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Sony primes Clie for video stardom

Sony ups the ante in the features war among handheld computer makers, giving its high-end Clie the ability to record moving images.

    Upping the ante in the features war among the handheld computer makers, Sony said Wednesday that it has added the ability to record video on its new high-end Clie.

    As reported last week, the Clie PEG-NX70V will let people record voice memos, play MP3 files and wirelessly browse the Internet via an optional 802.11b wireless card.

    The new model is the first device based on the Palm operating system that can capture both still and video images, the company said. The NX70V, along with the NX60 model also introduced Wednesday, are among the first to run on the new Palm OS 5, which is designed for advanced multimedia features.

    The handheld's digital camera, which is located on a hinge between the screen and keyboard, can record MPEG4 compression video clips. People will be able to store up to 60 minutes of video on a 128MB Memory Stick card.

    The new devices will cost about $500 or $600, depending on the model, and will be available in November, just days after Palm is set to announce its first OS 5 device, the Tungsten T. Sony will start taking preorders on its Web site on Wednesday.

    The new Clie also represents a win for Intel, which is supplying the 200MHz Xscale chip that runs the handhelds. Texas Instruments, Motorola and Intel are all competing to provide chips to the new generation of Palm devices, which will use processors based around designs from ARM for the first time. The Sony deal is Intel's first win in a Palm-based device.