should be the only thing on the front that is not display screen. The hard grafitti area is the most wasted space feature of any design and it is out of pure cheapness. It can't cost that much to make the whole screen area useful for reading and viewing info when you don't need to enter anything.

RE: Missed negative?
a_nonamiss @ 4/27/2004 8:52:53 AM #
>For the same price you can get an HP 1945 with all this
>plus virtual input area, SD expansion, hot swappable
>battery, and 64 meg of RAM. True, the HP lacks the
>camera, but for many people a camera model PDA is a
>minus as cameras are barred from so many places.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the PPC machines have a 240 x 360 screen? How can you knock the Sony unit when it has a 360 x 360 display AND it doesn't waste ANY of that space on an input area. If you truly want to emulate that experience, just take two pieces of electrical tape, cover up 60 pixels of the screen on each side of the unit, and use the Decuma input system, which takes up space on the screen. That would get you pretty close to what the average PPC experience.


Palm Pilot 1000 > Palm Pilot Professional > Palm III > Palm M100 > Sony Clié PEG-T415 > Palm T|T3

RE: Missed negative?
Luisito @ 4/27/2004 9:27:51 AM #
I also think this model rocks. Wifi and Camera for under 300$, unbelievable...

I am currently very happy with my tungsten C and I doubt I would go back to a pda without keyboard, but the Tj37 offers BIG value..

I wonder how the zire72 would compete against this baby.

I hope palmone comes with something very similar to this baby but with sdio support and 5 way navigator...

RE: Missed negative?
mikecane @ 4/27/2004 9:43:54 AM #
>>Correct me if I'm wrong

OK, I will.

>>but don't the PPC machines have a 240 x 360 screen?

240x320. And by the end of this year, 480x640 -- and maybe even 240x240 (snicker!).

RE: Missed negative?
alexp @ 4/27/2004 9:53:11 AM #
Office Depot, not OfficeMax, is offering $100 off any PDA priced $299 or higher.

But it was 3 days only, starting Sunday, so today, Tuesday, is the last day.

If you're in the market for the TJ37, better hurry to your local OD today. Only $199 + tax after rebate. Not bad if you don't mind Memory Stick, don't need BT, but want WiFi and the camera.

RE: Missed negative?
Altema @ 4/27/2004 12:50:39 PM #
"240x320. And by the end of this year, 480x640 -- and maybe even 240x240 (snicker!)"

I've been using HVGA for over half a year now, and Toshiba already has VGA. It's sluggish, but still VGA.

RE: Missed negative?
hotpaw4 @ 4/27/2004 7:09:41 PM #
someone wrote:
> It can't cost that much to make the whole screen area useful for reading and viewing info when you don't need to enter anything.

Compare the prices of the TJ37 and the TH55 for some information about the cost ratio increase a bigger display requires. Note also that the TH55 had to use a slower CPU to make up for the power required to (refreshing and backlight) its bigger display.

It's not a free trade-off.

RE: Missed negative?
abosco @ 4/27/2004 11:22:14 PM #
The missed negative is what you infer from the device itself. Sure, it has some really awesome features including multimedia, a camera, all the business features and software bundles, plus the (major) included Wifi, but the one gotcha is the square screen. Well, at least it's still faster than the TH55. Man I hate that Handheld Engine.

Even though the pixel count is higher and fonts will look a lot smoother, a physically larger QVGA (240x320) screen looks about the same as a physicall smaller 320x320 screen. You can see the individual pixels on the PPC because it's bigger but less dense, but the screen is too small on the Palm even though it is denser. It's a tradeoff. HVGA is the saving grace. Pay another hundred dollars extra, you get the TH55 (with the damn HHE!).

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Missed negative?
a_nonamiss @ 4/28/2004 9:13:43 AM #
OK, I stand humbled and corrected.

So cover up 40 pixels on each side, instead of 60. :)

I should know better than to try to bash PPC folks without getting my numbers straight. :)


Palm Pilot 1000 > Palm Pilot Professional > Palm III > Palm M100 > Sony Clié PEG-T415 > Palm T|T3

RE: Missed negative?
mikecane @ 4/28/2004 10:46:56 AM #
Don't worry about it. Consider it a typo. I once got the VGA pixel count wrong -- in a PPC forum too!

