Sony launches new Clié PDAs

Sony is updating its Clié range of personal digital assistants (PDA) with two new models that are a step up from its low-end models but not as capable as mid-range models.

The PEG-TJ25 and TJ35 are both based on a 200MHz version of Motorola's i.MXL processor and PalmOS version 5.2.1, the company said in a statement Thursday. Each has a TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display) capable of supporting 65,536 colors and with 320-pixel by 320-pixel resolution and a memory card slot that accepts MemoryStick and MemoryStick Pro media cards.

The biggest technical difference between the two models comes in the amount of memory with the TJ25 having 16M bytes of RAM, of which 11M bytes is available to the user, and the TJ35 featuring 32M bytes of RAM, of which 23M bytes is free for the user. The remaining memory is used to store programs.

Additionally, the TJ35 also has a built-in MP3 player, Decuma's Decuma Latin handwriting recognition software and Picsel Technologies' Picsel Viewer for Clié software that allows users to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

The TJ25 and TJ35 will be available in the U.S. during October and cost US$200 and $250 respectively.

Details of the new Sony models come less than a day after Palm announced three new PDAs. The devices announced included two models in its Tungsten range and a low-end Zire device.

The Tungsten E, which at US$200 is closest to the new Clié PDAs in terms of price, is fairly equivalent on technical specifications. It is based on a 126MHz OMAP processor from Texas Instruments and runs PalmOS 5.2.1. It has 32M bytes of memory of which 28.3M bytes is available for the user. That's more than double the amount of memory of the similarly priced TJ25 and also more than the more expensive TJ35. Screen resolution is identical.

The devices are about the same size and weight and users will probably be hard pressed to notice a difference between them.

The Clié TJ25 is slightly smaller and measures 75 millimeters (mm) by 110 mm by 12 mm compared to the Tungsten E at 78 mm by 110 mm by 12 mm. In terms of weight the positions are reversed and the Tungsten E is lighter at 131 grams compared to the Clié's 140 grams.

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Martyn Williams

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