First Thoughts – Sony Clie UX50

by Reads (14,669)

After less than 24 hours with the UX50 I have to report that this device is simply stunning. The UX50 is the closest thing to the “perfect PDA” that I’ve ever seen, for my style of usage. I like it so much, I prefer to call it’s faults character traits instead.

I’m running the UX50 though its paces right now, but wanted to post a few pictures and my initial likes and dislikes.

What I like:
Form factor is great, small footprint fits into pants pocket well
*The screen is great – very bright and crisp, no wavy lines as seen in other Clie models
*I’m really enjoying the keyboard. The keys are hard, not that rubbery material in other models. They’re also very large, which makes it easy to see what you’re doing.
*On button press there is a keyboard backlight that stays on for a few seconds. I think the implementation is great.
*WiFi and Bluetooth setup were a breeze.
*The speaker volume is excellent, one of the best I’ve heard in a PDA.
*The cradle system works well for me. I like the small footprint and find it easy to dock and remove the UX50 with one hand.
*The telescoping stylus is solid, but a little small. It’s a collapsible model that stays extended very well.
*Battery life seems pretty solid, even with both wireless features on.
*The placement of the headphone jack is nice, should be easy to stow the UX50 while listening to tunes.
*The mic is also in a usable spot, even with the screen closed.
*Processor speed seems solid, no problems opening large files.

What I don’t like:
*The lanyard knob is kind of odd and seems largely unusable
*The scroll wheel is not as easy to operate as jog dials found in prior models. When the screen is flipped, the wheel is almost unusable for me.
*The sync cable plugs into the UX50 itself, not the base. I would prefer to have it do both, as it’s a pain to plug in every time you want to sync via cable.
*The door that covers the mini-USB port used for syncing is connected by a flimsy rubber piece. I’m afraid that constant use and time will spell disaster for the cover.
*There’s not a hardware button to launch the contacts application.
*The launcher software is really nasty. I quickly reverted to the small icon option.
*For $700 you would think a license for Documents To Go wouldn’t be asking too much, but it is.

What I’m undecided on:
*I’ve never been a fan of gimmicky cameras in PDAs – I’m trying to decide is this one adds any value
*I continue to wish there were a good web browser for the Palm OS.
*Graffiti entry with numbers on top and letters on the bottom instead of a left and right alignment takes some getting used to.

I’ll have much more in the full review, but as always, feel free to post questions here and I’ll answer them as I can. For now, take a look at a few pitures:

UX 50 closed. The unit does fit well in one hand, but requires two handed use for the most part.

UX 50 open. The stylus is located in that knob on the right and the silo runs under the hardware buttons at the bottom.

Another UX50 open shot, this one has been washed out by the flash, but the screen looks sharp!

The UX50 in the dark.

Up close with the backlit keyboard. It stays active for a few seconds on button press.



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