Sony Clie PEG-UX50
None of Sony's PDAs look boring, but the company has outdone itself with the new Clie PEG-UX50-a cleverly designed keyboard-based unit that has more traits in common with a laptop than a conventional handheld. Unfortunately, one of those traits is a high price tag-$699.
The 6-ounce, Palm-based PDA may look like a miniature notebook, but at 4 by 3.5 by 0.75 inches, it's a lot easier to carry. The wide 2.75 by 1.75-inch display offers 480-by-320 resolution, and my shipping unit's screen-which also can be flipped around and over to resemble a diminutive tablet PC-was clear and sharp with excellent colors.
The keyboard improves greatly on the undersize ones other Palm-based units carry. The keys are bigger, and their tactile response during thumb typing makes this Cli
Powered by Sony's new Handheld Engine processor and packed with 104MB of memory, the PEG-UX50 ran all the included apps well and easily handled several extra ones I added (though it lacks the conventional Palm buttons that some software add-ons use, so some games are difficult to play on it).
The PEG-UX50 offers built-in Bluetooth and 802.11b wireless connections. Its NetFront Web browser rendered pages well, but some smaller fonts proved a bit hard to read.
Among its other amenities: a built-in, 640-by-480-capable camera that can also record video, and a MemoryStick Pro slot. The unit's rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery sustained about two days of casual use between charges; employing the 802.11b connection significantly reduced battery life, however.
PDA aficionados will find the PEG-UX50 a cool and extremely functional device-if they can afford it.
Clie PEG-UX50Sony Electronics
This PDA is exceedingly sleek, but owning it will cost you.
Price when reviewed: $699. Current prices (if available)
Sony Clie PEG-UX50