Review: Sony Clie PEG-SJ30 PDA

Sony’s ever-expanding range of Clie handhelds is not just growing at the high end of the market. The company is now taking the entry-level PDA seriously, with the new models, the SL10 and SJ30. The latter is the colour model and literally blows the competition out of the water.

The value-for-money SJ30 holds numerous advantages over just about every other Palm device on the market, except for Sony’s own high-end models. The screen is remarkably clear and bright and boasts Sony’s standard 320x320 resolution. At just 104mm long, the SJ30 is also significantly more compact that most other PDAs, although it is marginally thicker than the T-series devices. It’s provided with a stylish light-grey screen protector with a locking mechanism that is a dramatic improvement on its predecessors.

The SJ30 runs Palm OS 4.1 and comes bundled with Sony’s standard add-on software, including Documents To Go Standard edition, PictureGear Pocket, Clie Paint and World Alarm Clock.

Our only criticism of the SJ30 is that it isn’t supplied with a HotSync cradle. Synchronisation to a PC is through a USB cable that plugs into an adapter clipped on to the bottom of the device, where the power cable to recharge the lithium-ion battery also plugs in. This means HotSyncing has to be activated through software, rather than by pressing a button on a cradle, which is somewhat clumsy.

Sony Clie PEG-SJ30
4 ½ stars
The SJ30 may not have everything you’ll get on a more expensive PDA, but it offers an amazing amount for the price. It’s the best low-cost colour PDA you can buy.
Price: $649
Phone: 1300 137 669

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Alex Katz

PC World
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