Rumor: Clie NX Series Can Use CF Memory?

ClieTokyo, a new website covering the Clie scene in Tokyo in English, is reporting that the new expansion slot in the NX series will support third party memory storage cards with clie specific drivers.

Several Sony Clie Marketing and Hardware/Software engineers were at a clie demonstration at a WiFi equipped McDonald's (!?!) in Japan.

Clie Demonstration in McDonald's JapanClieTokyo reports, "We got a chance to ask some of the engineers some questions that have been tossed around on the various CLIE forums including the big question about whether the CF slot will accept other third party STORAGE cards. And the answer was that the Clie uses a standard CF bus so that if the manufacturers create a driver for their respective memory CF cards, we should be able to use those 256MB and 512MB memory CF cards and even the 1GB microdrive!"

The Sony Clie NX70V and NX60 run Palm OS 5 on a 200mhz ARM CPU (Intel XScale PAX250). They have a high-Resolution TFT 320x480 screen, 16 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM, a new wireless expansion slot, Memory Stick slot, a built-in voice recorder, MP3 player and an internal mini keyboard. The handhelds have the similar folding clamshell design from the Sony NR series.

The NX-70V is priced at $599, and the NX60 retails for $499 USD. Both will be available in the US around the beginning of November, SonyStyle lists them as shipping on or before Oct. 28. They have just started to show up on store shelves in Asia and Japan this weekend.

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Great! :]

Lock @ 10/21/2002 10:51:26 AM #
This would be a great thing!
Look just to the possibilities: Faster speed, digital camera compatibility...
If it's true, nice move Sony... :]

RE: Great! :]
PalmPC @ 10/21/2002 12:06:06 PM #
OH Yeah! This is what will be needed for all of that Hi-Rez video and pictures we will be taking. I ordered one from Dell and they said I would get it on or by Nov 8th!!!

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity..."

RE: Great! :]
Ce @ 10/21/2002 3:18:48 PM #
Before you get too excited

here's a first review of this sony.

RE: Great! :]
gfunkmagic @ 10/21/2002 3:39:24 PM #
Also if Sony really wanted to offer wireless capabilities why didn't they just integrate BT instead of trying to offer a CF slot that supposedly only supported wifi cards?

RE: Great! :] OUCH!
Palmcicle @ 10/22/2002 1:38:35 AM #
Just finished reading the NX70v review on SPUG. My NX70 purchase plans are definitely on hold! Thanks for the heads up. I think I will check out ebay for a NR70v.

Phew! Whats that smell!?! Did someone Zire in here? Buy Palm's only a nickle.
RE: Great! :]
mcseym @ 10/22/2002 1:54:07 AM #
Read the SPUG review and what a disapointment. If you haven't gone there, check out a rather unimpressed first take on the speed and application compatibility of the NX70V. It certainly gives a pause for thought.



RE: Great! :]
Palm_Otaku @ 10/22/2002 5:26:26 PM #
Hmm, I think that the SPUG review should be read with more than just a grain of salt...

A persistent thread is how all the "hires+" apps that were developed for the NR- series aren't working.

You don't say...?

Sony used proprietary graphics extensions for the NR-series and a number of developers updated or created some very cool apps to take advantage of this, BUT it's a developmental dead end. The "hi-res+" apps should really be called "NR-only".

Sony's NX-series uses the new OS5 graphic APIs. Does anyone truly believe that developers aren't going to be updating / creating apps for this device??

It's probably a wise move to wait until there are a few more reviews posted before coming to any conclusions. :-)

RE: Great! :]
ClieTokyo @ 10/23/2002 9:59:26 AM #
The NX series haven't even made it to a lot of developers let alone consumer programmers. And we're already complaining about lack of apps. It's been out for what, four days in Japan? Oh, yeah let me work on my app and I'll get it to you in a few days... Jeez.

Yes, some of the apps don't run properly. But we'll see many developers upgrading their apps for OS 5 and the new NX's. Palm DOESN'T even have a hires+ PDA... Sony had to write a lot of their own software API's and get Palm to endorse some of them.

