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Handhelds Hardware

Two New Handhelds From Sony 191

MeatWad writes "Sony has announced the SJ33 Palm OS 4 model with a high res color screen and mp3 player for $299. At the same time the FCC has leaked info on the next Palm OS 5 Clie with bluetooth and an integrated keyboard called the TG50. Sony can sure crank out the cool gadgets."
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Two New Handhelds From Sony

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  • but only mentions a memory stick as a media format. The stick mentioned is 4 mb. That's enough space for approximately one song at high quality. The article also mentions the memory stick is incompatible with the new memory pro format.
    • but only mentions a memory stick as a media format. The stick mentioned is 4 mb

      Where in hell are you getting this? I didn't see it in the articles. Besides, you can get Memory Sticks up to 1GB right now. Did you misread something?
    • Here are the relavent quotes from the article:

      The SJ33 uses standard memory sticks although the device doesn't come with one.

      The Sony audio player can play MP3 files and ATRAC files from a Memory Stick.

      So the parent post sounds wrong about the 4MB stick.

      --sex []

    • The stick mentioned is 4 mb.

      No it isn't. The 4 MB is the size of the flash ROM. I don't think I have ever seen a memory stick smaller than 8 MB anyway. This PDA uses a standard memory stick slot.
    • Sorry dude, I think your getting ROM and memory stick mixed up. Obviously, the moderators did not read the article. Here's the snipit below.

      It has 16 MB of internal RAM (of which 15MB are available) and 4 MB of flash ROM.

      I never saw any mention of a memory stick, so it probably does not come with one. Since you can pick 128mb up for about $30 on and, I wouldn't worry about too much.

    • Non-pro memory sticks are available up to 128MB. While not 10GB, it's certainly better than 4MB. :-)
    • Which is, of course, rightfully moderated as Insightful, and probably Interesting, as you explicitly state, that the article already says it.

      No blame on you.

      To be a little bit more constructive.
      The largest "classic" Memory Sticks are available to up to 128Mb, the larger ones are already Memory Stick Pro (or Memory Stick Select).

      AFAIK, the size limitation is not inherent in the technology of the Memory Sticks (the controller is on the stick). It is probably more a problem of usability (low data-transfer) of the classic sticks.

      The Memory Stick Pro features a parallel controller, which twentyfolds the theoretically bandwidth. This new controller makes the new Stick incompatible.

      The Clie NX and NZ series and some Vaio notebooks are (or will be) compatible with the Memory Stick Pro format, after a software upgrade.

      This begs the question, why won't the SJ33 be compatible with the Memory Stick Pro?
      Do they produce some retro-version of Memory Stick-controllers for the new SJ33?
  • Not two, but three.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ozgurbulbul ( 462715 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:14PM (#5321458)
    In fact we should not forget sj22, which is basically the same as sj33 without the audio capability.
  • by vivek7006 ( 585218 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:15PM (#5321464) Homepage
    They are redirecting the slashdot users to a special website.

    "Especially formulated for slashdotters"
  • FCC?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sixdotoh ( 584811 )
    What is the FCC doing leaking info on new Palms?! I find that hilarious. Well, okay, maybe not *hilarious* . . .

    Is this new or do I just not pay attention to stuff like this? Too bad the CIA doesn't "leak" stuff too . . . *sigh*

    • Re:FCC?! (Score:3, Informative)

      by nilepoc ( 7329 )
      Aren't their documents public information? I believe that is how people are finding them. I know that the blue tooth integration in the new powerbooks was leaked in the same manner, and I remember some handspring stuff getting out like this also. In the case of apple, they pulled the application.

      If the documents are not pulic info, then the FCC needs to get to know the ins and outs of a little document called the NDA.
    • ah, if they are public information, true . . . the wording of the article tripped me up though. i wouldn't call that "leaking" information. can anyone confirm that it is public info?
    • Re:FCC?! (Score:2, Informative)

      by gearheadsmp ( 569823 )
      The info and pictures get "leaked" when Sony, Palm, or anyone else who makes an electronic device has it reviewed by the FCC before it goes retail. The info get's entered into the FCC's database, which is searchable from the web. I guess there are people who check the FCC search engine every day for new stuff from Sony, Palm, Sharp, etc.
    • Re:FCC?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Monday February 17, 2003 @06:27PM (#5321879) Homepage
      The FCC is the best rumor site on the Net. They've leaked PowerBooks, Blackberries, Palms, you name it. I'm surprised hardware companies haven't lobbied to keep those applications secret until the device is released.
  • by bdesham ( 533897 ) <bdesham@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:20PM (#5321490) Journal
    Welcome Slashdot visitor! You have been redirected to a lighter version of our article in order to conserve bandwidth and keep the site running smoothly for everybody.
    They won't stand for long -- all /.ers, load browsers and attack!
    • In mozilla, at least, you can simply zero out the referer header: I got the original version of the articles (slowly), not the "light" version. Under Linux, the file is called:
      (and/or prefs.js). Add this line:
      user_pref("network.http.sendRefererHeader", 0);

      There you go: no referer.

