Latest CLIE handheld combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Monday July 21, 2003

Sony has unveiled the new CLI', a web-enabled, multi-media handheld that integrates both Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) and Bluetooth wireless technologies. For the first time, Sony has engineered and manufactured its own processor for the device in order to optimise power consumption, miniaturization and multimedia processing capabilities.

Like previous models, the CLI' PEG-UX50 includes an integrated digital camera, voice recorder, digital audio player and high-resolution colour screen. Sony refer to the device as a "personal entertainment communicator", rather than a "multi-media handheld", a reference to its enhanced communications and web functionality.

Known as the Handheld Engine, the new processor, features Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Management (DVFM), a Sony developed technology designed to maximize battery life. DVFM works by automatically operating at a frequency that draws a minimum of power supply voltage depending on the application being used and is the world's first commercialisation of voltage control functions according to Sony.

The new CLIE is also smaller than its predecessors due to the integration of the two-dimensional graphics engine, digital camera and Memory Stick PRO media interfaces onto a single chip.

Wireless capabilities include Internet and email access via a Wi-Fi link or a Bluetooth mobile phone with data access service. Embedded "sniffer" technology also enables users' to detect available Wi-Fi signals when they enter a new geographic location.

Among the other notable features of the CLI' PEG-UX50 - a dedicated 29MB of internal memory, dual memory card slot, built-in QWERTY-layout wide-pitch keyboard with backlight and a new auto-backup capability that stores information to a separate built-in non-volatile memory when the battery is dangerously low.

A Bluetooth only version (the CLI' PEG-UX40) will also be released when the new Sony handheld goes on sale in the US in September 2003 at a price of US$700 for the CLI' UX50 and US$600 for the UX40.

Stay tuned to Gizmo for further details on Australian availability and pricing.

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