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The New Handspring Visor: The Edge

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the it-sounds-like-pizza dept.

Handhelds 162

Bono writes "Handspring had their site down until 11:30am today so they could announce their new handheld...the Visor Edge. Looks pretty sweet at .44" thick...although the Springboard expansion requires a little add-on that comes with it." When I first read the name all I could think was a thin Visor...with pizza toppings. In any case, the device looks pretty darn cool. The Springboard expansion reminds somewhat of the iPaq does, but hey, more devices, better.

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MicroPDA with killer form factor (1)

Yumpee (32901) | more than 13 years ago | (#366856)

Thin notwithstanding, the Edge is still a hand/palm-ful, just like other PDAs.

If you like the idea of a credit-card sized PDA that gets you a lot of the basic functionality of a Palm/Visor, try the REX 6000 [rr.com]. You can get it now for about $120-$150, a little pricy but still reasonable.

If this was April 1st... (2)

arnald (201434) | more than 13 years ago | (#366857)

...I'd be a little suspicious. Someone called "Bono", submitting a story about a product called "The Edge"? Looks like someone's got a U2 fixation! :-)

Re:Gah! (3)

JatTDB (29747) | more than 13 years ago | (#366861)

Now more than ever, I have to remember a lot of things, make a lot of notes, be at certain places at certain times, etc. Over the years I've tried a whole host of non-electronic notepads, planners, appointment books, organizers, etc. Every single time I lose the bastards...you know why? Because they cost $5.

My Visor Deluxe was $250, plus $30 for a nice beltclippable Rhinoskin case. I've had it for a year and a half now...and you know why? Because I paid too damn much for it to accidentally leave it somewhere. When I first got it, I constantly checked for its presence on my person to make sure I hadn't lost my investment. Now that I've become very dependent on it, I still check for it so I can do things like jot down the model numbers of the routers at a customer site, or make a few notes to myself about things I need to do when I'm back at the office, or maybe write down the trouble ticket number the telco just gave me for that messed up frame relay line. It's now an integral part of my daily processes. Sure most of the things I use it for could be handled with a good notepad and datebook, but I'd lose those in 10 seconds flat.

Re:What about Palm (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 13 years ago | (#366862)

Handspring was started by some of the original Palm engineers. They license the PalmOS from Palm. I'm sure that they would not share the cost with us. :-)

Perhaps Palm recognized that competition is good for the marketplace.

Re:What's so special about it? (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 13 years ago | (#366865)

Don't forget the enhanced calculator. That's right, you can set it to scientific. It's a pretty damn good replacement for many other calcs, and better than the freeware ones (if you hate RPN as much as I do).

Re:Site down until 11? (1)

bluntmanspam (186509) | more than 13 years ago | (#366870)

Actually the site wasn't down all of that time... I think it was just being jammed by all of the people looking at the new Edge. I was able to get to it yesterday (after they posted the Edge info). It was just really, really slow.

Just so everyone will know, the whole reason they chose to release the Edge yesterday is because I finally bought a Visor last week. Most companies seem to be watching for me to register their first generation product so that they can immediately release their next generation.

Re:pizza toppings? (1)

clmensch (92222) | more than 13 years ago | (#366871)

I'll take credit for that...I posted it! :-) It was the first time one of my attempts made it onto /. Thanks for catching that...I thought it was pretty clever. ;-)

Re:The Edge (1)

Noel (1451) | more than 13 years ago | (#366872)

Remember, son, when we bought you that Palm, we told you that you'd have to feed it and play with it every day. If you can't remember to take care if it nicely, we're just going to have to take it to the Palm pound, and we'll never buy you another pet again!

Different Focus (2)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#366873)

Personally, I don't think so.

What disturbs me with pocket PCs is that M$ attempted to squeeze a desktop user interface into a PDA, while the Palm UI appears to be designed for just that.

It's sort of like some braindead marketers cooked up WAP, to give you the convenience of Web browsing on an eeny tiny display in black & white. I have yet to see a WAP service that a) works and b) adds some sort of value.

Further, I don't need features like color, the ability to play videaos or to listen to sound. I need (simple, almost primitive) software like Titrax to bill my customers and mangle the data into a perl script at the end of the month, which in turn mangles it into a nice, proper invoice.

