Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sony Clie PEG-UX50

Although I love the 802.11 capability on my Tungsten C, the unit has been generally disappointing. Screen resolution isn't what it might be these days, the earphone jack is mono only (!), the speaker sucks, the unit is fatter than most Palms, and most important it seems to crash with every third function or so.

That said, I decided to switch to a Sony PEG-UX50 clamshell. So far, I'm encountering a lot of teething pains.

Attached the charging cradle (I only have a third party one), and then couldn't get it off! I was afraid to be too energetic, but finally a friend of mine and I pried it loose. After that one incident, it detaches with no trouble.

I tried to migrate all my Palm stuff over, and filled the memory, with some odd results. This might have been the result of keyboard pilot error, so I'm going to try again from a different source.

What the heck does the HOLD setting on the Power/HOLD switch do? It's not documented. Pushing the switch to HOLD seems to turn the power off. Since Palm style PDAs don't boot per-se, I can't see how this is different from turning it off normally.

The stylus seems like it is guaranteed to fall out and get lost at some point.

I've come to like keyboards on PDAs, but this keyboard is not as good as the one on the Tungsten's. No real tactile sensation, and no significant travel.

Charging the unit can't be done via the built in USB port. You must use the charging cradle (more like a backpack for the PDA), but you use the same USB cable! It just connects to a neat charger design on the other end! Speaking of USB, the port on the unit itself has a cover that is attached with a hokey rubber strip. I expect the cover to be ammong the missing RSN. The shorness of the tether also makes it awkward to use a cable with a fat connector, which one of mine has.

Really annoying: The USB cable I took to the office (one of the new, cheapy retractables) wasn't long enough to go from the outlets on the floor to the desktop. So I plugged it into the laptop to charge the PDA. The UX50 then started to make noises like a little motorboat put-put-putting along. Turning off all sound didn't help. The only thing that worked was to turn the unit on, which made the sound go away. Switching to HOLD kept it quiet, and also blanked the screen. But this fix only lasts a few minutes, then the noise starts again.

Overall, it's a neat little unit. No larger than the Tungsten, with more capabilities and a brighter, sharper screen. But the documentation really sucks, the KnowledgeBase on the Sony site also sucks, and I understand from reading posts that Sony's support isn't anything to brag about either.

More on the new toy when I get to trying the wireless functions.


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