What makes me laugh is how all the PPC kultist kiddies are raving that WinMob SE can now do 240x240 screens. Gee, and after all those years of sneeeeeeering at PalmOS square screens.

What's next? A Hard Input Area? Ha!

RE: Missed negative?
JonathanChoo @ 4/28/2004 2:37:41 PM #
240x240 is useless for PPC. You can go to and marvel at the usefulness (lack of) of 240x240 screens with the keyboard turned on.

I of course will be looking forward to VGA screens next year once software support is increased. The h1945 is a nice device although hampered by a bad yellowish screen (ironically built by Sony). Hardware wise the h1945 is better at only 127g in weight. The stylus is very thin but better than Sony's toothpick.

The TJ does have its advantage, slightly higher resolution and a digital camera.

Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630

Battery Life?

Strider_mt2k @ 4/26/2004 7:46:50 PM #
Battery life doesn't seem so hot, especially when using WIFI. It's cool looking though.

Too bad

mikecane @ 4/27/2004 9:40:05 AM #
1) Those camera samples are really crap! Do TJ37 owners really get such bad results consistently?

2) They should have made it BLACK, not silver:

RE: Too bad
alexp @ 4/27/2004 9:56:21 AM #
Sony's PDA cameras have primarily been weak. But often we're coaxed into treating them as a really cool feature. I'll admit to being "wowed" by the camera on my old NR-70V--wasn't the most compelling feature, but cool.

I agree on the idea of a black casing. To me, one of the greatest-looking PDAs ever is still the IBM C5x, their version of the Palm Vx, but with a black aluminum casing. If I could find a PDA with that form factor, casing, flip cover, and stylus, but with a 320x480 transreflective 64k color screen, built-in WiFi and BT, and decent battery life, all for the Vx's old price of $400, I'd probably buy 3 so that I'd never have to use anything else the rest of my life--just break out the new one when the old one dies.

RE: Too bad
mikecane @ 4/28/2004 10:49:36 AM #
>>>I'd probably buy 3 so that I'd never have to use anything else the rest of my life--just break out the new one when the old one dies.

You'd also have to learn to burn ROMs and tweak the OS to suit the hardware for your OS upgrades!

No back button?

alexp @ 4/27/2004 10:02:44 AM #
Part of the charm and utility of the original jog dial was the back button. The jog dial functionality on the T615C/T665C units was amazing--you could access menus and categories, etc., essentially allowing you to use the PDA without the stylus in most cases. The back button was a key ingredient. Look at the original Jornada 54X series, or the Axim X5--both have "jog wheels" with no back button, and they're crippled by it. Imagine surfing the web without the back arrow on the browser.

Now Sony puts the jog dial on the back of the unit (TH55) or on the front (TJ series), attempting to create some kind of tricked-up D-pad. Then they lose the back button. Nice, Sony: take a GREAT feature that's NOT broken, attempt to fix it, and screw up the functions in the process.

There was a time when Sony seemed so dominant as a result of superior engineering and functionality. Now as they attempt to add more compelling functions (cheap access to WiFi is quite compelling), they continue to shoot themselves in the foot (tricked-up jog dial and LAAAAAME stylus). One step forward and one step back takes you...nowhere.

Comparing to TH55

chrisdaft @ 4/27/2004 10:40:44 AM #
The TH55 has the somewhat controversial new Clie Office application, a slower processor, and a 320x480 screen instead of the 320x320 in this model. Are there any other significant differences? The better screen would be nice but does not seem to be worth a $100 price difference...

RE: Comparing to TH55
Timothy Rapson @ 4/27/2004 11:21:52 AM #
The big difference does seem to be the 230 x 480. For that extra $100 they should also have included more RAM, a 1.3 MP camera and movie shooting to go along with the microphone that (I think) the TJ 37 also lacks. The TH55 probably gets better battery life. The TJ37 is probably faster for most work. The TH is thinner? The TJ shorter. I like the clear TH cover better, but old Palm Vx users might prefer the TJ cover.