    • Actually, I'd like to see the code that PalmInfoCenter uses to implement the "Welcome Slashdot vistor" message. I've thought about doing something similar for another site, and while I understand how to parse the Referer header, I'd just as soon borrow someone's tried-and-true code as develop it myself.

      Heck, this functionality should be built into anything using mod-perl, PHP, ASP, etc. to redirect visitors to a static mirror of a page.

    • Although we do appear to have slashdotted the FCC. Good work, men!
  • DMCA. (Score:5, Funny)

    by attobyte ( 20206 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:21PM (#5321492)
    Is this the case of the government violating the DMCA? I think sony should sue them and it will prove a point for everyone else.

  • by Foxxz ( 106642 )
    I can certainly appreciate the gadgets Sony comes out with. Not only do they have a "cool" factor, but they are useful as well. I also can understand why their stuff is pricey. However, this does not change the fact that I can not afford any of their products I would like. I would like to get their picture book and dual boot windows xp and debian on it. I'm one that likes compact with long battery life. It doesnt need to be a powerhouse computer. The $1700 pricetag is way too much. I can only wait to see what these new PDAs price at.

    • at a Price indeed. Do a quick search on a Best Buy website and check out Sony's overpriced personal cd players! I mean, can you really justify paying $70 for a Sony versus $30-$40 for a different, but still good, name like Magnavox? Of course, you might get some good headphones, or extra little junk, but come on. I don't own Sony anything and haven't had any problems! Then again . . .
      • For what it's worth, I got a great deal on a Sony CD-MP3 player. It's nice looking, (with a red backlit LCD, which I like) compact, and rugged.

        I also paid $100 for it, with a car kit. Yeah, I could have probably found something a little cheaper online (I bought it at WalMart) but I'm really picky about user interface, and I wanted to be able to take it back if I hated it.

        So, even though I'm biased against Sony electronics in general, this is a nice piece of gear.
  • No cell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:26PM (#5321516)
    Sony has some great form factors - the only problem is that its useless to me without cellular data capability. And on top of that, all of these Palm and PocketPC devices have compatibility issues with 3rd party software.

    So here I am with my 4 year old BlackBerry - with the integrated keyboard and old chromatic screen - running off of the obsolete Mobitex pager network...and it does about 90% of what I want to do when I'm away from the office - mail and calendar. No it doesn't have a built in camera - no it doesn't pick my nose or wash my car - but it does exactly what it claims. The best part is, I feel safe leaving it around my daughter.

    There's no winning in this game. Palm is dying. PocketPC is too complicated. RIM is obsolete. Symbian sucks.
    • I agree that the Berry is damn useful, but if you have a phone with gprs data service and bluetooth, your bluetooth handheld can route through that. Someday someone will make a palm os 5 color handheld with bluetooth, sdio, infrared, and headphones, and i will buy it.
      • Someday someone will make a palm os 5 color handheld with bluetooth, sdio, infrared, and headphones, and i will buy it.

        You mean like the Tungsten T []?
        Is Amazon [] OK?

        You will have to supply your own headphones. Let me know if you'd like some recommendations.

        • Right, I forgot the other conditions: someone will also have to make a gprs phone that doesn't suck, and then some phone company will have to make a voice and data plan that doesn't suck. Until it all comes together, I'm watching from a distance.
    • Well you could always go with a T68i and bluetooth to the Clie. No concerns about wires and you can keep the T68 in your pocket/backpack/waist.
    • Palm is dying? You're kidding me, right? It's been close to 5 years since Windows CE was introduced. With the full force of one of the most powerful marketing and sales organizations in the world, it has still not managed to bring the PalmOS marketshare down below 70%. Palm got it right and keeps evolving its product to take advantage of new technology.
    • all of these Palm and PocketPC devices have compatibility issues with 3rd party software.

      Compatibility issues? WTF? I've written Palm software that runs flawlessly on Palm OS 2.0 right up through 5.0, on a wide variety of devices. (I tell users up front that it doesn't work on 1.x, which was a design choice.)

