Sony has been busy launching new versions of its Clie handheld all over the world, but up until now the UK has been left out. Today we get three models to choose from.
The PEG-SL10 is a low-end model with a monochrome screen, which saw the light of day in the US in August.
Specifications for the UK model are identical to its American counterpart, yet US prices are lower. The SL10 will cost approximately £118 ex VAT here, while in the US the same model is £98 ($150).
With this device Sony is entering the budget end of the handheld market for the first time, and in order to beat rivals it has shrugged off its reputation for high costs with a truly competitive price tag. The SL10 is only a few pounds more than Palm's similarly specified m125, which costs £112 ex VAT, and is actually cheaper than Handspring's one-time budget Visor — its closest match is now the £144 ex VAT Neo.
One step up from the SL10 is the PEG-SJ30, another model which is already on sale elsewhere. The SJ30's rather strange launch strategy saw it being sold via the internet in Hong Kong and Australia before it had been officially unveiled.
Again the version we will see here is identical to its overseas counterpart, with the same colour screen and 16MB of memory. It is priced at £203 ex VAT, putting it up against Palm's colour m130, which is cheaper at £165 ex VAT, although it does offer a smaller screen area. The Visor Prism is Handspring's colour model, but at £289 ex VAT with just 8MB of memory it doesn't look that tempting.
While in the UK consumers are getting a worse deal on the SL10 than US buyers, we can console ourselves with the fact that we're paying a slightly lower price for the SJ30 than either the Aussies (£262) or the Chinese in Hong Kong (£206).
The final addition to the Clie range is the high-end PEG-T675C (pictured). This is powered by the faster 66MHz Dragonball Super VZ processor — the other two use a 33MHz Dragonball VZ chip. It has a high-resolution 320x320 colour screen, 16MB of memory, tips the scales at a lightweight 140g and measures 72x118x13mm. It incorporates an MP3 player and is supplied with headphones.
The T675C is priced £297 ex VAT, which makes it good value compared to Palm's high-end m515, which costs £315 and has no MP3 function.