Just because Sony is making some of the coolest
high end color Palm OS PDAs, doesn't mean they're neglecting the
low-end grayscale market! Introduced in August of 2002, the SL10
is Sony's latest low end grayscale PDA and it offers a lot for
the $149 asking price. The SJ20 followed a few weeks later, and
while similar to the SL10, it's the next step up, offering a better
screen, more memory and a rechargeable battery for $50 more.
The screen on both is a hi-res 320 x 320 pixel
grayscale screen and offers sharp images, text and icons. The SL10's
display isn't super high quality: it's a bit dark and there's some
ghosting (reminiscent of the cursor trails you used to see on notebook
computers from years ago). The backlighting isn't very bright.
The SJ20 on the other hand has a more paper-white kind of display
and is both much easier to read and more evenly lit. Both are viewable
indoors and outdoors.
The front buttons are easy to use, especially
compared to the un-ergonomic up/down buttons used on the Clié T665.
You'll also get the standard Sony jog dial on the left side of
the unit for moving up and down in apps and etc., which is very
popular with users. There's also a Back button just below the jog
You'll be able to use Clie T and NR series accessories
such as camera, cradle, keyboard and more with this PDA.
Power and Expandability
The SL10 and SJ20 have a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ
processor that's fast enough for the average user's needs. The
SL 10 has 8 megs of internal memory, which is enough to store a
heck of a lot of contacts, appointments and notes, along with some
3rd party apps and Word/Excel docs. The SJ20 has a more roomy 16
megs, which is great if you want to install a lot of additional
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.
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.
The unit is rather thick compared to some of
Sony's slimmer models such as the T-415 and T-655C.
Other than the thickness, the unit is quite small, and looks very
modern with very little dead space surrounding the screen.
SL10: Pro: This
is an attractive and highly portable PDA at a budget price. The
software bundle is generous and you'll even get Documents to Go
Standard Edition v. 4 for working with Word and Excel files. Hi-res
screen is a first in this price range. Con: No built-in rechargeable
Lithium Ion battery, instead you'll use disposable AAA batteries
(or your own rechargeables). Then again, you won't be tied to an
AC adapter while traveling. The screen is dark and has ghosting.
No cradle included. You'll get a USB cable for HotSyncing. You
can buy an optional cradle, but prices for these are high.
SJ20: Pro: As with
the SL10, this is an attractive and highly portable PDA at a good
price. The software bundle is generous and you'll even get Documents
to Go Standard Edition v. 4 for working with Word and Excel files.
Hi-res screen is a first in this price range and the SJ20 screen
is bright and much better than the SL10's. Rechargeable battery
and 16 megs of RAM are great. Con: You'll get a USB cable for HotSyncing.
You can buy an optional cradle, but prices for these are high.
If you can afford it, go with the SJ20: a much
better screen, double the memory and a rechargeable battery for
$50 more really make this into a PDA you can live with for quite
x 320 pixels, grayscale display. Hi resolution
allows for much sharper images and text compared
to other Palm OS competitors' PDAs.
Motorola Dragonball VZ processor. 8 megs of built
in RAM for SL10 and 16 megs for SJ20. 4 megs of Flash
ROM for flash upgrades and OS.
4 1/8 (H) x 2 7/8 (W) x 21/32 (D) inches, ~ 4.0 oz
SJ20:4 1/8 (H) x 2 7/8 (W) x 11/16 (D) inches. 4.5 oz.
SL10: 2 AAA alkaline batteries good for 2 to 4 weeks.
SJ20: Lithium Ion rechargeable.
in speaker for alarms (not enhanced audio).
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™ Photo Stand, 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.
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
cover, 2 AAA batteries, USB sync cable included
Protective cover, charger, USB sync cable included with SJ20.