One part sci-fi gadget and two parts fun, the new CLIE(tm) NX-series handhelds from Sony Electronics are like something out of a space adventure movie.
The CLIE PEG-NX70V (available in gun metal grey and silver) and PEG-NX60 (silver only) models continue to shatter the notion that handhelds are simply digital organizers. Powered by a 200MHz ARM-compliant processor and enhanced by the new Palm OS 5 operating system, these new devices enable users to take photos and record video clips, record voice memos, and wirelessly browse the Internet on a Wi-Fi (802.11b) network with an optional Sony wireless LAN card -- in addition to playing MP3 audio files and video games.
"When we set out to create next generation products, our greatest challenge was further defining what a handheld device is capable of doing," said Russell Paik, Sony Electronics' vice president for handheld marketing. "We've added new capabilities to our high-end multimedia devices without sacrificing the simplicity and elegance of the Palm operating system. The new NX-series handhelds really put the fun in function."
The new handhelds feature a host of Sony's signature technologies and designs, including the highest resolution color LCD screen (320 x 480 pixels) available for a Palm-Powered device, the popular flip-and-twist LCD screen design, an integrated MP3 player, a built-in AV remote controller application, the Jog Dial navigator and a Memory Stick removable media slot.
Enhanced Digital Imaging
While the CLIE PEG-NX70V handheld is not the first Palm-Powered device to feature an integrated camera (that distinction goes to the CLIE PEG-NR70V model), it is the first device with a digital camera that can capture both still images and video clips.
Located on the hinge connecting the screen and keyboard with a maximum effective resolution of 310,000 pixels, the CLIE PEG-NX70V model's digital camera features 2X digital zoom, and can take VGA size images (640 x 480 pixels) and record MPEG4 compression video clips. On a 128MB Memory Stick media card, users can store up to 60 minutes of continuous video (160 x 112 pixels).
To ensure that candid moments are captured as quickly as they happen, the digital camera was designed to take snapshots or video clips with a simple click of the Capture button located on the side of the device.
Wireless Internet connectivity makes its debut on the CLIE NX-series handhelds in the form of an integrated communications slot that accommodates the optional PEGA-WL100 Wi-Fi (802.11b) modem card. Capable of transferring information at a maximum of 11 megabits per second, these new devices enable users to browse the Internet, send and receive e-mail (POP3 and SMTP), and wirelessly HotSync operation with a PC.
"Wi-Fi connectivity really makes sense for the new CLIE NX-series handhelds, as their fast download speed complements the performance boost offered by the 200 megahertz processor," Paik said.
The optional WL100 Wi-Fi modem card can easily be set up to communicate with a wireless LAN (local area network) access point in a home or office with provided Internet service.
Record Your Thoughts
For occasions when there is no time to jot down notes, the models in the CLIE NX-series offer a built-in voice recorder that enables users to record up to 535 minutes of thoughts and ideas on a 128MB Memory Stick media card (Long Play mode). Stored in ADPCM (adaptive differential pause code modulation) format, these voice memos can be played back on a CLIE handheld or transferred to a PC to be played later.
The same Capture button that launches the digital camera function can also be programmed to record quick voice memos between important business meetings and casual gatherings.
Pricing and Availability
The new CLIE PEG-NX70V and PEG-NX60 handheld models will be available at retailers nationwide next month for about $600 and $500, respectively. The PEGA-WL100 Wi-Fi modem card will be available for about $150. Pre-orders may be placed beginning today at www.sonystyle.com/clie.