Handhelds are more than just organisers

Life

1 April 2005

Sony’s newest handheld, the Clié PEG-SJ33 is an attractive piece of technology that echoes the look of Sony’s first generation of Walkmans. It is a mid-range Palm operating system-powered model that includes an integrated MP3 music player. The SJ33 has a Motorola Dragonball processor running at 66MHz. This is the fastest processor that the Palm operating system (OS 4.1) can support. There is 16Mbyte of memory for applications and a 320 x 320 resolution screen. A memory stick slot sits in the top of the casing, allowing the user to further increase the memory capacity.

Sony describes this PDA as a ‘Personal Entertainment Organiser’ and it certainly does live up to this name. The SJ33’s Audio Player can play music in either MP3 or Sony’s ATRAC3 format. However, these files must be stored on a Memory Stick, not in the handheld’s16Mbyte of memory. The Kinoma Player can display video at up to 320 by 320 pixels. Unfortunately, it only supports videos in its own proprietary format. You will need to buy an encoder if you wish to convert your own movies to watch. Included in the pre-installed software is Astraware’s popular game, ‘Bejeweled’. Many more popular game titles can also be downloaded for the Clié.

Along the top edge of the Clié SJ33 sit the Memory Stick slot, the infra-red port window and the headphone jack, while the left-hand side holds the JogDial, the Back button and a dual purpose switch. Turn this in one direction to switch the unit off; turn it the other way to activate the Hold function for playing MP3s with the screen off. Sony rates the CLIÉ SJ33’s battery life at about four hours of continuous MP3 playback with the backlight on and up to 10 hours with it off.

Five navigation buttons sit below the screen. The middle one – the up/down scroll button – has the power LED built into the middle of it, which glows green when the Clié SJ33 is on, orange while charging and shuts off when the battery is fully charged.

There is a good range of utilities built in. The Palm OS provides notebook, address book, alarm/calendar, plus there are literally thousands more applications available for download from the Web, so you won’t be stuck for software.

Sony Clié PEG SJ33                          

  • Operating System: Palm OS 4.1
  • Installed Memory: 16Mbyte
  • Screen Resolution: 320 X 320
  • Width: 2.89in
  • Depth: 0.87in
  • Height: 4.24in
  • Weight: 6.07oz
  • Price: EUR269

Verdict:

The Clié SJ33’s styling and integrated MP3 player set it apart from other PDAs in the mid-range price bracket. If you have the need for a handheld organiser and have not yet purchased an MP3 player this may be the product for you.

Sony Ireland: +353 (0)1-4131700 —   www.sony.com

01/09/2003

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