Sony Clié PEG-S300/E

Palmtop PC

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Review You've got to hand it to Sony – it knows how to make an attractive gadget. Its latest lovely-looking creation is dubbed Communication, Link, Information and Entertainment – or put simply, Clié.

As with all Sony products, the Clié has been well marketed and hits the shelves amid plenty of promotion. But can it possibly live up to the hype? In a word – no. Remove the Sony-tinted spectacles for a moment and you’ll see that the Clié is just another Palm OS-based organiser, albeit with a chic design and a few interesting additions.

The first of these is a Memory Stick slot, replete with an 8MB card to slide into it. There’s nothing fancy about Memory Stick – it’s just another card standard to compete with the clamouring hoards – but at least it provides a way of upgrading the Clié and allows it to store images and video clips.

However, it is an added bonus as it beefs up the memory provided to 16MB when twinned with the built-in 8MB. Time for a reality check, though. Yes, the Clié can play mini-movies, but they’re projected on a highly reflective, monochrome screen – and at postage-stamp size.

To us, this seems a pointless exercise. Much the same could be said of its image-viewing capability, which is fine in theory but ugly in implementation. The rest of what’s on offer is much like any other Palm-based device, meaning the Clié provides basic but effective contact management and scheduling applications, coupled with touch-screen operation and handwriting recognition to input data. A USB docking cradle serves as the Sony’s desktop computer interface and battery charger.

The Clié is a fine palmtop PDA (personal digital assistant) cast from the Palm OS mould. The additional memory is a real bonus, but the extras it offers don’t justify the high price tag.


Price: £214
Contact: 0845 601 4254
Web site: www.sony-europe.com/clieplaza


Processor: 20MHz Dragonball EZ
Memory Stick: 8MB
Screen: 160x160-pixel resolution
Battery: Lithium-ion

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