updated 03:40 pm EDT, Fri July 18, 2003
Sony has unveiled two new Palm-based handhelds -- the . The models have a laptop-like design with a large swivel screen, digital camera and built-in keyboard. The PEG-UX50 has both integrated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, while the UX40 only includes Bluetooth. Sony is billing the new device as a "personal entertainment communicator."
The Clie PEG-UX50 and UX40 run Palm OS 5.2 and use a new processor system developed by Sony called the Handheld engine. The Handheld engine combines a Sony manufactured ARM926 based processor, a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a CXD2230GA graphics accelerator. The processor speed varies between 8 MHz and 123 MHz, depending on the demand. The system and dedicated graphics chip will support a version of OpenGL and can play back MPEG video at 30 frames per second.
Both models have a total of 104 MB or RAM. Of that 16 MB is available for traditional storage of files and programs, another 16MB is used for the dynamic heap. Another 16 MB or non-volatile memory is dedicated for system back up to save the contents of RAM when the battery is low. Finally there is an additional 29 MB available for media storage, that acts as a traditional memory stick.
The devices have integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Bluetooth for wireless communication. The UX40 model does not include WiFi. There is also a IR port, speaker, microphone, Stereo headphone jack and a memory stick pro slot.
The digital camera is a 300k pixel camera and has 3x digital zoom. The camera supports up to VGA (640x480) resolution, You can also record and play back video (MPEG4, 30 fps, 160x112) and can upload images directly to Sony's ImageStation website.
The device measures 4 x 3.4 x .7 inches (103 x 86.5 x 17.9mm) and weighs 6.2 ounces (175 grams). The handheld body is made of magnesium. Sony rates the battery life at 14 days with 30 minutes of typical use per day.
The devices are now available for pre-order. The PEG-UX50 retails for $700 and the UX40 is $600. The UX50 is expected to begin shipping before September 12th, while the UX40 will begin before September 21st.