      If there are compatibility issues with Palm software it's because the authors of that software are ignoring Palm's own compatibility guidelines. It's a shame, yes, but don't blame Palm because third party developers can't read documentation that's freely available.
  • I don't think any handhelds will ever be for me. Sure, I've tinkered with them, and even found them convenient, but they suffer from two big problems:

    1. The display is too small.

    2. The input devices are too inconvenient/cumbersome.

    Unfortunately, fixing either problem in a handheld would defeat the killer app of the handheld: portability. This is why I'm waiting for the device that uses a display that's directly connected to my optic nerve and uses neural-impulse-driven input. Am I right in thinking that this is the logical evolution of personal computing? And we think security is a big deal today. Heh, just wait until I can hack into your optic nerve!
    • 1. The display is too small.

      If a display that's 240x320 (or 640x480 in the case of Sharp's newer clamshell) is too small for you, then perhaps you should consider getting a VGA-out CompactFlash card and some Video glasses.

      2. The input devices are too inconvenient/cumbersome.

      Sharp's Zaurus has a decent input method: thumboard. I can type faster on it with my thumbs than I can with Jot/Graffii. If you want to use a desktop-like interface, you can always SSH into a Zaurus with a desktop.
  • Memory Stuck (tm) (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lastberserker ( 465707 ) <> on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:30PM (#5321541) Homepage Journal
    No matter what gadget Sony makes next I'm not buying if it only supports sticks. CompactFlash is by far more flexible and cheaper, why should I pay extra to support further limitations of my choice?
    • I agree mostly. I wish there was one single flash standard and everyone would use it. Life would be much easier that way. Its frustrating that my digital camera and my palm use different flash memory. I'm sure many out there are confronted with the same type of situation.

      The thing I like about MS over compact flash, though, is its size. It is about half the size, and with all these tiny devices coming out, I think that is a real advantage. Plus, its easier to fit a bunch of the memory sticks in my cases than compact flash.

      As far as functionality, they are pretty much equivalent now. The only real differences are available memory sizes (compact supports largers sizes currently), form factor, and supported devices. Speed may be another, I hear the MS works faster, but I don't know that for sure.


    • CompactFlash 30.94 []

      Memory Stick 34.99 []

      Chances you'll pay more because Sony usually has the coolest products. I'm not a fan of proprietary memory, but sometimes the Sony products are just too compelling to pass up.
      • Hmm... I wonder if that extra $4 is a licencing fee to Sony? What makes proprietary memory that only works in one brand so compelling? Is it that it encourages one to have to buy more Sony products so they don't have to buy new memory?
        • Actually, memory stick devices are made by dozens of companies [] (companies like Kenwood, Pioneer, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Acer, Fujitsu, Samsung, HP, and Lexmark).

          And I doubt the $4 is the licensing fee. According to [], the licensing fees to develop a memory stick product are 500,000 Yen/year (about $4,000) with no running royalty.
  • by erixtark ( 413840 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:37PM (#5321581)
    Let's not forget the Sony Ericsson [] 3G phone announced today [].

    It'll be quite interesting to see if and how Sony merges their PDAs with their cell phones. Perhaps this one hints at their future strategy.
  • what with the redirecting and all......makes me feel special, kind of like how people with extreme power when they could destroy an entire server simply by posting a link....
  • All you Linux guys don't get mad at me for brining this up... I guess it is a common concern. But can I sync this on my mac?... I would be very interested in replacing my m125.
    So anyone have any idea if I could sync this on my mac? what good is accepting a standard such as bluetooth if you can't sync on all sorts of different platforms? I heard there is some third party software you can use to sync your clie... will it work with bluetooth on the mac?
    Anyone that has any insight into getting this working on platforms that don't include windows post a reply- I doubt i'm the only one who's curious.
  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @05:40PM (#5321601) Journal
    For a databook/addressbook/variousMobileDB's it still works great and is supported by every OS on the planet. Right now I sync with Evolution and it works very well. Another bonus is the batteries last a long time. I know if I leave it for weeks on end it won't be dead when I go to use it.

    I think most users buy these new(read:expensive) PDA's thinking of all the cool things they can do and then over time just end up doing the basics. There are definitely some really cool features on the new PDA's(wireless etc), but before you go blowing $300-$500 on the lastest and greatest consider if you really need those features and if a mini-notebook(more capabilities) or used Palm(just the basics) might serve you better.

    BTW anyone else have their car buried in a 5 foot snow drift.
  • I know this is somewhat OT, but how goes current integration of Palm and GPS? That is, I know you can buy an amazing little GPS tab [] for a Palm that plugs into the CF slot, and that you can buy some map software [] that looks to have good European street info.

