Sony will launch two new Clie PDAs in Japan in two weeks time and plans to follow with launches of the devices in overseas markets.

The PEG-TH55, which is the more expensive of the two new models, is the first to feature a new organiser software application developed by Sony called Clié Organiser. It replicates the basic organiser functions that are a staple of PDA software, such as scheduler and address book, but frees the user from being restricted to entering information in text only and allows handwritten comments, icons, and images to be attached and added to organiser pages.

As for hardware, the PDA is based on Sony's own Handheld Engine processor running at a 123MHz clock speed and PalmSource's Palm OS 5.2.1 operating system, according to a Sony statement. It has 32MB of RAM and a colour LCD that supports 320-pixel by 480-pixel resolution and 65,536 colours. Interfaces include USB, infrared, MemoryStick Pro and IEEE802.11b wireless LAN.

The camera uses a 310,000-pixel resolution CMOS image sensor, which means images up to a maximum resolution of 640 pixels by 480 pixels (VGA) can be taken, and the PDA also has a voice recorder function.
It measures 2.9 inches by 4.8 inches by .6 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces. The built-in rechargeable battery has enough power to last 15 days of use, which Sony defines as 30 minutes per day with the LCD backlight switched off. With the backlight switched on, the battery life will be less although Sony doesn't provide a figure for this case.

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The PEG-TJ37 is similar to the PEG-TJ35, which Sony launched in the US last year with the main difference being the addition of a digital still camera function.

Other functions and specifications are similar to the PEG-TJ35, such as a Motorola i.MXL processor running at 200 MHz, 32MB of RAM, a backlit colour TFT LCD panel with 320-pixel by 320-pixel resolution, and MP3 player function.

The PEG-TH55 and PEG-TJ37 will both launch on February 14 and will be priced at around £225 and £175 respectively, according to the Tokyo company. Overseas launches of each model are planned however release dates are yet to be decided.