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Sony's Clie changes its colors

The electronics giant is set to release in Japan a color version of its Clie PEG-T415 handheld computer, the company confirms.

Sony is set to release in Japan a color version of its Clie PEG-T415 handheld computer, the company confirmed Monday.

The $299 Clie PEG-T415, which was announced last month in the United States, combines the features of a handheld and a universal remote control. The Japanese version is dubbed the PEG-T600C and, unlike the U.S. version with a monochrome screen, comes with a 16-bit screen with 320-by-320 pixel resolution.

Initial reports of the device appeared Monday on enthusiast sites, such as Palm Infocenter and PDABuzz. A Sony representative confirmed the Japanese release of such a product but would not comment on whether the device would be coming to the United States.

Typically, when a product is first announced in Japan, it is then released in the United States a couple months later.

The device is expected to be slightly thicker than the U.S. version, coming in at 0.49 inches vs. the PEG-T415, which is 0.39 inches thick.

The PEG-T415 will be in retail stores at the end of November, while the PEG-T600C will begin shipping in Japan in December for roughly $325 (40,000 yen).

The PEG-T600C will come with a 33MHz Dragonball processor, 8MB of memory, a Memory Stick slot, and will use Palm OS version 4.1. The device will come in blue and silver cases.

Other Japanese announcements include the Clie PEG-T400, which, like the PEG-T415, comes with a monochrome screen. The consumer electronics giant also announced add-on devices for Memory Stick slots that were previously announced in the United States, including a digital camera and global positioning system device.

The company announced an expansion sled that will only be available in Japan for CompactFlash wireless modems. When a modem is not being used, the sled, which has a built-in battery, will act as an additional power source for a Clie handheld.