Stirring stuff, this

7th November 2003 at 00:00
Anytime, anyplace, anything. That's the wonderful world offered by this cocktail of electronics. Do what you want, when you want and share it with whom you want.

The Sony Clie is no ordinary personal digital assistant (PDA). Yes, it's a pocket sized device with address book, diary, and notepad. But it's also a digital camera, voice recorder and mp3 player. And, with an additional memory stick, a video camera. All in the palm of your hand. With the built-in Bluetooth connectivity it will wirelessly connect to similarly enabled devices, to surf the net, check your email, or print out a photo.

I wish I had taken it up to Ingleborough at Easter to take photos of the kids, record my rasping breath and scribble a few poetic notes about stunning views under blue skies. With a Bluetooth-enabled phone I could have then emailed my father-in-law, whose knees weren't up to the climb, so that he could share the moment of triumph. Sadly, I forgot it and we could only say on our return: "Sunny. Little wind. Nice views." Not the same, somehow.

In the classroom you can immediately capture what pupils are doing. Take a snap, ask for their thoughts, make a note. Then synchronise with your PC through the USB cable or infrared.

This isn't one-way traffic. With the Picsel Viewer software provided you can read and edit standard documents, such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel, and share them with your PC.

And if you get bored of all that, it runs the Palm operating system, so the expansion possibilities are numerous. Read a book. Download a dictionary or city guides and maps. Prepare and run presentations. Use it as a remote control. Listen to your favourite music. Browse your photo album.

A highly sophisticated device, the Sony Clie truly is the vodka Martini of PDAs.(for more details see page 28)

Sony Clie PEG-NZ90

Handheld computer with 200MHz CPU and Palm OS5, 2 Megapixel CCD camera, built-in Bluetooth and optional modem card

Price: pound;509 ex VAT

Fitness for purpose *****

Ease of use ****

Features *****

Quality *****

Value for money ****

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