I'm not slamming CE here, I'm just definitely not in their focus group.

Re:Finally... (1)

robkore (251928) | more than 13 years ago | (#366874)

Um, it seems to me my now old school visor deluxe is also equipped with a backlight... RTFM.

Re:It looks cool... (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 13 years ago | (#366875)

I swear it had nothing to do with the hot chick handing out brochures, either.

So you're saying you wouldn't prefer the hot chick to a Palm?


Re:Why do they do that ? (1)

AppyPappy (64817) | more than 13 years ago | (#366876)

Palms are still a few years out. They have severe memory restrictions. Once we get to 128M palms, we will be there. The applications will follow.

This is a great area to start boning up. They will be a hot item. I have seen some really good projects involving palms and analysing weather and insect data for growers. But the memory restrictions are holding them back.

Good use of Flash (1)

topher1kenobe (2041) | more than 13 years ago | (#366877)

I think flash is cool, but I think it's not very well applied. I *loved* the flash demo of this thing, what a great use. User controlled zooming, user controlled 3d rotation, and color swapping. That's just slick.

Ebookman is a better unit (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 13 years ago | (#366882)

With the exception that the visor is rechargable,
the Ebookman is a better unit, and quite a bit
cheaper. The 'high' end model runs about $230.
Franklins page doesnt give much technical detail
other than dimensions and memory, but some can
be found here [franklin.com]

Site down until 11? (1)

yoz (3735) | more than 13 years ago | (#366883)

Jesus, don't they have separate development and production servers? Someone should teach these people how to update a website...

-- Yoz

Marketing... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#366884)

OK, I am sitting here, looking at the visor page, and I am thinking nice toy. Then I look at the top of the page and I read "Visor Edge: proving thin is in." and I am thiking "thanks for reminding me that I am an overweight comp geek." I mean..is that bad marketing or what? Maybe they could do that on print but on the net? seriously..who do they think is gonna view their page more: supermodels or me?

thanks for the ego boost, Visor. sheesh

I mean..I'm right, right? You know what I'm talkin about. bah...

::goes to console himself with a cheeseburger and fries::

pizza toppings? (3)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 13 years ago | (#366886)

Funny, I was thinking of U2 with pizza toppings. Did anyone else notice that "Bono" submitted "The Edge" article?

Re:So, The Edge is newsworthy, but not the "Palm V (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#366887)

Well, I guess the story here is how thin the device is, not that there is yet another device out on the market.

You did great! (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#366888)

When I first read the name all I could think was a thin Visor...with pizza toppings. In any case, the device looks pretty darn cool. The Springboard expansion reminds somewhat of the iPaq does, but hey, more devices, better.

Agree do me to, but maybe Hemos checking speller or/and proof reed before posting? Not maybe look idiot, than.

Re:So, The Edge is newsworthy, but not the "Palm V (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#366890)

and then I realize the Vx is actually smaller and thinniner and I realize, as many have before me, the story posting process is rather..uh...fnargled...

Re:Site down until 11? (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 13 years ago | (#366892)

I'm sure it was more of, lets keep everyone waiting for our special cel-e-bration. Doors open at 11 o'clock where we will unveil or new Edge!

Re:What about Palm (1)

living phoenix (316416) | more than 13 years ago | (#366894)

I would probably venture to say Palm makes their money on the deal. That is to say, licensing fees for the design of the product itself, not to mention the software platform, are what gives Palm operating capital. Handspring is definitely not the only Palm licensee, just maybe one of the most visible. IMHO I can see Palm moving out of the direct hardware production business entirely and move to strictly software production and platform enhancement. This would still mean hardware would be developed, but the production sourced out to the licensees who might tweak the design for full-out performance.

Then again, this is just my opinion.

I think I'll call this one Bob.

Live with Love for Love is Life. --mine.

Re:Site down until 11? (1)

clmensch (92222) | more than 13 years ago | (#366896)

Actually, the site was up...but they had this message stating that the site would be down until 11:30am for SOMETHING BIG...and they had a stupid poll for people to guess what it was. I don't remember all the options, but one was "Counting Florida votes" or something to that effect. That's so, like, January!

