Compact and stylish personal digital assistant

Sony has once again updated its family of Clié handheld organisers. The SJ22 is the new entry-level model and, while it doesn’t feature any new and exciting technology, it once again redefines this product category in terms of price.

Demonstrating Sony’s legendary gift for product naming, the SJ22 replaces the SL10 yet utilises the SJ30’s features. Confused? Let us explain. The previous entry-level model, the SL10, had a monochrome screen and was powered by standard AAA batteries. Its big brother, the SJ30, used a colour screen and a rechargeable lithium ion battery.

Now those two products have been phased out, and Sony has taken the SJ30’s mid-range features and made them available as an entry-level product. For just $449, the SJ22 offers an impressive array of features. Principal among these is its excellent 320x320-pixel backlit display — the first time colour has been available at this price point.

Onscreen text and graphics don’t look as good as on the higher-end Cliés and Palms that run Palm OS 5.0. However, Sony uses a utility called High Resolution Assist that enables most applications to take full advantage of the increased pixel count.

Aside from some minor differences, the SJ22 is physically identical to the SJ30: compact and stylish with a cover that flips behind the device when in use. It’s not supplied with a HotSync cradle, but its redesigned attachment makes it a doddle to plug in both the power and USB cables. The software bundle includes the usual Palm OS applications as well as a suite of Sony software for viewing still images or video, and managing data on a Memory Stick expansion card. There’s an alarm clock, too. Sadly missing is Documents To Go, a package for viewing Office documents which is usually bundled with most personal digital assistants.

Sony Clié PEG-SJ22
Price: $449
Vendor: Sony
Phone: 1300 137 669

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Alex Katz

PC World
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