Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sony Clié PEG-UX50
I was recently offered to loan a UX50 from a friend of mine and keen to try it out, I immediately said yes. The UX50 is the more expensive model of two Clie UX models, being the only one with WiFi. Back then PalmOS did not support Wireless LAN natively, but Sony did well to get it working with the UX50 (correct me if I am wrong - my memory is a bit hazy). The first thing I did when I had some time to play with it was to connect to the internet and see if I can get the web browser online. Sadly these days everything we have are WPA and WPA2 protected and back when the Clie was released, WPA protocol were still not very widely supported. I did not want to tinker with my router, so instead I created a wireless hotspot on my phone. The basic app allowed me to create a connection using WEP or no security, and within minutes I was online.
dabr.co.uk, a web-based and mobile friendly twitter client. And voilà, it worked! After keying in my login credentials I was soon tweeting using a 2003 PalmOS device. No IrDA needed or cable. Most websites would not load (unsurprisingly), but mobile optimised sites like m.guardian.co.uk loaded just fine. Scrolling was limited to either using the stylus or the jog-dial on the bottom. Incidentally, why aren't any manufacturers using jog-dial in modern hardware? It's functional.
In the next week or so I will be attempting to use the Clie again as a backup device to my current main smartphone and see if there's anything it can't do in 2011. Personally I am in love with the hardware design of the UX50 and wish Sony would resurrect the design with current specs and software. I found even the five row QWERTY keyboard to be better than almost every keyboard equipped smartphones on the market.