Sony CLIE (PEG-S300) review – 15 years ago today on The Gadgeteer

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timemachine

The Gadgeteer turned 18 years old last month (August, 2015). As the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun” and it is so true. I can’t believe I’ve been writing gadget news and reviews for that long. I thought it might be fun start a new feature where we take a trip down memory lane and revisit some reviews of gadget days gone by. I’m going to start out with a review from fifteen years ago (give or take a day or two) of the Sony CLIE PEG-S300 Palm PDA. Climb in my time machine with me and let’s turn back the clock to September 24th, 2000.


Back in the early 2000’s before smartphones were a thing, Sony was to Palm PDAs as Samsung is to Android devices today. In those days, Sony was always coming out with a new device that had a crazy new form factor or wacky feature that no other Palm device had. Unfortunately, the Sony CLIE PEG-S300 wasn’t anything special for that time though. Back then color displays were just starting to become popular, but the Sony was a PDA with a 160 x 160 resolution grey scale resistive touch screen display. There was a color version, but it was only available in Japan if I remember correctly. Can you even imagine using a device today with a resolution that low and no color? Me neither.

The CLIE offered a whopping 8MB (not GB) of RAM and a MemoryStick expansion slot.  See that tiny phone button in the image above? No, this device could not make calls, that button launched the contacts app. There was no on-screen keyboard either. You had to use a stylus and Graffiti to write out each letter.


The Sony CLIE PEG-S300 was powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery and used a USB dock to recharge and sync with your computer. USB was a big deal back then when a lot of PDAs were still using serial cables for syncing. Some of you may remember those fun times when you had to worry about COM ports and IRQs. Ah, the good old days 😉

Would I use a Sony CLIE PEG-S300 Palm PDA today? Are you crazy, no way. But I do miss the CLIE’s pocket-sized form factor, Palm OS and most of all battery life that lasted for days instead of hours.

Read the Sony CLIE PEG-S300 Palm PDA review in its entirety.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Mikey Pizano September 27, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I think it would be neat to review them again from today’s perspective.

  • Haesslich September 27, 2015, 9:14 pm

    I loved those, even if they weren’t as fancy as the HP Journada models out around that time. But the Clie NX80 was probably the Clie I wanted most.

    • Andrew Baker September 28, 2015, 9:22 am

      I had the NX80. It was my favorite PalmOS devices I ever owned. I remember ordering it from Sony direct when it came out. They shipped me a case of 5 of them. (and billed me for said case). Thankfully on my (Moms) credit card. After rounds of phone calls and shipping back devices and refunds, the end result was they never did bill us for the single one I ordered. SCORE! But it was an awesome device with awesome screen.

      I later got the PEG-VZ90 but I didn’t like it as much. The clamshell was nice but it was too thick to keep in pocket.

  • DStaal September 27, 2015, 9:27 pm

    I had several Palm, including several Clie’s over the years. Still miss them for some things – it was far easier to use them to take notes than any other electronic device I’ve ever used. (I took all my notes in college on a Palm device – and I still have all of those notes, as I transferred them over to my computer.)

    It’s even how I found this site: I was thinking of getting my first (a Palm V), and I wanted to read some reviews…

    • Mikey Pizano September 27, 2015, 11:05 pm

      I actually still use mine! They are handy devices for stuff like writing for me. I have one, an Alphasmart Dana that is designed for that purpose as well. I have a bunch of PDAs of various ages as well.

      • DStaal September 28, 2015, 10:06 am

        I do still use my TouchPad (Palm’s tablet, from the WebOS days) regularly, and I actually went online to ebay and bought a couple of older Palm devices to try to go back to using them, but the software support isn’t available anymore. Part of what was useful to me was the ability to transfer things back and forth, but I either can’t find versions of or can’t use much of the software that I used to do so.

  • Jochen September 28, 2015, 8:44 am

    Actually the reviews of Palm-related stuff brought me to the Gadgeteer in the first place. I usem them a long time and was disappointed to see them fail in the struggle to incorporate phone functions and transform to a real smartphone. They had all but a consistent management and corporate basis.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 28, 2015, 8:45 am

      Did you forget the Treo devices? They were some of the first smartphones.

      • John Kes September 28, 2015, 2:34 pm

        I still have a Handspring Visor and Tapwave Zodiac that might be operable if charged. My daughter uses a Palm Tungsten E as an alarm clock.

        • Mikey Pizano September 28, 2015, 3:38 pm

          I have a Visor Deluxe, and a Visor Pro. I want a Zodiac still one of these days… I should make a list of all the PDAs I have one day too…

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