Sony’s UX50 Now Available… Sort Of

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People have begun to report receiving the highly-anticipated PEG-UX50 that they ordered from SonyStyle. In addition, it has also been seen at some CompUSA stores.

The people who have received units from SonyStyle ordered them weeks ago. The web store still says that orders placed today will be shipped by September 12, which is the same message it has had since the UX50 first appeared.

There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the CompUSA stores that got the UX50 in yesterday. However, most of them are sold out already. CompUSA doesn’t list either of the UX series models on its web site. But Best Buy’s web store says that UX50s ordered today will arrive by Saturday.

Shopper.com lists a couple of online retailers taking pre-orders for the UX50, one for as low as $629. However, most places are asking the full suggested price of $700.

The UX40 still isn’t expected to be available until later this month.

More About the UX50

The UX50 has integrated Bluetooth and 802.11b wireless networking capabilities. The UX40 will include just Bluetooth. They both come with Sony’s suite of Internet applications, including Clie Mail as well as the NetFront v3.0 for Clie web browser.

PEG-UX50 These models use Palm OS version 5.2 and run on what Sony calls its Handheld Engine. The Handheld Engine consists of a Sony-made ARM926-based processor, a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), and a CXD2230GA graphics accelerator chip. Sony says this has been optimized for handheld devices, focusing on battery life and speed, and it will allow Movie Player to play video at 30 fps. The exact frequency of the processor varies between 8 MHz and 123 MHz, depending on the demand being placed on it.

Both the UX50 and UX40 have 16 MB of RAM available to the user. In addition, they have 29 MB of Storage that works like a built-in Memory Stick. This can be used to store applications and MPEGs, JPEGs, MP3, Microsoft Office documents and other files that the Palm OS won’t allow to be stored in RAM. They will also offer 16 MB of space to back up the contents of RAM.

Their Magnesium-alloy bodies measure 4 inches by 3.4 inches by .7 inches (103mm x 86.5mm x 17.9mm) and weigh 6.2 ounces (175 grams). Like its NX series, the UX50 and UX40 have a “twist and flip” screen. This allows the handheld to be used like a mini-laptop, with the keyboard below the screen, or the screen can be flipped around and closed down over the keyboard. In this configuration, they can be used like a traditional handheld.

They sport a 480×320 pixel, 16-bit color, landscape-oriented display. The screen will always stay in the landscape orientation. It doesn’t switch to portrait mode when the device is being used with the keyboard folded inside. The virtual Graffiti area has been modified so that it can be used with the handheld held horizontally. It can be on either the right or left side, as the user chooses.

While their display is the same resolution as the one used in the NX series of handhelds, Sony has reduced the physical size of the screen to 3.2 inches when measured diagonally, while the NX series’ screens are 3.8 inches.

The UX50 and UX40 also include a built-in .3 megapixel digital camera that can take both still images and video.

Sony says the batteries on these will last for 14 days, with 30 minutes of use per day. The company is also offering an external battery pack that will clip to the bottom and will triple the battery life. This will allow 35 hours of non-stop audio playback or 11 hours of non-stop Wi-Fi.

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