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Sony Th55 Review! www.cliehelp.com.ar

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Hello, i want to share this review, maked by Daver (a Sony Clié user) that maked it a send to me, this review and a lot of info are available in my site:



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One of the best features of this Clié is the 320-by-480 pixel (HVGA - half VGA) screen. This is double the size for most Palm models and many other PocketPCs. In the case of PDA's, size does matter.


The screen measures 3.8 inches, the same size as Sony's NX-series models. Unlike Sony's other models, the UX40 and UX50, the TH55 doesn't have a physically reduced screen.


The backlight on the TH55 isn't as bright as other models, but it's still very clear at 50% under any condition - whether you are outdoors or indoors under florescent lighting. With the TFT (transreflective) display, the screen looks great indoors and nearly as good outdoors. Although the screen isnt as bright as some other PDA models, its colour display is noticeable crisper than many others.


Unfortunately, unlike other 320-by-480 design models, the Th55 doesn't offer full landscape support like palmOne's Tungsten T3 does. Some built-in applications have the option to go landscape, but most are stuck in portrait mode. Of all the applications that need landscape, NetFront, the built-in internet web browser, is top of the list.




Many of Sony's previous models with the HVGA screen incorporate the clamshell fold up design. While those models are packed with features like mini keyboards, rotatable camera lenses, and rotatable screen slates (NX-series models), they were quite heavy for a handheld unit.


For the first time, Sony managed to pack nearly as many features into the same size handheld, at half the weight. Unlike many other handhelds, the TH55 has a certain heft, if you will, that makes it feel very comfortable in your hand. Many of you will disagree and say that the handheld you currently own has the right weight, or simply think I am crazy for saying "heft" in the first place. If you ever have the chance to hold a Sony Clié TH55, take it. You'll see what I mean by having a "heft", and comfortable feeling in your hand. Also, unlike many other Palm and Pocket PC handhelds, the TH55 doesn't have that bending or creaking feeling when you apply pressure on areas of the casing. In other words, it's more than qualified to be carried around in your pants or shirt pocket.


Its physical dimensions are no larger than most other mid-sized PDAs (121mm by 73mm by 16mm), but you won't be able to find anything else in the same size class that has the same features that the TH55 has. Unfortunately, the TH55 doesn't have a built-in keyboard or rotatable camera lens like the NX-series models do. However, the TH55 has other features that make up for these minor let downs.


The included hard cover lid is, in my opinion, very nice. At first, it had a slight wobbly feeling when playing with it, but I eventually got used to it and never worried about it again. The lid is made of a smokey-clear plastic that allows the screen to show through, though clearly darkened. Unfortunately, it is a fingerprint magnet, and picks up anything that your fingers touched last, like natural oils from your fingertips to the crumbs from the sandwich you just ate. However, the screen is user removable, which can be a good thing for those of you who would prefer to get rid of it. A word of warning: if you do remove the plastic lid, I suggest leaving it off permanently, as the hinges are quite fragile and would strip very easily from repeated removals and replacements. One good thing about the lid is that it can serve an extra, and probably unintentional purpose: as a mirror. The reflective properties of the lid make it a great mirror for those times when you need to meet with your regional manager, but you want to make sure that spinach salad you had for lunch doesn't make a guest appearance during your meeting.


Like 99% of other PDAs, the TH55 has 4 hardware buttons all lined up at the bottom front of the unit. The first button (from the left) is for Clié Organizer (CO for short) Datebook. The second button is for creating a new Freenote, Sonys idea of a spur of the moment notepad taker. For many people, its like an electronic 3M sticky pad. The third buttons the Clié Organizer button. This one cycles through the Clié Organizer applications, Sony's own version of the standard Palm OS PIM (personal information management) applications. In order, they are CO Datebook, CO Address, CO Todo, CO Memopad, CO Freenotes CO Viewer, CO Reference, and CO Applications. The forth button is the Clié Organizer assistant: it brings up a menu that allows you to put highlighted text, from an e-mail for example, and make it a new address, datebook entry, memopad entry, etc. Unfortunately, the forth button doesnt power on your unit. But that can be changed by a handy freeware utility called TheGo!Go!.


