Sony planning to update Clie T-series

Sony Corp. is preparing to update its mid-level Clie T-series personal digital assistant (PDA) line with a new device. Launch of a new PDA would complete a freshening up of its Clie line, which has already seen two new models, one each in its high-end and low-end series, during the first month of this year.

Few details are known about the PEG-TG50, which received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Tuesday. Based on information provided in an FCC document that was on the FCC Web site, the device shares similar style lines with some models of Clie PDA already launched, such as the T665 or the SJ33 that was announced earlier this week in Japan and Hong Kong. Because the device uses Bluetooth, Sony is required to obtain FCC approval before it can put the product on sale in the U.S.

The graffiti pad that resides under the main screen of many Palm OS (operating system) devices is gone on the new model leaving a screen that is roughly square. The row of application buttons that usually sits under the graffiti pad, such as on the new SJ33, has been moved up to remain under the now shorter screen and underneath these buttons is a Qwerty keyboard.

Sony has released several Clie PDAs with keyboards, however this is the first device to feature the screen and keyboard together on the same slab. Previous keyboard-equipped models have been clamshell devices with the keyboard on one half of the device and the screen on the other. The new device also has a fold-down hard cover to protect the screen and keyboard, according to the FCC document.

A Sony spokesperson declined to comment.

The launch of a new device typically follows anytime within a few months of FCC approval, although in some cases can take longer. In rare cases an approved device can be cancelled by the manufacturer and never make it to market.

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