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Sony PEG-T415 PDA Review

January 27, 2002

The new PDA from Sony - Clie T415, a junior model of the T series, is very similar to the T615 which has a color screen and 16 MBytes of memory instead of 8 MBytes. In all other respects these devices look like twins.

As you understand, the T415 has 8 MBytes memory which can be used for additional applications and for creation of data bases. An operating system (Palm OS 4.1) installed in the 4 MBytes flash memory doesn't occupy it completely: it leaves a bit less than 1 MBytes. I should say that there are currently no programs for recording of software and data bases into the flash memory (the JackSafe doesn't work with this model). I wouldn't recommend you to record any data into the flash memory at all as you can damage the device by accident.

The PDA is based on the VZ 33 MHz processor, measures 11.8x7.18x0.99 cm and weighs only 121.9 g. The case is made of aluminum with abrasion-resistant silvery coating.

This model can also have a black case which can be ordered at the Sony's site.

On the front panel of the PDA there is a recessed power button, above are keys for fast access to a day-book, an address book, a to-do list and notes. The scroll button located in the center is not very convenient. However, there is JogDial - a wheel that helps to move through lists, menus and texts, make a choice or go back. Besides, the JogDial can implement Back key functions and some other buttons, for example, it is able to turn on/off the PDA.

Under the scrolling button there is a LED which goes on when the PDA is charging in the cradle.

On the bottom you can find an interface connector, while above there are an IR port, a Memory Stick slot and a holder for a stylus which has a fluoroplastic tip and which is made of metal. Its upper part can be unscrewed - inside there is a pin for rebooting, the connector of which is located behind).

The PDA comes with a cover for the screen. Its outer part is made of fabric, and the inner one is leather. Unfortunately, the standard cover opens easily and lets dust get in. Besides, when you wear it in the pocket it is very easy to press fast-access buttons by accident as they jut out over the surface. The problem remains even if you keep the PDA in your hands. Once, after a little bit of walk, I noticed that the device was turned on and one of the applications was activated.

I think the following cases are better, in this respect:

http://www.vajacases.com/ Among these leather cases the most interesting are Custom Leather Cases (see photo below). However, they are too pricey: ~ $85.

http://www.dsi-usa.com/ This manufacturer offers aluminum cases at about $40. Bear in mind that a case must correspond to your model of the PDA.

http://www.ebcases.com/ Here you can find leather cases at moderate prices (on average at $20). There are models for wearing on belt.

Screen, battery and operation time, alarm clock

The T415 has a monochrome screen which makes a great impression. The display seems to be dark blue or even black and when your turn it on the effect becomes stronger as the information is of black color. It should be also noted that glare is quite great. So, the first drawback is dependence of the display on external illumination. If there is not enough light it is difficult to read data on the screen. If it is too bright there are flashes. However, electroluminescent backlight can improve the situation.

Contrast can be adjusted a usual way; you are just to click with the stylus next to the menu access label (at the left below).

The screen supports a resolution of 320x320 pixels. Of course, not all programs can work in such resolution but in this case you can use them without problems. One of the menu items is HiRes (High Resolution Assist) where you can indicate which applications can use high resolution fonts and which not. With these fonts texts become easy to read.

The Clie T415 has a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery of 800 mAh. Officially (and practically) it suffices for 15 days with 30 minutes of operation a day. The screenshot below shows the results of operation of the PDA from one charging till another (BatteryLog v2.0 program).

This PDA has a polyphonic sound which makes possible to play wav files of high quality. For a desktop PC there is Sound Converter for conversion pf SMF and wav files into the pdb format. The volume, however, is not enough high.

There are some pleasant tones which can be used for the World Alarm Clock, but you should place the device near your pillow to make sure you will hear it :)

Synchronization, software

The cradle has a USB connector and a power supply unit. The PDA can be fixed in the cradle with the jut in the middle. To synchronize data with a PC there is Palm Desktop for Clie 4.0.1 coming on a CD which operates flawlessly in all Windows versions except Windows XP.

Here is a list of software recorded on the CD:

  • Clie Paint
  • PictureGear Pocket
  • PhotoStand
  • gMovie
  • World Alarm Clock
  • Clie Remote Commander
  • Sound Utility
  • Acid Solitaire
  • Pocket Gourmet
  • Pocket Vineyard
  • AvantGo
  • Documents To Go, Standart Edition
  • powerOne Personal
  • StreetFinder Express
  • Windigo
  • WorldMate
  • Zap!2000.

The Clie Remote Commander can control almost any home equipment which has remote controls. The IR port of the T415 can control a TV and a VCR at the distance of approximately 3 m. As compared with the other Sony PDAs the distance range is now 1.5 longer.

PowerOne Personal is an advanced calculator.

Documents To Go is a packet which can load documents of Microsoft Word and Excel. I think it is not the best solution, but it is anyway free.

PictureGear Pocket is an image view; it supports preview and slide show, and can be a main tool for viewing graphics files. However, it takes more memory than other similar programs.

gMovie is a videoclip player, but the image quality has yet a long way to go.

There are also programs for a desktop PC:

  • Intellisync Lite 4.0
  • Palm Desktop for Clie 4.0.1
  • PictureGear 4.4 Lite
  • QuickTime 5
  • DirectX 6
  • Memory Stick Export
  • Sound Converter
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0.

One more program supplied on the disc is MemoryStick Autorun. It can start up applications or data bases recorded on a memory card. Such applications are either started right from the card or first copied to the CLIE's memory. When operation with a certain application is completed all changed data bases are copied back onto the card. Not all applications can be run on the card - just those which do not require access to data located there as well. The card suits excellently for games, graphics files, data bases etc. A list of applications which can be started from the memory card can be found at EuroClie's site. In general, there are quite a few programs for copying of data from/to memory cards, for backup copying, preliminary copying of programs and their data from the card to the main memory.

There is also MS Backup - a program for backup copying of data from the CLIE's memory to the memory card.


The Clie T415 has an elegant design and rich capabilities, and it is not too sizeable. There is also a good suite of software. The worst disadvantage of the device is that the screen depends on external illumination.

Currently, the Clie T415 PDA is available at about $400, and the price is expected to go down to $350-360. The appearance of this CLIE model is excellent, it is even comparable to the Palm V. If you don't like its monochrome screen, then you can go with the T615 model.

At last, I'd like to recommend to all owners of PDAs of the Clie series to visit this page which contains a great deal of interesting and useful information.

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