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Summary:

This field bag, that my wife laughingly refers to as my “man purse” is a simple field bag I picked up at The Discovery Channel store (or equivalent) at the mall a few years back. I got it to carry some gadgets around but I don’t […]

u70_024This field bag, that my wife laughingly refers to as my “man purse” is a simple field bag I picked up at The Discovery Channel store (or equivalent) at the mall a few years back. I got it to carry some gadgets around but I don’t use it much- reference the remark above. But I’m using it now. It’s now a laptop bag, small as it is. Any snickers others might have disappear when I start taking my stuff out of the bag. No, they’re not laughing for long.I have spent the past day setting up what is certainly the most innovative mobile computing device ever made- the Sony U-70P ultra-portable computer. Sold only in Japan, the U-70 is a techno-geek’s dream: 1 Ghz Pentium M with 512 MB of memory, 802.11g WiFi, 5″ vivid LCD screen displaying at 800×600, full array of cursor control buttons, on the fly orientation changing, fold-up keyboard, headphones with intelligent remote control, USB 2.0, firewire, CF slot, Memory Stick Pro slot, and chock full of software goodies to help take advantage of the whole package.u70_022

In fitting with the diminutive size of the Sony the entire caboodle I received fit in a box that you might be able to fit a basketball inside. Maybe, maybe not. When you take the U-70 out of the packaging and look at it in person for the first time you are taken with how much is crammed into this little form factor. The device is a simple black and silver, with attractively arranged buttons serving many different functions across the front sides.u70_021Turning on the device, no, the COMPUTER for the first time is a mind blowing experience when you see the familiar Windows XP Professional start screen fire up. It’s hard to believe this little device a little bigger than large PDAs is a full Windows box. How complete is the implementation? In the next few installments I’ll be doing a thorough review of the device, software, accessories, and most importantly, how it stacks up in everyday mobile use.I spent a fair bit of time loading the Sony up for software bear with MS Office, OneNote, eReader, Norton SystemWorks, a bunch of web stuff, and other utilities and programs. This is a true PC and you can put anything you want on it. And the headphone remote even controls Apple’s iTunes for Windows. Sweet.u70_020u70_016I’m putting the U-70 through it’s paces now and will be posting more thorough looks at the usage of the machine later. Enjoy these first looks (all images click for larger pic).

  1. Melchor Amor Friday, July 2, 2004

    Hi,
    i would like to know, the graphic perfomance of the 64 mg of video memory.
    Actually i have an tc1100 and with the 32 mb of the nvidia graphic card its ok to play 80% of the pc games.
    Its faster the sony?
    Whats your experience playing?
    Any 3d benchmarks?

    Thanks for your help

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  2. I haven’t gotten around to trying games yet. I suspect that most games will play OK with the exception of the high end graphic games like Far Cry. I intend to try out various games for the review. It will be interesting how easy the games are to play with only a 5″ screen and no CD. I’ll probably have to install Virtual CD or the equivalent so the copy protected games will play.

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  3. Hey, JK. Thanks to your assistance, I’ll be making the splurge on a U70/P from Larry at KurnsPatrick.com. He was also able to get the Vis-a-Vis PDAIR leather case for me for an additional $75, which was only available for sale in Japan, and ship the whole thing over.

    I hope to run a virtual CD copy of my favorite game, Star Trek Bridge Commander, which unfortunately like many Tablet PC games, would not work properly with the stylus, as it made the game cursor go crazy. The built-in cursor control plus the non-Tablet PC stylus on the U70 should make the game awesome to play on it.

    Hope you enjoy yours to the fullest, and I hope I get mine soon!

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  4. Congratulations Raphael. You won’t regret it at all. I hope your game works for you. I need to get Virtual CD so I can give some games a try- this would be an awesome game machine.

    Where did you find the PDAIR case? It’s not on their web site at all.

    You’ll like dealing with Larry- he’s a good guy.

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  5. I saw three cases specifically designed for the Sony U50/U70:

    Xigma sells a slip or flip case for $59 and ships to the US for $11 more.
    http://xigma.jp/en/04/lineup/type-u/index.html

    Vis-a-Vis sells a flip case for Y7350, but does not ship to the US.
    http://www.visavis.co.jp/shop/product.asp?dept_id=1720&pf_id=I020023

    There is more functionality in the Vis-a-Vis case, such as a business card “page” that can also act as a second layer of screen protection, and the pictures of the Xigma does not seem to show if there are any side openings for the ports or switches on the U’s short sides. All of them (at least the flip cases of both vendors) seem to have support for the CF/MS slot, which is important to me, as I’ll have a GPS or BT solution there. From the pictures of the Vis-a-Vis, it may be able to expand to take an extended battery, while the Xigma sells two versions depending on the battery you’ll use. I’m sticking with the standard/slim battery anyway. Lastly, the Vis-a-Vis is full of pockets, even one for the stylus.

    So, I asked Larry to add the Vis-a-Vis one to my U70P order and he was able to for $75 more. My total will be $2595, case and shipping included – not a bad deal at all, I think.

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  6. Melchor Amor Saturday, July 3, 2004

    When you full review will be finish.
    I am in the final decision process, sell my tc1100 an buy the u70.i am sure your review will be very usefull.

    Thanks

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  7. I will post it as soon as I finish it. I want to give it a thorough look first. :-)

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  8. Raphael,

    Does that price include conversion to an english Win XP?

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