RE: Comparing to TH55
Psiborg @ 4/27/2004 1:53:53 PM #
We have one of each in our house and both are great! The TH-55's slower proc hasn't been noticable but the longer (WAAAY longer) battery life has. The TH-55 also has a voice recorder (frankly I don't use this) and more available RAM (32 vs 23 usable). The bigger screen is a big perk. However, the camera on the TJ-37 is much better than the TH-55. They are supposed to be identical I thought so perhaps I just got a dud? The Clie organizer is a mixed bag, I like the date book and Free notes but don't use much else. As there are both good datebook and freenote replacements out there, I wouldn't say Clie notes is a big selling point. But the hardware is great.
RE: Comparing to TH55
chrisdaft @ 4/27/2004 2:24:32 PM #
Thanks for your comments. Yes, the big screen is a big deal, no doubt about it.

RE: Comparing to TH55
mikecane @ 4/28/2004 10:51:53 AM #
>>>The TH-55's ... longer (WAAAY longer) battery life


wlan sticker

kezza @ 4/27/2004 10:56:14 AM #
that mysterious wlan sticker next to the IR is probably the location of the wifi antenna. it's nice to know where it is so you don't accidentally cover it with your finger.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

Probably going to flop.

viqsi @ 4/27/2004 1:23:06 PM #
I'm not going to say "this will definitely flop" because there's many out there desperate for WiFi, but... well, frankly, this is obviously intended to compete with the Tungsten E, and the T|E does a whole hell of a lot right that this thing does not handle well. I don't see how this is going to be an option for any but Clie users on a sudden budget or people really, really, *really* desperate for WiFi in a PalmOS PDA.

Similarities between the TJ37 and the Tungsten E:
* Size and form factor (they're virtually identical)
* RAM.
* Screen seems fairly similar (I haven't been able to do a side-by-side comparison, though)

Possible advantages of the TJ37 over the T|E:
* Wi-Fi built in (the big one)
* Camera built in (though it's a really cheap one)

Possible disadvantages of the TJ37 versus the T|E:
* $100 more (approximately)
* The TJ37's buttons royally suck :)
* T|E's Just Lightly Enhanced apps; no equivalent on TJ37
* TJ37's stylus... needs no explanation anymore :)
* 5mb less RAM user-accessible (damn!)

And of course, there's the whole Memory Stick Pro versus Secure Digital thing that really depends on whether or not you own such cards prior to your purchase.

So... is WiFi and a cheap camera really worth $100 and much poorer input? I sincerely doubt it; certainly not in my case.

RE: Probably going to flop... NOT!
Psiborg @ 4/27/2004 2:02:14 PM #
Don't forget the TJ-37 is almost 3x faster and has better battery life.
RE: Probably going to flop... NOT!
chrisdaft @ 4/27/2004 2:20:40 PM #
Isn't this the best value for a Wifi handheld? To me Wifi is just about essential and I cannot understand Palm's interest in Bluetooth.

RE: Probably going to flop.
kezza @ 4/27/2004 3:21:57 PM #
Palm has legitimate cause to be interested in bluetooth. while wifi is great where a wifi network exists, it's useless in most situations. bluetooth, OTOH, can be used anywhere to get an internet connection from a BT phone, dial remotely, etc. BT is a great replacement for little peripheral wires (at some point BT keyboards should become more common), wifi is a great replacment for an clip-on modem or ethernet connection. the fact is that sony and palm should be providing both of these in one or more of their handhelds, as they serve separate functions. For example, I'd rather surf through wifi when available and sync through BT.
It's just that in the US BT hasn't caught on the way it has in the rest of the world, so Sony just assumes that nobody here wants it, which is totally wrong of them (who do they think buys BT phones over here? the geeks who spend $300 and $400 on PDAs!).
hopefully palmOne and Sony will get their acts together and give us Americans both at once!

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"
RE: Probably going to flop... NOT!
chrisdaft @ 4/27/2004 3:41:21 PM #
I hear what you're saying, but while I use Wifi all the time I have never once used Bluetooth, not felt the need to.

RE: Probably going to flop.
viqsi @ 4/27/2004 3:46:41 PM #
* I acknowledge that I forgot to mention the processor differences (126mHz TI OMAP versus 200mHz Motorola i.MXL). I'm not sure where you get "three times faster", though. Benchmarks/examples?
* I'm not sure where the battery life idea comes from either; I get about six or seven hours continuous out of my T|E on average (not playing mp3s or anything; just regular use). But on the other hand, I don't leave the screen brightness on maximum (or as I prefer to call it, "thermonuclear" - it makes an excellent flashlight ;) ) or even anywhere above 33% regularly.