Would you be using a Palm device today if it weren't for Sony, seriously?

Just what we suspected

Foxer @ 10/21/2002 10:57:03 AM #
Well, this is great news. It is what a lot of people have been saying for a while now though. Sony wont make the drivers for the cards, but if someone else does, it is supported. I mean, it still is a CF slot, some one just has to take the initiative to do it. Now this means that I will probably have o buy it. I decided not to because I was unsure if it would be able to use CF cards(even though many suspected) So now i'll be out several hundred dollars. Oh well, just think of how cool it will be!


RE: Just what we suspected
Zuber @ 10/21/2002 11:25:33 AM #
Although it looks promising, we are still in the realms of speculation. If sony wanted to, they could have included drivers to allow "standard" CF cards to work just like everyone else does with their devices. For some reason they have decided not to.

I think that being able to develop drivers is going to depend very much on how much information Sony are willing to provide to other device manufacturers.

Hoepefully, current pressure will mean that "Sony always intended to help others develop drivers" :)


RE: Just what we suspected
mcseym @ 10/21/2002 11:56:02 AM #
Ah, the suspense is nearly killing me. If the CF slot is versatile then it would be a massive plus. I can live with the battery drain - bring on that 1GB Microdrive.

One ClieTokyo member commented that SanDisk hinted that MemStick was on the way out. Did anyone else pick up on that?



This is amazing.
orb2069 @ 10/21/2002 12:13:59 PM #
I really think that Sony is the only modern company that people will buy hardware from, and write their own drivers for the installed OS and features.

Particularly at the prices they charge.

First they include Hi-resolution screens, and can't be bothered to patch the included software to use them. Then this. What next, they don't include an operating system?

If a third party writes drivers for the CF slot, you'll be lucky if Sony dosen't sue them into oblivion.

RE: Just what we suspected
Marc333 @ 10/21/2002 1:46:19 PM #
I will be very surprised if Sony promotes or encourages the use of the CF slot for memory cards. If that were the case, they would have simply used the SD cards in their devices. I think keeping the MS as the only working memory card on their devices is a major part of their strategy. There are two reasons for this strategy: 1) Extra revenue from the purchase of the MS, which would lessen if CF cards were allowed and 2) The MS factor is what's called a "Barrier of Exit" for the consumer. In other words, someone goes out and buys a whole bunch of MS cards that are completely useless on a non-sony machine, that consumer is much more inclined to stick with Sony. So it behooves Sony to keep MS cards as the only working Memory cards. Otherwise, Sony customers could buy CF cards and potentially move to other devices, though there are few handhelds that use the CF cards (isn't there a PPC that still uses one?).

Just my 2 cents.

RE: Just what we suspected
Take1 @ 10/22/2002 3:28:36 AM #
I know what I'd do if the CF slot were memory capable, use my 2 256 MB CF cards and pack them with .mp3s to listen to on the NR-70. Would I buy the 256 MB MS when it comes out? Probably. I'd try to get as much affordable memory on the device. Would others do the same? Probably not.

IBM microdrive

Wenda @ 10/21/2002 11:25:15 AM #
If this thing will work, I wonder how long the battery could survive.

Nothing to kill or die for.
RE: IBM microdrive
ccpoon @ 10/21/2002 11:57:44 AM #
I agree with you. One of the biggest concern is the Battery life for the whole unit. Obviously the Battery life will drain much quicker if modules are being used in the CF slot.

RE: IBM microdrive
M3wThr33 @ 10/21/2002 2:48:39 PM #
With full volume and brightness using that 1GB Microdrive would last about as long as... well, driving to the store to purchase one. Doesn't Sony know about the SEVERE power-drain of CF's?

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: IBM microdrive
robbb @ 10/21/2002 11:26:14 PM #
I think IBMs Microdrive was the last application Sony was thinking of when they decided to add an CF slot.

