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Sony Clie SJ30

Posted Sept, 2002

It's here, Sony's first affordable high res color PDA! Introduced in September of 2002, the SJ30 is one of three new affordable PDAs rolled out Fall of 2002 (the grayscale SL10 and SJ20 being the other models). It certainly offers a lot for the $219 asking price (original list was $299 when it came out), and it's hard not to love it.

The screen is a backlit hi-res 320 x 320 pixel, 65,000 color TFT screen and offers sharp images, text and icons. Comparing the SJ30 side by side with the Clié T665C, I'd say the screen is equally as sharp but it does have a slight blueish cast.

The front buttons are easy to use, especially compared to the un-ergonomic up/down buttons used on the Clié T665C. You'll also get the standard Sony jog dial for moving up and down in apps and etc., which is very popular with users, as well as a back button positioned just below the jog dial.

You'll be able to use Clie T and NR series accessories such as thier camera, cradle, keyboard and more with this PDA.

Sony CLIE SJ30

No MP3 Player but you can add it later

If you really wanted the built-in MP3 player that comes with the T665C and NR70, but don't want to spend the money now, you can buy Sony's accessory MP3 audio player adapter for $129 later and you will be able to listen to MP3 music with the SJ30.

Power and Expandability

The SJ30 has a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ processor that's fast enough for the average user's needs. 16 megs of internal memory is enough to store a heck of a lot of contacts, appointments and notes, along with a nice collection of 3rd party apps and Word/Excel docs.

If you find you need more room, you can store docs and apps that are expansion-card friendly to optional Memory Sticks. Like past Clié PDAs, the unit is expandable via Sony's Memory Stick technology. These are tiny stick-shaped removable memory cards already used in some Sony digital cameras, and supported by newer Sony VAIO notebooks.

Software Bundle

The software bundle with Sony PDAs is always excellent, even for budget models. Sony includes their own software for image viewing and editing that runs at high resolution, and you get some nice 3rd party software like Documents To Go standard edition from DataViz for working with Word and Excel documents. See the specs section for a more complete list of included software.


Just as with the SL10 and SJ20, the unit is rather thick compared to some of Sony's slimmer models such as the T-415 and T-655. Other than the thickness, the unit is not as long as the T665 and NR70, and looks very modern with very little dead space surrounding the screen.


Pro: This is an attractive and highly portable PDA at a budget price. High res color, 16 megs of RAM and a rechargeable battery at a great price. You can use Sony T and NR series accessories. The software bundle is generous and you'll even get Documents to Go Standard Edition for working with Word and Excel files. Con: No cradle included. You'll get a USB cable for HotSyncing instead. You can buy an optional cradle, but prices for these are high.Unlike PalmOne PDAs, the Sony Clié doesn't come with software to sync to the Macintosh. You'll need to buy MissingSync from Mark/Space to sync with a Mac.





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Display: 320 x 320 pixels, 65,000 colors backlit TFT. High resolution allows for much sharper images and text compared to other Palm OS competitors' PDAs.

Performance: 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor. 16 megs of built in RAM. 4 megs of Flash ROM for flash upgrades and OS.

Size: 4 1/8 (H) x 2 7/8 (W) x 11/16 (D) inches. 4.9 oz.

Modem: None included

Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Ion. Good for about 1 week per charge with average use.

Audio: Built in speaker for alarms. No MP3 or enhanced audio.

Software: Palm OS 4.1 and the usual suite of Palm applications, including Palm HotSync, Address Book, Date Book, Clock, To Do List, Memo Pad, Calculator. In addition, you get Sony Software: CLIÉ™ Paint, CLIÉ™ PhotoStand, Memory Stick Autorun, Memory Stick Backup, Memory Stick Export v. 1.2 (for PC), Memory Stick Gate, Memory Stick Import, PictureGear™ 4.6 Lite (for PC), PictureGear™ Pocket, World Alarm Clock, and a lot of trial/demo software.

Other software: Palm Desktop 4.01, Intellisync™ Lite v. 4.0 for syncing to desktop programs other than Palm Desktop, Documents to Go Standard Edition for editing and viewing Word and Excel files on your PDA, gMovie™ (Generic Media), MobiPocket Reader (Franklin® Electronic Publishers) and StreetFinder Express.

Protective cover, USB sync cable, AC adapter/charger included.


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