Sony struck gold with the NR70, introduced at
the end of April 2002. These models are faster, have larger screens,
a unique swiveling screen and a keyboard plus graffiti. They were
replaced by the NX60
and NX70V which were later replaced by the NX73 and NX80.
The NR70V model has a built-in 1/10th megapixel
digital camera, which adds $100 to the base $499 price tag (you
can save images directly to the Memory Stick). This is low resolution,
so don't expect it to stand in place of a real digital camera.
But it is handy for quick spontaneous snap shots and vertical market
This is the first Palm OS PDA to have a 66MHz
Dragonball processor (other Palm OS units have a 33MHz processor
these days). Speed freaks and gamers take note!
Not only is this thing twice as fast as any other
Palm OS PDA, but it has a 320 x 480 pixel screen. That's higher
than Pocket PCs and considerably larger than the 160 x 160 pixel
screen standard on most other Palm OS PDAs. Sony's "old" standard
of 320 x 320 was attractive enough to sell a large number of units,
and the NR70 will probably set a new precedent in PDA displays
and in sales for Sony. The screen resolution when the software
graffiti area is displayed is 320 x 320. You can "hide" the
graffiti area to increase the usable screen size to 320 x 480 for
viewing images, playing games and watching movies using the excellent
Player and so on. Most apps don't support the extended area
however, so most of the time you won't be able to hide the graffiti
Will you flip over this PDA? Well, if you
dig being able to flip the LCD, then you just might. You can
use the NR70 in clamshell mode, with the keyboard on the table
and the screen upright, or you can flip and rotate the screen
so that the Clié is closed flat with the LCD facing out,
and you can probably put it in any orientation you want! How
sturdy will the swivel joint be? Only time will tell. The joint
feels solid and secure.
Just as with some
other Clié models, you'll get A/V remote control software that
can control up to 15 pieces of home audio and video equipment (and
not just Sony brand ).
The IR is strong enough to reach up to 15 feet, but our couch is only
about 9 feet away from our home entertainment center so that's the
farthest I tested). There are about 5 to 10 supported brands, depending
on the component type. I was able to control Yamaha receiver, a Sharp
TV and VCR, Sony DVD and CD/MD deck but not our Zenith TV (not listed
as an available TV brand).
bundle with Sony PDAs is always excellent. 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 files, and Intellisync Lite if you want to sync to Outlook
or Lotus rather than Palm Desktop.
Pocket is an image viewer for the Clié and it also has
a desktop application that lets you copy and covert image and
movies files back and forth from your PDA (supports Memory Stick).
gMovie is as you guessed, a movie viewer. You can use Picture
Gear on the desktop to convert most all movie formats to Clié-friendly
format. However, it doesn't make very high quality movies. Try
downloading some wide screen movie trailers from Sony Pictures
web site PDA section and playing them with Kinoma
Player if you want to see what this PDA is really capable
of! See the specs section for a more complete list of included
How good is that Camera?
Below are some sample images to give you an
idea. These are full size, un-edited and shot at the highest
resolution (320 x 240 pixels) with auto White Balance. You can
also save shots in 160 x 120 or 88 x 88 pixel resolutions. Hi-res
images are only 40k in size. The files are saved in your choice
of PGP (Picture Gear Pocket, which is saved in .prc format) or
DCF (.jpeg format). You can save images internally or to a memory
stick. White Balance settings are Auto, Indoor A and Indoor B
(incandescent vs. fluorescent), and Outdoor. For Effects you
get B&W, Sepia, Neg-Art and Solarize. The camera makes a
shutter sound via the speaker, and you can change the volume
or turn this off so as to not disturb your subject. You can also
have the date appear in your captured images, similar to most
film and digicams on the market. You don't need to launch the
Camera app to take pictures: there's a shutter button on the
left side of the PDA located in the swivel joint area. Press
that once and the Camera app opens up and shows you what the
lens sees, and press it a second time to snap your picture. The
Camera app shows you the image that the lens sees, has a capture
button on-screen and has a Tools screen where you'll set your
image capture options. It doesn't allow you to view previously
taken pictures. You'll use the pre-installed Picture Gear Pocket
to view and manage your photos. You get a desktop version of
Picture Gear Pocket that allows you to transfer still shots and
movies to and from your Clie.
Indoors, next to a window. Shot 1 foot away (it
gets pretty close!).
with sidelight. The camera does have trouble balancing dark subjects
and bright back light/side light.
The unit is expandable via Sony's Memory Stick
technology. These are tiny stick-shaped removable memory cards
already used by some Sony digital cameras, and supported by some
newer Sony VAIO notebooks. It comes with 16 megs of RAM built
in. If you're going to use that built-in MP3 player, get yourself
some Memory Sticks. You can use the purple ones rather than the
white MagicGate ones for MP3s (don't believe what Sony says with
their Music Czar hat on). Just drag your MP3 files from your
computer onto the Memory Stick window on your desktop using the
MS Import application which allows you to mount the Memory Stick
as a hard drive on your PC. The same goes for MissingSync for
the Mac and file copying Memory Sticks.
A Bluetooth Memory Stick is available in Japan,
and we should see it in the US sometime in 2002. There's also
a Memory Stick digital camera, in case you didn't get the camera
model and want to add it later.
really nice unit. Good: fast processor, magnesium body, awesome
screen and color, flip design, integrated keyboard, slim design
and Sony software bundle. The multimedia features and performance
give Pocket PCs a run for their money. Drawback: Unlike the Palm
and Handspring PDAs, the Sony CLIE doesn't come with software to
sync to the Macintosh. You'll need to buy MissingSync from
Mark/Space to sync with a Mac. Not much networking support yet.
Battery lasts only about 4 hours at 1/2 backlight setting. These
PDAs are pricey!
models NR70 and NR70V
x 480 pixels, 65,000 colors backlit TFT active
matrix display. Hi resolution allows for much sharper
images and text compared to other Palm OS competitors'
MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor. 16 megs of
built in RAM. 8 megs of flash ROM for flash upgrades
1/2 (H) x 2 7/8 (W) x 11/16 (D) inches, 7 oz.
included. Sold separately.
Uses a rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer battery.
AC adapter/charger included.
in speaker for alarms. Built-in stereo MP3 Player
(you better get a larger memory stick if you want
to make use of it though!). It plays real sounds
rather than only Midi synthesized sounds.
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 multimedia applications for MP3 playback,
video playback and more. AV Remote software: supports
TV, VCR, DVD and AV receivers from various manufacturers.
Sony Software: CLIÉ Audio Player, CLIÉ Mail,
CLIÉ Paint, CLIÉ Remote
Commander, Memory Stick ® Autorun Memory Stick ® Backup,
Memory Stick ® Export v. 1.0 (for PC), Memory
Stick ® Gate Memory Stick ® Import, PictureGear v.
4.5 Lite (for PC) PictureGear Pocket, SonicStage
LE (for PC), Sound Converter v. 1.0 (for PC), Sound
Utility, World Alarm Clock.
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
sync cradle, headphones, audio remote control, rechargeable
battery and A/C adapter included.