I use a 64MB CF card (twice a day swaped with a CF 56k Modem) on Handera and the battery last for a week, at least.

my 0.02

RE: IBM microdrive
Take1 @ 10/22/2002 3:33:21 AM #
The NR-70 is worse on battery life than my 3835 iPAQ which I find quite annoying. The shorter battery life on the NX has pretty much nixed any plans at upgrading from the NR-70, unless the battery life turns out to be much better than what's advertised.

It would be nice to see 3rd parties come out and make viable battery solutions for the NR series. I'd LOVE to see someone make a 2400 ma battery which comes with it's own backplate which can replace the original one. It would take about 10 min. to open the unit, unplug the batttery, plug in the new battery and reassemble.

RE: IBM microdrive
Zuber @ 10/22/2002 9:22:06 AM #
Battery life is supposed to be about the same as on the NR70.

What would be interesting is if someone came out with software that could change the clockspeed of the processor depending on the application. Reducing the clockspeed could have a big effect on the battery life, and some of the basic apps don't need 200Mhz.


RE: IBM microdrive
hkklife @ 10/22/2002 10:53:45 AM #
There is such an application. Fast CPU, currently at version 3.0. I've been using it for many months now and it's a top notch program. I can crank my CPU way down when doing e-books and playing chess and whatnot, but crank it up for games and graphics intensive apps like the Rand McNally Atlas card. The latest rev. overhauls the interface, and adds support for the newest 66 mhz Dragonball Clies all the way up to 99 mhz.

Go check it out!

Memory Stick Sales

michaelfurman @ 10/21/2002 12:23:02 PM #
They did a good job. Allow those out there to use CF cards, but don't hand it to them. They have memorystick sales to think about. Traditionally companies make their highest profit margins on the accessories rather than the device themselves. Just glad they aren't going the route of Handspring with their springboard nonesense. I just wish the cf slot was detachable. Thats want torqued me the most with my prism. I HAD to carry the springboard slot with me.


Are you Proactive .... Or Reactive?

Geeze, Ryan...

jho4thclie @ 10/21/2002 12:34:54 PM #
Yay!!! Only 2 weeks later, and we already have the return of the "Lead Story" being anchored at the top... to serve the mere 5% of Palminfocenter readers that prefer it!

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
ganoe @ 10/21/2002 1:02:46 PM #
and this so called "lead story" isn't even news. There is nothing here we didn't already know. It just verifies the obvious. Sony plans to take a feature many want and would be trivial for them to add, but they will not provide that feature. Unbelievable that some people actually think this is good news.

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
Zuber @ 10/21/2002 1:26:10 PM #
It is good news if true. Better news would have been that Sony had included full CF support in the first place, rather than "having" to due to pressure.

I'm still not sure what effect this will have. i.e. Will we actually see lots of devices with drivers for the Clie. Hope so, but not sure yet.


RE: Geeze, Ryan...
HandyMan @ 10/21/2002 2:55:10 PM #
You know Sony will be releasing another model in a couple of months. I think the reason why the NR-series didn't have hires+ apps is a strategic move as much as a tchenical one. Now you have one more reason to upgrade to teh NX. I bet the next NR/NX form-factor device will have some of this wireless stuff built-in or maybe even a full functional CF.

You know they can do it, but it may not be in their interest to do it.

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
rsc1000 @ 10/21/2002 3:00:24 PM #
> There is nothing here we didn't already know

You are wrong. We did not know that the CF - slt that Sony calls a 'wireless' slot - had the capability to support true CF accessories beyond Sony' wi-fi card. They explicitly stated that it was only for this purpose and - although there was speculation here on PIC that it **might** be able to be used for standard CF if drivers were written AND if it contained all the pins of a CF slot. So - we did know. perhaps you just want to complain - but this is important to anybody thinking about plunking down $600 bucks on an NX series device - we want to know what the deal is with the CF slot. So we get an anwser to an obvious technical question - and this bothers you for some reason???!? I don't understand.....

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
ganoe @ 10/21/2002 3:03:42 PM #
After some more thought about this, there is no way that what some Sony boob at McDonalds said might be possible should be a "lead story" over the DataViz and AlphaSmart stories.

This whole idea of pushing some kind of "lead story" to the top is BAD, since it causes people to not see other new news items.

