News: Handheld Classics For The Masses

 From the Classy Use of Technology Dept comes news of a handheld gadget actually doing something useful at a classical concert. AP reports (and thanks to Gizmodo for pointing it out) of the Concert Companion, designed by former Kansas City Symphony executive Roland Valliere, which displays “a sort of musical road map during a performance, cuing users’ ears for, say, the oboes, muted cellos, or double basses.”
 
A musician at the back of the hall, AP says, wirelessly turns the devices’ digital pages from a laptop. Users can turn off the backlit devices at any time. The gadget has been tested by small groups at four performances, using off-the-shelf Sony Clie handheld computers. Excellent.

Hardware: Palm Unveils the Tungsten T2

Palm, Inc. today introduced the Palm Tungsten T2 handheld, with the emphasis on multimedia features:


— 32MB SDRAM (29.5MB user available) of memory for twice the storage capacity of the original Tungsten T handheld
— Palm’s sharpest color screen — a high-resolution 320 x 320 transflective TFT display — for better indoor and outdoor viewing
— Built-in wireless communication suite — Bluetooth, feature-rich email client, SMS, and web browser
— The latest Palm OS(R), v5.2.1, with updated software features, including Graffiti(R) 2 and on-screen writing for input in the Tungsten T2 handheld’s compact mode
— MP3, video playback, and photo software for listening to music files, playing movie trailers, and storing photos(1)

The Palm Tungsten T2 handheld debuts at $399 (all prices estimated U.S. street price). Also effective today, Palm announced the price reduction of two current handhelds. The Palm m130 handheld is reduced from $199 to $179, and the Palm m515 handheld is reduced from $299 to $249.

Update: Would You Fork Out $700 For It?

  Wired says Sony’s new handheld, the PEG-UX50 Clié due out in September, is a neat, neat thing. But are people going to shell out $700 for it?
 
 
it has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless Internet access and Bluetooth, which allows users to sync wirelessly with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Sony has even developed its own Handheld Engine to ensure that the device does it all without taxing the battery life.
 
It comes with a host of Palm applications. It has an MP3 player and supports all of the Microsoft Office applications. A Memory Stick media expansion slot lets users play up to five hours of continuous video or 16 hours of continuous audio. The UX50 contains a 310,000-pixel camera, a lower resolution camera than its previous product, the NZ90, which comes with a 2-megapixel version. But will people splash out?

Hardware: Sony Blurs The Boundaries

 Not sure whether this is a PDA or a notebook or what. PalmInfoCenter says that Sony Japan is expected to officially announce its new Clie PEG-UX50, its first with a mini laptop like design, swivel screen and built in keyboard. The device has a integrated in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless as well as a digital camera.
 
 
More details and an official US announcement are expected later today when Sony’s handheld President, Masanobu Yoshida, holds a press conference in San Francisco. The UX50 will be available in Japan around August 9th, pricing and worldwide availability is not yet known.