The Clié (pronounced KLEE-ay) is Sony's first attempt to penetrate the PDA market. It's name is an acronym, for communication, link, information, and entertainment. The device runs the Palm operating system (Palm OS version 3.5), which is found on the Visor Handspring and on all of Palm's PDAs. The Clié comes equipped with 8MB of internal memory, 2MB of Flash memory, and an 8MB memory stick, which can be inserted in a slot on the back of the device. It's power source is a Lithium-ion rechargable battery, as opposed to AAA batteries which would make the PDA much more bulky.

An interesting innovation on the Clié is the jog dial navigator, which allows you to retrieve any information without pulling out the stylus, or even using another hand. The competing versions do not have this feature, so it is necessary to whip out that little pen not only when you want to input data, but also when retrieving it. Needless to say, this can be a real kick in the pants, especially when your hands are full.

It is 2.9" wide and 0.6" thick, making it slimmer and even less bulky than the Palm V.

Disappointingly, the Clié's screen is black and white, so there isn't really much to set it apart from the other PDAs. Currently, there are no color PDAs with dimensions that rival the Palm V's, so if this were color, Sony might have had a real winner here. The only substantial innovation on this new device is the jog dial. Some might argue that the memory stick slot is an innovation, but TRGPro released a modified Palm III which had a memory slot quite a while ago. And they were wise enough to choose the compact flash format, instead of the proprietary (read: oppressive) Memory Stick™ format.

The Clié doesn't support many operating systems either. As of now, they are only supporting Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional. No Windows 95 or NT 4 support. No Mac support. And you could just forget about support for FreeBSD, Linux, or any other Unix based OS.

On top of all that, the design is butt ugly.

The node title is Clie, but it is spelled Clié, with an accented 'e'.