Yesterday, I came across a few interesting links at Brighthand and Palm Infocenter to a possible new entry level Clie from Sony that was displayed at WPC Expo 2003 in Japan. PDANews24 today had a link to more images of this new device. From what I've gathered, the new Clie would be an OS 5 device with 320 x 320 screen, front-mounted jogdial, and come in 6 colors. Suggested price: around $175.
Clearly this is an entry level device, but this could be a perfect replacement for my trusty Clie N610C whenever it kicks the bucket. After my windex experience, the Grafitti area seems to be getting less responsive and less accurate. Plus, a part of the screen where some windex residue remains is now dead.
The N610C works pretty well, considering how beat up it is, but with OS 5 becoming more or less standard issue, and the above mentioned problems with input, it might be time to upgrade the "main driver" device late this year or early next.
Another option is the rumored Tungsten E from palmOne (which seems like it might compete directly with this potential new Clie) or even the palmOne Zire 71. Might be nice to actually have a low-res camera along for spur of the moment shots.
One other thing I'd consider for a daily machine, is that both I and my wife would get the same thing. We've done this with all of our PDAs for practical reasons -- we can share peripherals like a Stowaway keyboard very easily. This point also impacts us with cost, since we'd want to find something at a low enough cost that we can both get a new PDA at the same time. We also have to consider our investment in Memory Sticks -- whether it's worth staying Sony for that reason or abandoning that format for much more common SD cards.
So, I guess I'm starting to contemplate the future, realizing that the old N610 ain't gonna last forever. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please leave a comment.
Update: Brighthand has posted a rumor update on these Clie devices, gleaned from ClieSource. The insider suggests they will be named the TJ-25 and TJ-35; the 35 could have 32MB RAM and play MP3s. As with any rumor, take it with a grain of salt.