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The Clié (pronounced KLEE-ay) is Sony's first attempt to penetrate the PDA market. It's name is an acronym, for communication, link, information, and entertainment. The device runs the Palm operating system (Palm OS version 3.5), which is found on the Visor Handspring and on all of Palm's PDAs. The Clié comes equipped with 8MB of internal memory, 2MB of Flash memory, and an 8MB memory stick, which can be inserted in a slot on the back of the device. It's power source is a Lithium-ion rechargable battery, as opposed to AAA batteries which would make the PDA much more bulky.

An interesting innovation on the Clié is the jog dial navigator, which allows you to retrieve any information without pulling out the stylus, or even using another hand. The competing versions do not have this feature, so it is necessary to whip out that little pen not only when you want to input data, but also when retrieving it. Needless to say, this can be a real kick in the pants, especially when your hands are full.

It is 2.9" wide and 0.6" thick, making it slimmer and even less bulky than the Palm V.

Disappointingly, the Clié's screen is black and white, so there isn't really much to set it apart from the other PDAs. Currently, there are no color PDAs with dimensions that rival the Palm V's, so if this were color, Sony might have had a real winner here. The only substantial innovation on this new device is the jog dial. Some might argue that the memory stick slot is an innovation, but TRGPro released a modified Palm III which had a memory slot quite a while ago. And they were wise enough to choose the compact flash format, instead of the proprietary (read: oppressive) Memory Stick™ format.

The Clié doesn't support many operating systems either. As of now, they are only supporting Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional. No Windows 95 or NT 4 support. No Mac support. And you could just forget about support for FreeBSD, Linux, or any other Unix based OS.

On top of all that, the design is butt ugly.


The node title is Clie, but it is spelled Clié, with an accented 'e'.
The new Clié N710C is now coloured with 8mb internal memory, 8mb memory stick, and a 4mb flash memory rather than 2mb. It's still the same size and still operates on Palm OS 3.5. The technicalities are also similar to the previous handheld Clieé.

Sony has added a built-in MP3 player playing both mp3 and ATRAC3 files. The CLIÉ™ handheld also comes with a hold switch, to turn the LCD screen off while listening to music to avoid unnecessary battery drain. The resolution on this new handheld is 320 x 320 pixels and supports 8 bit 256 colours. This is better than most other handhelds by hewlett packard, casio, etc which only has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels.

CLIÉ™ also comes with really nice Sony street headphones as well as a remote control which is similar to the one included with Sony's MiniDisc Player. The only bad thing about it is that it does not include enough memories for most of it's "additional" abilities. To be able to use the MP3 player, we are forced to buy another memory stick with at least 32mb memory which is quite expensive. But with enough memory the CLIÉ™ is not only able to play mp3s but also video clips, play games, etc. It is also a nice silver and is sleeker than the previous CLIÉ™ handheld.

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