In Depth – Sony Clie TJ25 and TJ35 (update)

by Reads (22,767)

UpdateThe TJ25 and TJ35 are now available from SonyStyle.com.  The PEG-TJ35 is available for $249, but after a $30 mail-in rebate the price comes to $220. The PEG-TJ25 costs $200, and after applying a $20 rebate for this model the total comes to $179.

The new TJ25 and TJ35 are intended to replace the current low-to-midrange SJ22 and SJ33, respectively, and seem to indicate an interest by Sony in standardizing on Palm OS 5, even for low-end models. This can only be good news, since greater adoption of OS 5 is good for everyone.

The two new Clies both use Motorola Dragonball MX-series ARM processors, which is a departure from previous OS 5 Clies, which used Intel XScale or custom Sony processors. Both the TJ25 and TJ35 are clocked at 200 MHz.

Sony TJ Clie

The TJs have a noticibly different look than other Clies, more muted and simplistic than previous designs which seemed to revel in their own complexity. I think the new look is an improvement, and lends a more credible and businesslike look to the TJ series. It looks like a tool, rather than a toy.

The TJ25 will have 16 MB of RAM–presumably with between 12 and 14 MB free–and will have no audio hardware. The TJ35 will have 32 MB of RAM–presumably with 26 to 30 MB free–and will have a headphone jack for playing music.

Both of the TJ series will use Palm OS 5.2. If Sony does not reserve the rest of the memory for its own applications, this would make the TJ35 the first Clie to have more than 16 MB of usable RAM. The suite of standard Sony applications is built-in to both models, including the Decuma handwriting program. The TJ35 will additionally be bundled with Picsel viewer.

Sony TJ series

At 0.47″ thick, the SJs are pleasently thin, particularly for a model running OS 5. The footprint measurements aren’t yet known, but seem similar to the old T-series of Clies based on photos taken at the expo in Japan where they were announced. The screens are standard 320 x 320 pixel LCDs.

Sony TJ series

The most noticible changes to the basics are in the Grafitti area, which has an added set of icons along the left side. No information at the moment what these icons are for, but it’s a safe bet that they relate to Sony’s built-in applications.

The jog dial has been replaced by a wheel on the front of the case, replacing the up/down buttons. On either side of the wheel are additional buttons for indicating left and right movement. The new design seems to negate the advantage of having a jog dial–that is, easy control and paging while in one hand–while simultaneously being careful not to offer any of the function of a true directional pad.

The four standard application buttons appear to be of a new style, each pair connected together like a rocker button. The TJ25 and TJ35 will come in a variety of colors including silver, white, red, orange, purple, black, and a really hideous brown.

Sony TJ series

The TJ25 is expected to retail for around $175 to $200, based on price in Japanese Yen, which would put it in a relatively favorable position to compete against the Palm Zire 21. No pricing data is available for the TJ35, but a retail price of $250 is not impossible. Release is anticipated for sometime in mid-to-late October.

Thanks to ClieClub in Japan for many of the photos.

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