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
ganoe @ 10/21/2002 3:15:17 PM #
> perhaps you just want to complain - but this is important to
> anybody thinking about plunking down $600 bucks on an NX series device -
> we want to know what the deal is with the CF slot.

Anyone who bases their purchase of an NX series device on this "story" would be an idiot. It tells you nothing more than you knew a week ago. I have plenty of hardware lying around that could do this, that or the other thing if somebody wrote driver X, Y or Z to prove it.

The fact that this story might somehow influence your decision to buy an NX series device only makes my point all the more clear. When there actually are drivers for this device, then that would be a "lead story".

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
masitti @ 10/21/2002 5:20:06 PM #
This has been really questioned since the announcement of the NX70v. It definitely deserves a lead story.

Just like the brightness function for the m505 - that deserves a lead story and is news. Well, so does this. :)

O/T Mod

RE: Geeze, Ryan...
mcseym @ 10/21/2002 10:20:38 PM #
>Yay!!! Only 2 weeks later, and we already have the
>return of the "Lead Story" being anchored at the
>top... to serve the mere 5% of Palminfocenter readers
>that prefer it!

Where do you get 5% from? If the Discussion Forum is anything to go by an overwhelming number of PIC readers want to hear (and discus) Sony products and issues.

>After some more thought about this, there is no way
>that what some Sony boob at McDonalds said might be >possible should be a "lead story" over the DataViz >and AlphaSmart stories.

>This whole idea of pushing some kind of "lead story" >to the top is BAD, since it causes people to not see >other new news items.

Knowing the culture there is no doubt that this type of Sony roadshow would have been staffed by more than just a 'boob' or two.

Since when did PIC push "lead stories" as opposed to just putting them in date order? I think this is just nit picking, then again if scrolling down a page to scan articles for interest is too difficult . . .



RE: Geeze, Ryan...
Mithras @ 10/22/2002 11:14:11 AM #
Perhaps the 'lead story' should be in its own window "bubble", like the sidebars on the left.

That would make it more clear that it is "floating above" the other stories; otherwise, a quick glance at the first story confuses me into thinking that no new stories have been posted, even though new stories have appeared below the lead.

My two cents.


tman @ 10/21/2002 1:38:29 PM #
More mundane hardware considerations might make this difficult. At least one Japanese site that has early reviews of the NX series notes that the compact flash slot does not have an eject button, nor is the back of the case properly contoured to allow access to the card. This means that once a standard compact flash is inserted, it would be very difficult to get them out! Sony apparently was only thinking about its use with communications cards, all of which have something -- like an antenna -- protruding from the card itself, that could be used for card removal. Sigh...
RE: except...
IanJD @ 10/21/2002 2:05:07 PM #
I suspect a little glue and homemade handle stuck to the end of the CF card may solve this; if inelegantly.

RE: except...
Zuber @ 10/21/2002 5:01:52 PM #
But would a company be willing to go to the effort of writing drivers if the only people that will use them are those prepared to have a "little glue and homemade handle stuck to the end of the CF card ".


RE: except...
fulmer @ 10/21/2002 10:26:26 PM #
Actually, if you look at where the camera is located, and the shape of the cut-out, you can see that your finger will fit in there to remove the card.
RE: except...
rpanno @ 1/15/2003 10:02:27 PM #
The fact is that this isn't a problem there are plenty of compact flash cards out there that aren't completely smooth and that have some type of notch to extract the card. For example the crucial technology compact flash cards have a perfect notch for getting the card out of the clie. I own a NX70v and just wish everyone would quit talking about whether or not the drivers are going to be written. It would be great if somebody just went ahead and wrote them so I can begin to use the expansion slot.


ardee @ 10/21/2002 2:48:06 PM #
AGigOnAClie! Drool...

RE: AGigOnAClie!
iebnn @ 10/21/2002 3:23:25 PM #
Yeah, and a 1 hour battery life

RE: AGigOnAClie!
Take1 @ 10/22/2002 3:44:09 AM #
With the backlight OFF.....

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