Sony unveiled two new versions of its Clie PDA (personal digital assistant) running Palm OS 5 in Japan this week.
First Palm OS 5 handhelds for Sony's Japanese customers
The PEG-NX60 and PEG-NX70V (pictured) take advantage of new features of the latest version of the operating system from PalmSource, which includes support for wireless LAN connections and runs on a more powerful ARM processor.
They each have a CompactFlash slot for a wireless LAN adapter in addition to a slot for Memory Stick expansion cards, and use the 200MHz PXA250 processor, making the devices fast enough to smoothly download and replay high-volume video and audio. Both devices have 16MB of RAM and 16MB of ROM.
Sony has reused its clamshell PDA design for these two models. The case folds open to reveal a 3.8in TFT (thin film transistor) colour display with a resolution of 320x480 pixels on the upper half and a keyboard on the lower half. The display part can be twisted round 180 degrees so that it is visible when the case is folded shut.
Both devices have a built-in microphone for recording audio. The PEG-NX70V has a 310,000-pixel digital camera built into its hinge, for capturing still and video images. The camera can be rotated through 260 degrees.
The PDAs can record up to 240 minutes of audio on a 128MB Memory Stick in ATRAC3 format, or 170 minutes in MP3 format. The same size Memory Stick could also hold up to 6,000 Jpeg images of 160x120 pixels, or 120 minutes of movie in the Movie Player format, which is based on Mpeg-4.
A Bluetooth personal area networking module can be connected to the PDA's Memory Stick slot, but the bigger CompactFlash slot is necessary to house wireless LAN modules such as the PEGA-WL100 wireless LAN card.
"Hopefully in the near future we will be able to unveil a wireless LAN module for Memory Stick and we plan to do so," said Masanobu Yoshida, president of Sony's Handheld Computer Company.
The PEG-NX60 and PEG-NX70V will be released on 19 October in Japan, around the same time in North America and the rest of the world at a later date, Yoshida said. The suggested retail prices are ¥50,000 (£259) and ¥60,000 (£311), respectively.
Sony UK could give no details on when or if these devices would be launched in the UK. It also said it could not tell us when it would release a PDA (personal digital assistant) running Palm OS 5.