Others: I kind of already mentioned that this is only for those folks who really really need/want WiFi.

I'm not claiming the TJ37 is doomed; I just don't think it's likely to outsell the T|E.

(oh, and for the record - I have only a theoretical use for WiFi on my PDA and (currently) no use for Bluetooth anywhere. Maybe sometime in the future when such things are more ubiquitous, and not so expensive...)

some Bluetooth vs. WiFi theories
viqsi @ 4/27/2004 3:46:41 PM #
Oh, and as a random aside - I actually think Bluetooth makes the most strategic sense for Palm's PDAs.

* it consumes much less power
* it interoperates with cell phones (thus granting connectivity Anywhere you can talk to people)
* it allows for other possible accessories in the future.

WiFi by comparision "only" allows high-speed connectivity.

The idea is that there's two different classes of PDAs out there - the "quick information portal" (Palm's strategy - remember the Pilot 1000? And recently, the Zire?) rather than "das Ubersystemmachinenthingen" (the only strategy Sony seems to be able to survive on).

I'm personally in the Information Portal camp. I like having something basic that I have nearby at all times; for the high-powered stuff, I already own a laptop :). Occasionally I might want to add a few convenient little accessories,but that's it. So Bluetooth makes more sense there.

By contrast, PDA uber alles folks would likely want to be able to get the most out of their browsing experience, and have no need for accessory diversity (after all, if you need to *buy accessories*, something must be missing from your PDA! ;) ), so WiFi makes more sense there.

(Of course, I actually *have* a WiFi network right now, and don't actually own any Bluetooth devices, but still, it makes theoretical sense! :) )

RE: Probably going to flop.
Escalus @ 4/27/2004 7:04:13 PM #
I personally use Bluetooth on my T|T lots - for sending and receiving SMS (short messages) through my mobile (well, cellular) phone. Perhaps SMS isn't too popular in US yet, but I find writing on my Palm much easier than using a phone's keypad (T9 input ot otherwise).
RE: Probably going to flop.
Psiborg @ 4/27/2004 9:41:12 PM #
reply to viqsi:

I got the "almost 3x" figure from the Speedy 3.4 benchmarks. The Tungsten E clocks in at 105, the TJ-37 at 275 so really more like 2.6x faster but I couldn't remember the numbers offhand.

As a side note, the "relatively slow" TH-55 clocks in at 150. Still faster than a Zire 71 or T|E.

As for battery life. I'm am using subjective measurments comparing them to the TJ-37. I have never owned a T|E but considered buying one a while back. However, after reading many posts about it's poor battery life, decided to give it a miss.

I want the European Version!

davidtcollett @ 4/27/2004 4:58:57 PM #
All this BT v. WiFi arguing gives me a headache. There are WiFi people, there are BT people, and we all live on this great LAN. I just wish Sony would get it into their heads that some people want BOTH!!! I want them to release the TH-55 with BT/WiFi like they have in EUROPE! COME ON SONY!

RE: I want the European Version!
Strider_mt2k @ 4/27/2004 8:51:12 PM #
I'm thinking of installing a blue LED in my TH so everyone will think I have an E model.

No one I know has BT anyway, so who's to know?


RE: I want the European Version!
abosco @ 4/27/2004 11:31:47 PM #
There's a reason all Euro TH55 models are on backorder. They were ordered by informed Americans because it had dual wireless and the US model didn't. What the hell kind of idea is that? Sony will not realize they were mostly international order and will take it in as fact that Europeans are even more hungry for Bluetooth than they originally expected, and the Americans will still be stuck holding the shaft. And I'll tell ya, I've been holding on to my damn shaft for too long waiting for Sony to release a dual wireless Palm THAT ISN'T CALLED THE UX50. Man.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
RE: I want the European Version!
Strider_mt2k @ 4/28/2004 9:53:15 AM #
Perhaps it was an experiment to see where the interest lay.

I have to admit, I almost wish I had gone for the /E model, but I don't really have any use for BT, at least not right now.



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