First Thoughts: Sony Clie PEG-NR70V/U

by Reads (5,336)

Wow. This Clie is going to be huge. We all knew it, even before it hit store shelves. Mix in a larger version of the 760 screen, the entertainment functions of the 415, acceptable size and weight, sturdy design, and oh yeah, a digital camera and you have the NR70V.

Out of the box, the 4 tall swivel screen is the first thing you ll look for. Somehow it even looked majestic without the power turned on! A quick charge in its cradle and I was ready to play. The screen is just great there s no other way to put it. The virtual graffiti area is very similar to the HandEra 330, although, this version has a few more functions built in. For programs that accept the larger format, a small purple arrow lets you minimize the graffiti area. However, it s a little disappointing that you can t do more with the large screen right now, there just aren t many applications that support it. I m sure that s just a temporary problem though.

Next I wanted to play with the camera. I know it s not supposed to be great, some call it a gimmick, but I find the camera to be a fun little add on. You can take mini pictures to save with your contacts or you can take larger ones (320 x 240) and use them for slideshows or presumably to email them to friends. So, when you re board, take a few snapshots, its kinda fun. The camera program will save right to the memory stick, so no bother moving files around. There s no zoom and no flash, so again, you re not going to win a photography contest here, but that s not the point. Being able to snap a quick photo when your boss trips walking down the hall well that is the point.

The other big talk is about the keypad on this little gem. Coming from the world of strap-on touch pads, you ll find this to be substantially different. It s not really a thumbpad, more of a thumbnail pad. I can peck at it relatively easily with big fingers. I find the keys to be very responsive with plenty of function options. I haven t used the keypad much yet, but so far, so good.

One oddity about this PDA is that the stylus is in the bottom, not the top. Not that it matters, it s just a bit weird. One of my favorite features is watching the screen invert when you twist it to put it in the tablet position. Sony classics are here again, with the jog dial and a new back button. Also, for those who spring for the camera, there s a little button on the hinge to launch the camera program automatically.

The universal remote is fun, although I haven t figured out how to delete remote programs once they re added. I ll worry about that later. Most major brands are supported and I got my Toshiba TV on the first try. Good range and it even controlled all my menus without issue.

The MP3 player is also great, another holdover from the 710/760 series. You will need buy a Memory Stick to get this feature going, as the 16MB of internal memory isn t designed to hold your rockin tunes. The largest size currently available is 128MB, running about $90. I m a little saddened that Sony didn t throw in a little 16MB card, but what can you do? Go buy one. The headphones are a bit chintzy, but get the job done. You can plug any that you wish into the stereo output. One surprise is that the speaker in the back of the unit is a actually pretty good. Ok, you won t want to pump up low-rider, but it does an adequate job.

I ll get to more of the features I ve missed and go more in-depth on the ones I ve glossed over in my full review coming in the next week or so. For now, this should be enough to hold you over. If you have any specific questions, I ll address them on the discussion boards. For now I ll be very busy with this newest toy.

Brian

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