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Sony lets slip details for new Clie handheld

In a case that demonstrates the dangers of being overprepared, Sony inadvertently advertised its new Clie handheld computer for sale on its Web page before the launch of the product.

A photograph and specifications for the Clie PEG-N710C appear on the Sony Style Web page, along with a price tag of US$499 (£350). The Clie, which runs on Palm's operating system, will have 8 Mbytes of internal memory and an 8Mbyte memory stick, according to information on the site. Sony apparently prepared the Web page in anticipation of the launch, but accidentally let it go live earlier than intended.

According to a "wish list" on the Web site, the device is set for release on 28 May.

The specifications are very similar to those of the Clie PEG-N700C, which was announced in Japan in March. The display has been upgraded to 320x320 pixels, compared to a 160x160 screen on the former model. The US version of the device will play both MP3 and ATRAC3 audio files, while the Japanese version does not play MP3s.

By Monday afternoon the page promoting the new Clie (sonystyle.com/sonystyle/4784/7952/7851/8984#) was not accessible from the Sony Style main site. Sony representatives answering a toll-free number on the site confirmed that the device was not available yet, but could provide no additional details.

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