    But do they work well together? If I use the CF slot for the GPS can I no longer add memory those maps will want so much?

    Should I just hope to get the Garmin Palm device [] (which is not out yet) before I travel this spring, and hope it lets me use third party maps?

    And what about those GPS tabs? It looks like at least some of them need to be factory serviced in order to switch between WAAS [] and Europe's experimental equivalent of EGNOS [].

    Help a fellow electronics fetishist!
    • I have the Garmin Legend, so I think it's unlikely you'll be able to use third-party maps for the upcoming Palm device (unless you're willing to sacrifice a great deal of functionality).

      But Garmin has excellent maps available for Europe, so just budget another $100-$200 for them.

  • The RIAA has announced that it demands that Sony change this screen image [] to more accurately reflect what MP3s represent to the music industry. That REP OFF must be changed to RIP OFF.
  • I'll only upgrade my IIIc when they come out with something like the SJ33 (preferably with virtual graffiti, but you can't have everything)...but which also incorportaes a cellphone. Or they'd have to convert the Kyocera 7125 to GSM...

    But what I find strange is that ever since I had my IIIc I've been saying that the only reason I'd upgrade is for a cellphone/palmOS, highres screen, removable storage device. So when are those idiots in marketing going to allow R&D to make one!?
  • Ultimate PDA (Score:2, Informative)

    - MP3
    - Expandable storage
    - Color
    - keyboard
    - Cellphone
    - some type of belt clip/holster
    - flat rate for internet service
    - OS: Palm or WinCE. Most would probably prefer Palm
    - Nice to have webcam

    One could pair the new Sony TG50 with the Sony T68i [] cell phone [free with rebates] with built in bluetooth. However, the limited factor here is T-Mobile doesn't offer a flat rate for internet service. Personally, I don't want to be constantly worried about going over my usage limit.

    Or you can wait for the new Hitachi [], but the size is pretty big and who knows how much the service plans would cost. If through Sprint and they have a similar rate as the Treo 300; very promising! As long as you can get over WinCE

    There is also the Sidekick [] which I almost bought. Thankfully I decided to swing by compusa first to take a gander at the size. The thing is a brick! What is really cool is that you get unlimited internet access for the first year and you can do some cool hip logging [] which also includes support for sending small pictures. Very inticing, but the product is just way to big, is grayscale and seems to have some serious bugs as a cell phone [doesn't ring!]

    My plan was to wait and wait for this magical all in one device. However, I need a cell phone and I finally bit the bullet and got a Treo 300 [] It lacks expandability so I could never use it as a mp3 player, but it will suffice until the next series of Treos are introduced. With the unlimited flat rate for internet access how could I go wrong? Not to mention you can use it as a wireless modem []

    I think the cell phone/pda market is definately going in the right direction and I hope by the end of the year, there will be quite a few products out there that I can label as an "ultimate pda".

    One small note. The Palm Tungsten W will include many of these features, but in order to use it as a cell phone, you must plug in the headset. This is just retarded. Imagine getting a phone call and having to fish around to plug in your headset?

    Lets just hope that the new Treo's are build on PalmOS 5.x and will include expansion [mp3!] Shortly there after, you should see my Treo on ebay for a good price.
    • has: > - MP3 > - Expandable storage > - Color > - keyboard > - Cellphone > - some type of belt clip/holster > - flat rate for internet service > - OS: Palm or WinCE. Most would probably prefer Palm > - Nice to have webcam i for one, don't care for cell phone, keyboard, color, clip, flat rate internet etc. so my list is: 1) voice recorder 2) 802.11b connectivity (either built-in or through compactflash card). The reason for compact flash card is so that it can be used with other devices including laptops. 3) mp3 4) decent price 5) expandable storage via compactflash Unfortunately, no pda with above feature is available for less than my budget of USD 300.
    • Try writing on the thing when it's pressed against your ear. Difficult, no? If you have trouble with handsfree cables (no, I don't like them much either)I rather assume the W will work with a Bluetooth headset, a much neater option.
  • by Anik315 ( 585913 ) <anik@alphaco r . n et> on Monday February 17, 2003 @06:24PM (#5321860)
    Anyone notice a messy convergence in the functionality of all these devices?

    Nintendo has been pretty consistent about generating a portable device with one clear and strong purpose, and at that it has been extremely successful.

    Alot of these products I see coming out try to do lots of things--in a mediocre way. Without a clearly defined market, these are pretty much "cool gadgets" for people with loose cash. I don't see people using one handheld device to do 20 different things.

