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Sony Clié PEG-NX80V First Impression PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mohd Nazley Mohd Fadhley   
Aug 03, 2003 at 06:22 PM
No! I did not buy another PDA.

A good friend, Jiwa, loaned me his three-day old NX80V for me to "poke" around during the weekend. He's afraid that he might be too attached to it to let me play with the NX80V, if he was to keep the NX80V longer. So, he gave me the NX80V before he and the PDA become like "Gollum with his Precious". Well, I've just had this unit for 24 hours and I am falling in love with it already. For the same reason above, I think I would have return this unit the soonest possible. Actually, Jiwa wants it back tomorrow :-)

From the READ THIS FIRST booklet, this is what I learnt.

  • Hi-res Plus, 320 x 480 pixels
  • 65,000 colors backlit TFT active matrix transflective display.
  • 200 MHz PXA 263 XScale processor
  • 32 megs of built in RAM (15.5 megs available)
  • 32 megs ROM.
  • Still image resolution: 1.3 megapixels CCD camera. Image sizes of 1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 320 x 480. Movies with audio recorded at 160x112 pixels. White balance, brightness and several effects settings are available.
  • 5 1/4 (H) x 2 7/8 (W) x 7/8 (D) inches, 8 oz.
  • Uses a rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer battery
  • Built in speaker
  • Built-in stereo MP3 Player
  • Built-in Voice recorder.

Anything Different?

Like the older brother NR70V and NX70V, the NX80V shares the same clam-shell design, 480x320 Hi-Res.Plus display (currently a Sony N-series signature).

Sony has made some design changes which I could not "see" but I could really "feel" the difference. The NX80V display/screen section feels lighter. When the screen is flipped open, the device is stable and well balanced in the palm of your hands.

The position of the stylus silo is also a welcome change. Now, the stylus is housed at the top right hand corner of the device, next to the camera lens and microphone. The stylus now clicks sturdily into its silo and not easy to fall off.

However, the stylus itself is as crappy as ever, weighless and too "skinny". The telescopic type stylus a-la Palm Tungsten|T makes it double crappy compared to the ones on the other Cliés.

Like the other N-series Cliés, the NX80 has two expansion slots. One Memory Stick Pro and one Compact Flash slot. The"Pro" suggests that the device would be able to use the 1GB Memory Stick Pro.

The Memory Stick slot is now on the right side of the device and the CF is at the back of the "keyboard section". Flick a switch and the CF compartment pops up like a "cassette deck". The compartment door will not close if there's a CF inserted in the slot.

Below are three pictures of the CF compartment

Eventhough the NX80V runs PalmOS 5.0, it comes with Grafitti2 text entry. Currently being a Palm Zire71 user, I'm quite at home with the NX80V. Sony has included an alternative text recognition system called Decuma.

Decuma reads text entry as we normally write. While Grafitti / Grafitti2 "reads" the entry of each letter, Decuma reads each alphabet of a word and accepts in the whole word. I find this useful for first timer PalmOS PDA users. Learning curve is almost nil. One caveat .... It won't read cursive writing.

A third method of text input is the built-in keyboard. The keys are quite large and has an orange backlight to assist thumbtyping in the dark. Spacing between the keys are also adequate for my fat fingers. I just want to note that the key-travel is too "shallow" for my preference. It does not give the satisfying press and click sound while typing. The Tungsten|C and the Tungsten|W feels better .... On the other hand, the Tungstens keypads are not backlit. No big deal, just a small snivel.

Screen Display

One factor that distinguish this model with its previous predecessors is the screen display quality. Very impressive indeed. I was impressed with the Palm Zire71 transflective screen, but the one on the NX80V is one step in front. Comparing the display side by side between the NX80V and the Zire71, the NX screen is more white and produce a richer colour display. The Zire71 while as bright as the NX80V, the white has a slightly yellow tint. Now, in my book, the Zire71 display is number 2, dropped one notch down.


The "V" in NX80V stands out for video.

The 1.3 Megapixel CCD Camera is great. Images shot in good lighting condition is crisp and clear. In low light condition there is a little "flashlight" to illuminate the object to be captured. However, this helps for close-ups only.

The camera also has a special filter for shots under bright sunlight. It is just a sliding mechanism attached to the lens. Just slide the switch and a filter lens slides over the main lens to prevent the snapshot from being "overexposed".

In low light environment, the camera fairs pretty good too. Instead of using the "flashlight", you can use a "slow shutter" mode which gives brighter pictures. You need to be extra still to avoid "camera shake".

As a comparison, below are three pictures taken using the three modes mentioned above.

normal mode

"flashlight" mode.

slowshutter mode

The camera also record videos and is saved in Movie Player Format (.MQV) format and stored in the memory stick. Video resolution is small, only 160x112 pixels. And the recording time is limited only to the available storage space in the storage card.

Here is one "trick" I learnt today. I used a card reader to copy the video <.MQV> file from the card to my PC and then renamed the extension to <.MOV>. Double click on the file and presto Quicktime is launched and I can view the video on my PC. Is that cool or what?

It's Not All Play, Jack!

As quoted on the box, this device is truly a " Personal Entertainment Organizer".

Out of the box, the NX80V plays musics (MP3), movie trailers (Kinoma), play flash movies and lets you carry your favorite photos with you. Other than fun, this device does serious work too.

NetBrowser and CliéMail lets you connect to the iternet, either via IR mobile phone, or wireless network using Sony's Wi-Fi card (supports Sony Wireless LAN Cards only). CliéMail allows attachment of files stored in the device. And Picsel Viewer allows you to port along important documents everywhere you go. At times when your mind opens up and ideas starts to flow, and there's a need to record it, voice memo is just a touch of a button away.

Best of all, these applications are built into the device ROM leaving 15MB of RAM for the user to install more applications and data.

What Else Can I Say

What I like

* Good built-in camera
* sound from speaker still soft (clear but soft)
* true multimedia Palm Powered PDA.
* Most built-in softwares are in ROM, leaving more RAM for the user.

What I don't like

* Heavy
* Lousy Stylus
* "unsatisfying" keypads.
* For Wi-Fi, CF slot only accept Sony models WiFi Cards.

This is the best Clié PDA Sony has to offer, in my opinion. Eventhough the NZ90V is slated as the Clié flagship, the NX80V is the true performer. (The NZ90V is just isn't the best PDA nor is it a really good camera, IMHO)

Tapping off

Mohd Nazley Fadhley
Last Updated ( Oct 30, 2005 at 09:11 AM )