One feature that draws peoples attention to most handhelds is its wireless connectivity features. The TH55 is WiFi enabled right out of the box, no drivers needed as everything you need is already pre-installed into the ROM. It uses IEEE 802.11b WiFi, so dont expect T3 LAN speeds, but its extremely fast for routine e-mail work and net surfing while waiting in line.


The other feature that is a Sony design is the built-in camera. While the competing Zire camera models also have built-in cameras of the same resolution, it doesnt match up very well to the quality that the Sony cameras have (excluding the NZ90s 1.3 MP digi-cam). The 640x480 pictures arent exactly the best pictures youll see, but theyre great for remembering those times you were hanging out with friends, or when your girlfriend/boyfriend does something extremely stupid and you want to catch them in the act.


As with many other Cliés, Sony decided to use the power slider with the TH55, a feature that gets mixed reactions with PDA users. The jog dial and left right buttons are on the top back of the unit, which surprisingly works out very well for both left and right handed users. Also, the Memory Stick slot is now on the side with a slot cover, so accidental removals can now be avoided. The included stylus works just like the one with TJ-series models: telescoping and sometimes frustrating to use. Im Chinese, so I dont have large hands, but I cant imagine what it must be like trying to write with such a small stylus.


On the Inside Tech Specs


For the first time, a handheld really does have all 32 MB of RAM available. New to the PDA market, Sony introduced the Sony Handheld Engine. This puppy automatically clocks the internal processor according to the application that is currently running. This works out extremely well because it extends battery life. The processor ranges from 8 MHz to 126 MHz (some believe it is really 32 MHz 123 MHz). At times, the speed of applications seems a little sluggish depending on how much horsepower it requires. Applications like ClieVideos Lightspeed and Dmitrys Warpspeed will not work with this unit.


The best part of this handheld is definitely the amazing battery life. The box says that it can go for 10-15 days with 30 minute use everyday. I never tried that out, but I am sure that it will last that long. Im a university student, at a campus-wide enabled wireless network. I constantly check my e-mail, and write my English essays on campus. I may not have done thorough battery life tests, but a 5-day span of 50% screen brightness, over 5-6 hours wireless access, 10-15 hours of essay writing, and well over 5 hours of PIM (Clié Organizer) usage should be more than enough to say that the TH55 kicks all competition butt when it comes to battery life. However, as stated everywhere you go, the battery life may not last that long, depending on how you use it. Multimedia usage will completely kill your battery, just like all other PDAs.


Software-wise, the TH55 is just like any other PDA: it comes with its creators proprietary programs. In this case: Sonys camera and companion image viewer application, Clié Organizer suite, voice recorder, movieplayer, audioplayer, and a few others. Sony decided to include a promotional offer for Datavizs Documents to Go Professional 6 (free bundle), which is a great application for those constantly on the go and need a Microsoft Word/Excel compatible program. Docs to Go 6 also handles Word and Excel files in their native format.


The silkscreen virtual graffiti input area is Graffiti 2 and Decuma Latin input interchangeable, and retractable for many applications. Just like other hi-res+ Sony Cliés, the TH55 has status icons in the status bar (hence the word status).




First off, many PDAs are test-before-you-buy electronics. There is no perfect PDA in the market for anybody. If you want a good price, then you must sacrifice many features, and vice versa. The TH55 is one of them, perfect in its own ways, but stilled flawed no matter how much you love it. The Sony Handheld Engine maxes at 126 MHz which can cause lagginess in some games and multimedia applications. Fortunately, some of the built-in applications, such as the Sony movieplayer, take advantage of the Sony Handheld Engine, thus using very little battery life.


A large part of why I love my TH55 is because of its phenomenal battery life. Also, I come from Cliés with 320-by-320 pixel screens, so the 320-by-480 screen real estate really makes it that much better. While Sony could have done better with 64 MB RAM, the available 32 is more than enough if you dont have too many applications and games. Also, the Memory Stick Pro slot lets you store files and applications if you run out of room in your RAM.


All in all, the TH55 is for those who are away from their charging cable for long periods of time and dont want to worry about a dead battery. For those who want a fast processor, you better look somewhere else, because 126 MHz isnt top of the line anymore. Thats the trade off that people base their decision on buying PDAs on nowadays: good battery life, or really fast a processor.

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