Brief guide on buying a Sony Clie Palm PDA

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CLIE: Communication Link Information Entertainment (KLEE-AY)

Hi there and welcome to my guide,

This is meant only to provide a brief introduction to the Sony Clie as stated in the guide title so please consider this before judging whether this guide has been useful or not.

Before deciding how useful my guide was - please, please read the author's note at the bottom of this guide.

Beginner's Introduction to the Sony Clie and PDA terminology:

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The Sony Clie is a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

There are two types of PDAs. One is commonly known as Palm - which means it runs the Palm OS operating system. The other is known as the Pocket PC which runs Windows Mobile, or similar Windows-related applications.

The Sony Clie belongs to the Palm grouping. The Clie is not the be-all-and-end-all of Palm devices. There are other brands of Palm PDAs out there, however this guide will focus solely on the Sony Clie.

For all Sony Clie devices, the model number incorporates the letters PEG (which stand for something to the effect of personal entertainment device - I know the letters don't match.) The next one or two letters is the series. I.e. with the PEG-TH55 - it would be known as the TH series, and finally the last two or three letters differentiate that device from other devices of the same series.

Foreword:

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Admittedly, if you are looking to buy a Sony Clie PDA, then you probably are already aware that these days, with the recent surge in PDA-styled mobile phones - referred to also as smartphones - the dedicated PDA-only market is seeing a very large portion of sales migrate to the new hybrid.

This is good in that there is now less competition for the now rare Sony Clie Palm-powered device.

But it is also bad - limited sales mean many brands are pulling away from the PDA market, and hence stopping productin of necessary accessories, and halting technical support and valuable spare parts engineering. This basically means that if you still want to buy a PDA, you need to purchase a reliable and well-designed product. This is where the Sony Clie rises to the challenge.

History of the Clie:

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Sony released the Clie line in early 2000, and announced the termination of the line in late 2004. There were at least 31 different Clie models created and sold in the United States and Europe, with small releases in the Australian and other markets. The popularity of the Sony Clie line means that it's highly doubtful you will be able to obtain a brand new Clie, which is why this guide exists - to guide you through the purchase of one second-hand.

Of these, the specific PDAs I encourage the purchases of are the:

PEG-TH55, PEG-NX73V, PEG-NX80, PEG-NZ90, PEG-TG50, PEG-UX40 and PEG-UX50.

Additionally, if you could get it for a fair bit less than the usual and current retail price of $880-$1,200 AUD - the PEG-VZ90 is a highly impressive Sony Clie.

The above listed PDAs are the best that the Sony market had to offer.

Buying the Clie:

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I'd love to have gone into detail on each of the above recommended devices, however as stated before, my word count is breathing down my neck, and I'll have to refer you to Google for decent reviews. I always recommend Cnet as a decent review system, even if the reviews are relatively shallow.

Effectively, there are a few factors you need to look at with regards to a PDA for sale prior to purchasing it;

Box: If the auction includes a box, you can make some reasonable deductions (however still ensure that you pay attention to the listed condition of the item.) If the seller still has the box, this indicates they are a careful person, which means they probably took care of their Clie. As many people throw away the box, it also indicates that they are the first owner, or at worst, second owner of the device. This also limits the amount of people who have potentially mistreated the device.

Camera: I cannot stress this enough. The Sony Clie PDAs out there with cameras suffer from a common flaw. All PDAs in the NX and NZ line suffer a suprisingly high rate (50% or so) of camera failure. If you are looking to buy an NX or NZ - ensure the seller has addressed whether the camera is working. This has a significant impact on the amount you should be willing to pay for the item. I have not heard of the TH or UX series suffering this problem, however you should still be careful.

IrDa (infra-red): It's a small detail, but can still be annoying if you were not first made aware. If you're looking to use your Clie as a remote control (there are applications that let you 'train' your Clie to control any type of television, projector, DVD, Blu-Ray player, etc) - be aware that the UX and TH series use 'limited' Infra-Red (IRDA). This basically means you have a very limited (if that) capability of being able to use the TH or UX series as a remote-control.

Screen: Naturally, the thing you'll be looking at the entire time is kind of important. Would you buy a second-hand LCD monitor if it had a major scratch? Or a television? Unless you could seriously live with it, and paid a very much discounted price, I doubt it. The same applies to the PDA - except here, even the smallest scratch can be noticeable, and annoying.

Keyboard: Some Clie PDAs have this, some do not. Be advised that you can make handwritten notes in your own scrawl - but to actually enter text, you need to write in a specific language the PDA can recognise - this requires some learning. I advise on a Clie with a keyboard for those easily frustrated with slow writing.

When looking to purchase a PDA, I'll provide a rough estimate for the maximum you should pay for each particular PDA I recommended. Bear in mind this estimate goes with the assumption the item is boxed, and working completely (camera, other parts) and with minimal wear.

PEG-TH55: $325 AUD

PEG-NX73V: $150 AUD

PEG-NX80: $200 AUD

 PEG-NZ90: $225 AUD

PEG-TG50: $125 AUD

PEG-UX40: $200 AUD

PEG-UX50: $250 AUD

Purchased it?:

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Check out great games like Warfare Incorporated and Bejewelled. Also check out Office software like Documents to Go.

Author's Note:

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Author's Note: I normally rely on pretty colours and lots of interesting pictures to try to make my guides and reviews as interesting as possible, however I have frequently encountered errors when attempting to upload my guides - and as such have had to transcribe my guide from Microsoft Word, word for word, without the associated pretty colours.

 
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