Sony Clie VZ90 Now Available in the U.S.

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Last month, Sony announced the Clie PEG-VZ90, the first handheld to be based around an OLED display. Sadly, Sony is offering this model only in Japan.

However, Dynamism is buying the VZ90 in Japan and offering it for sale in the United States.

Because Sony intended this model only for its home country, it is only available with a Japanese version of the Palm OS. Americans who find this acceptable can order the VZ90 from Dynamism now.

However, Dynamism’s tech team is currently attempting to convert the VZ90’s operating system to English. The company warns that it is unlikely it will be able to do a full language conversion.

The price isn’t cheap. Dynamism is offering the VZ90 for $1099. Sony is selling it in Japan for 89,800 Yen (about $820).

Those who are interested in ordering a Japanese version of the Clue VZ90, or learning about the company’s progress converting this model to English, should visit the Dynamism web site.

More about the Sony Clie VZ90

Possibly the most interesting thing about this model is its OLED screen. OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays take advantage of the fact that some organic compounds glow when an electrical current is applied to them. This means there is no need of a backlight, as the individual pixels provide their own light. This allows OLED screens to be thinner and lighter than standard LEDs. Colors also tend to be more vivid.

Sony Clie PEG-VZ90 The VZ90’s 480-by-320-pixel display is 3.8 inches when measured diagonally. Unlike Sony’s UX series, this model isn’t locked into landscape mode. Some applications can be run in portrait mode.

This device has a design not used by any previous Clie. It has a tablet shape, but its screen slides up to reveal a D-Pad and the hardware buttons.

The VZ90 does not use Palm OS Cobalt. Instead, it runs the Japanese version of Palm OS Garnet 5.2.1 on a 128 MHz Handheld Engine, Sony’s proprietary processor.

It has 64 MB of RAM, of which 40 MB is available to the user. In addition, it has 128 MB of ROM, of which 95 MB is available to the user. The VZ90 also has a Memory Stick slot.

The VZ90 doesn’t stop with a Memory Stick slot. It also sports a CompactFlash Type II slot that can be used for both memory cards and certain wireless cards. However, it supports only up to 2 GB of memory and doesn’t support microdrives.

Sony is emphasizing this device’s multimedia capabilities. Sony’s Handheld Engine allows it to play video in a proprietary format at 30 fps. Of course, the VZ90 can also play audio in a variety of formats.

This handheld has built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking, but not Bluetooth, which hasn’t really caught on in Japan.

Sony is touting this model’s battery life. It claims the VZ90 will last twice as long on a single charge as the TH55, a model with a very impressive battery life.

More information on this model is available on Sony Japan’s web site.

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