RealTime IT News

A PDA For The Couch Potatoes

Couch potatoes throughout the world have another reason to celebrate as Sony readies itself for the launch of a combined personal digital assistant (PDA)/universal remote controller.

TV viewers will no longer be forced to put down their PDA to change the channel during a time out in a football game. With a beefed up infrared port, the CLIE PEG-T415, which launches in November (although would-be customers can pre-order today), promises to add another level of entertainment convergence to the PDA mix.

The new PDA is able to control the function of DVD players, TVs, stereo receivers and VCRs up to 15 feet.

Russell Paik, Sony electronics' information technology products division vice president of marketing, said their latest product is all about having 'fun.'

"Utilizing the Palm OS, CLIE handhelds have always been about fun and entertainment, and the new CLIE T415 model takes that sentiment to another level,'' Paik said. "By enabling the device to act as a remote controller, the CLIE T415 handheld is now the link to one's household entertainment."

Sony's new PDA will retail at $300 (similar to the Palm and Visor handhelds) and promises to deliver enhanced functionality, including:

  • 8MB of RAM
  • Dragonball VZ 33MHz processor
  • 4.3 ounces
  • .39 inches thickness
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
  • 320x320 monochrome display
  • Documents To Go 4.0 Standard Edition
  • The new monochrome PDA sports a thin design and aluminum case, as do Palm-based competitors such as the Handspring Visor Edge and Palm's m500 series of handhelds. The CLIE also runs on the Palm Operating System (OS) platform.

    Since introducing CLIEs about a year ago, Sony has captured more than 10 percent of the total retail handheld market, according to a recent market study. That still puts it behind both Palm-branded and Handspring Visors in terms of market share for Palm OS-based handhelds.

    Audio and digital camera adapters are also available for the new PDA (and certain other Sony handhelds), letting users manage their music files or take a photo and email to their friends. Both adapters require a memory stick to save and archive the files.

    The camera joins similar devices available for Palm and Handspring devices. It plugs into the CLIE's Memory Stick slot and can capture images at resolutions as high as 320 x 240. It will work with any version of CLIE that has been upgraded to Palm OS 4.1, according to the company.

    The camera will retail for about $150, while the audio adapter will cost $129.99.