Back in September 2000, Sony released two versions of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) called Clie. The two proposed models are the PEG-S300 and the PEG-S500C. The difference between the two is the screen, monochrome (16 gray levels) on the PEG-S300 and color (256 colors) on the PEG-S500C.
Those PDA run under the PalmOS operating system (Sony bought a license from Palm Computing), allowing them to run the huge library of existing Palmpilot-targeted software.
The major difference between those two Clie models and the rest of the Palm devices is the presence of a MemoryStick expansion slot, allowing them to add supplementary memory or other peripherals like a GPS, a digital camera or a bluetooth module.
At the same time as the Japan Clie release, Sony also released an English version of the monochrome Clie (PEG-S300) in the USA Why only the monochrome version? No one knows for sure, but it seems that the color screen of the PEG-S500C was too dim / unreadable when compared with other Palm or PocketPC PDA available on the market, and since the color model didn't sell as good as planned in Japan, Sony is rumored to have canceled any USA or Europe release. Indeed, due to technological constraints and Sony's strategic choices (chose a better battery life instead of a high quality but resource-hungry display, all that with strict volume limitation to fit everything in the Clie), the PEG-S500C screen proved disappointing to use. Rather good in direct sunlight or direct indoor bright lighting, it becomes almost unreadable as soon as the ambient light declines, and the backlighting doesn't change much... :-(
On April 7th, 2001, Sony releases a new Clie, the PEG-N700C. This is a color unit which particularity is to have finally a decent, good quality color screen, a 320x320 pixels resolution in stead of 160x160 (that's changes everything when you display Japanese characters, believe me!), and a music-dedicated chip to listen to ATRAC3 (comparable to MP3, only it's been used for a long time by Sony for it's minidisks) tunes on your Clie. For the time being, this model is targeted at the domestic Japanese market only, but a USA release is officially planned later this year, and probably an European release as well (unconfirmed).
€uroClie main features: