First Thoughts – Sony Clie NX80V

by Reads (6,461)

The NX80 is an impressive little unit–the casing is nice, the camera is sharp, and the style is a blend of the NX70 and NZ90 Clies with some newer better things thrown in.


NX80 open, screen rotated

Let’s start off with the spec sheet:

Released: 7/11/2003
Operating System: Palm OS v5.2
Dimensions: 2 7/8 x 5 1/4 x 7/8 inches
Weight: 8 ounces
Processor: 200 MHz
RAM: 32MB RAM, 32MB ROM
Expansion Slot: Memory Stick, Compact Flash
Battery Type: Built-in type lithium ion polymer
Audio Out: Speaker, stereo jack
Audio In: Microphone
Display: Transflective
Keyboard: Integrated QWERTY
Handwriting Recognition: Graffiti 2
Resolution: 320 x 480 pixels
Digital Camera: 1.3 megapixel (1280 x 960 pixels)
Other Hardware: USB cradle, AC adapter, AC cord/code, plug adapter, expansion and contraction stylus, stereo headphone, remote controller and hand strap, installation CD-ROM

It’s hard to describe how densely feature-packed this little thing is; I’m still a little bit in awe. I can certainly understand why many people swear by the Clie clamshell line. I’ve yet to find any real structural defects in the NX80 or any of it’s accessories. Everything seems well built and functional.

Downsides? The stylus is horribly small and tacky. To call it a toothpick would be to insult genuine wooden splinters. It’s a metal shaft with plastic end caps that is about 2.5 inches long when stored, but can telescope out to about 4.5 inches. Cheap, very cheap, and uncomfortable. No chance of a good in-silo replacement either, because the slot is so tiny.

Memory. The NX80 is advertised with 32 MB of RAM, but in actuality you can only use 16 of that–the rest is eaten up by Sony programs and the system heap. Likewise, the NX80 has 32 MB of ROM, but you can’t access any of that. Sony is really shooting themselves in the foot here, as users are getting no more memory with the NX80 than they did with the original NR-70V. With the Garmin iQue just around the corner offering 32 MB and HighRes+, it behooves Sony to drop their complacency.

The NX80 is selling for abour $550 and the NX73 about $100 less, according to our price comparison engine.

Full review coming soon.

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