    Are these companies experimentally sticking things together in combinations just to see if they'll sell? What I would rather see is companies spending more on generating killer apps with strong and focused purposes. (comme the Blackberry)

    When people buy cars with DVD players, they're don't hop in to them when they want to watch movies. And it's great that my Palm can play mp3s, but I'll stick to my 20gig iPod.
    • My thoughts exactly. []

      Alot of these products I see coming out try to do lots of things--in a mediocre way. Without a clearly defined market, these are pretty much "cool gadgets" for people with loose cash. I don't see people using one handheld device to do 20 different things.

      Trust me, you're not the only one with this opinion. A Recent Wall Street Journal article touched on this very same thing. The article noted that what may work in Japan for phone sales and assorted (software or hardware) accessories, won't necessarly work in the rest of the world.


    • by sunspot42 ( 455706 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @10:25PM (#5323018)
      The problem is, these all in one gadgets tend to do everything POORLY, and for a lot of money. I just replaced my old Handspring Visor with a Palm Zire, because I didn't want to blow $300+ on a combo cell phone / handheld that'd I'd probably just end up losing 6 months down the road. The Zire only set me back $75 on Amazon after a rebate, and even though it offers nothing in the way of functionality over the old Handspring (apart from faster synchs - it's USB - and a rechargeable battery that lasts forever between charges), it does everything I need.

      I do think there would be be a market for an inexpensive combo device that's a combination iPod, cell phone and organizer, though. It would be nice to cut down on the number of gadgets you have to carry around, and the organizer's display (and OS) would come in handy for manipulating playlists on the jukebox. Unfortunately, I don't think we're quite at the point where such a gadget could be offered for a reasonable price (under $300), but by this time next year, who knows.

      If Apple were smart, such a gadget could be their next killer consumer product. Do they still own the Newton OS?
      • They should still do .. Steve Jobs cancelled its flotation on the stock market before finally disbanding the division, so they should still own all the rights to it.

        But since Apple just outsource the OS for the iPod, who's to know they won't just license PalmOS for such a combo device?

    • I've futzed around with a few clie's at fry's. I don't see how they're failing in the least bit trying to do multiple things. It does PDA things correctly, it stores address, phonebook and other organizational data, and it also plays MP3s well. It also has a gamepad attachment so you can play games with it. I honestly don't see the problem.

      Convergence doesn't necessarily produce poor versions of each individual device, it just makes that a much more likely case, but with something like MP3s, simple games, and of course, organizational and real work, there's just enough CPU power and memory that any hand held can do these properly, the only thing it would lack would be storage space for MP3s.
  • sony keyboards (Score:2, Informative)

    by krokodil ( 110356 )
    I've had a Clie for a year and Keyboard there sucks. Keys organization is bad, they are hard to press, labels are not clear enough.

    Now I have Treo. Even though overall it is not so good as Clie, it have very usable keyboard (stolen from blackberry I heard).

    So, if keyboard is important for you - look at Handspring Treo.
  • I was really pleased by the CLIÉ SJ33, until I came down to "Memory and Processor", and almost choked on the line

    The SJ33 upgrades the SJ30's 33MHz processor to the 66MHz Dragonball Super VZ running Palm OS[...]

    Who in their right mind would name a Processor after a crappy TV series? And even more disturbing, who would want to own one??

    A: Hey, nifty handheld. What's it runnung?
    Me: Ya know, Palm OS4 and it's got a Dragonball Super...
    A: I seeeee! (rofl)
  • I just can't see these compaired to a Dell Axim... sure it's PocketPC but it's features vs. price is great.

    I'm just wondering if I should get one now or if Dell's planning on a new version any time soon. (Wouldn't mind Wifi or BT, then it'd be completely sold!)

  • A step backward? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by uradu ( 10768 ) on Monday February 17, 2003 @10:52PM (#5323103)
    This new one looks much cheaper and piggier than the SJ30. What's with the cheap NON-REMOVABLE plastic cover that will inevitably break off during the first week? Sorry, but the SJ30 looks much better.
  • No matter how many variations they come out with, Palm OS 4 and Palm OS 5 still are pretty limited: you only get 16Mbytes of memory, a lot of application code runs in emulation, there are lots of places where things are essentially 16bit, and the window system is pretty primitive.

    Palms are nice for scheduling and TODO lists. But for that, a $90 Zire is good enough, and it's also small and light. I wouldn't buy anything more high-end at this point, until Palm OS 6 comes out.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.