Why do they do that ? (3)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#366897)

Let's see, now we have the following options:

Springboards I & II, which are aparrently incompatible

Memory sticks, for Sonys incarnation of the Palm platform

Palm, which doesn't really provide expansion, save for a keyboard, or a modem

Methinks, that if I'm in the business of building peripherals for the palm platform, I'd search for another field.

As much I love the Palm for it's simplicity and it's straightforwardness the concept of multiple, incompatible extension slots/ports is just damn stupid.

What about Palm? They are probably happy. (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#366898)

I'm sure that the PalmOS license is at a sensible level for them both, and if you are going to have competition for handheld devices its better that a larger overall market share is running your OS.

Do you think Microsoft would have been better off if Windows 3 only worked on Microsoft hardware, or would OS/2 (or an early Linux, or SCO Unix, or whatever) have turned them into Apple?

Entered the win a Visor Edge... (1)

BlueWire (9674) | more than 13 years ago | (#366899)

Seems there dae is a litle off... cert was signed last week. WHOOT

Wonderful! Got to love those slim line models! (1)

QwkHyenA (207573) | more than 13 years ago | (#366900)

Great! I love it when companies go for the slim profile! That way I can easily fit it in my back pocket!

*QwkHyenA sits down*

Great! Broke another one!

I hope they make'm cheap! at this rate, I'll need 3 every week!

Re:The Edge (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 13 years ago | (#366901)

the fact that this company reinvented the wheel

More specifically, they probably invented it in the first place. =)

Handspring was started by the original PalmOS designers who left when 3Com bought USRobotics.

Re:What's so good.... (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#366902)

The Edge has an advantage over Deluxe or Platinum in that it's a lot smaller (Palm 5x size), and runs on rechargable internal batteries. Other than that, not much difference, but that will be enough for a lot of people.

Of course. (1)

Brandonr17 (304889) | more than 13 years ago | (#366903)

Linux isnt supported by their software, big suprise. I don't think they realize the market they would expand to if the box just said "linux supported". It's incredibly hsrd to install some of the higher end palm applications on Palm OS as it is. Developers like to package their applications in self extracting zip files, with installer programs. I guess i'm pissed because I have to use a console program just to load avantgo. (fun).

Re:What's so special about it? (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 13 years ago | (#366904)

No, I don't think you are missing anything at all. It is a Palm Vx, with a USB connector instead of a serial connector, a slightly faster processor, slightly enhanced apps (enhanced calculator woo!, and enhanced calendar). The Vx is smaller. The price is the same. So you basically pay for faster syncs and miniSpringboard. Until miniSpringboard devices appear there isn't much point of that unless you want to add a brick to your Visor. The stylus looks nice though. I will still get a GBA though, wait for a GBA keyboard, and some PIM software for it. Mostly game playing, with some PIM (todo, calendar, birthdays, notes) functions is all I need. COsts a lot less. Bigger screen. Colour. So what if the games are on cartridges, and the PIM stuff would be as well. About the same speed as well! Graham

So, The Edge is newsworthy, but not the "Palm Vc"? (3)

abischof (255) | more than 13 years ago | (#366905)

  • 2001-03-09 15:45:01 Palm m505 (aka "Palm Vc") to be Released March 19th (articles,pilot) (rejected)
Funny, that. Anyhow, here's the article [cnet.com] that I originally linked to (with some Edge info as well).

Alex Bischoff

Re:What's so good.... (1)

UncleOzzy (158525) | more than 13 years ago | (#366906)

For me, the main advantage of the Handspring products is the enhanced calendar app. It seems trivial, but integrating the To-Do list and allowing several new views is a really nice feature

The Visor includes both the Palm calendar app and Calendar+ (the Handspring version), and there just isn't any reason to use the original Palm app (other than some very slight slowdown on the larger views).

So, for those who think the Edge is roughly equivalent to the Palm Vx ... maybe the Calendar+ app will sway them... ;)

Re:Why do they do that ? (2)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#366907)

They have severe memory restrictions. Once we get to 128M palms

Yes, of course they do. There's also no threading, let alone multitasking.

On the other hand, ther's a stunningly small footprint. You have applications, that take 7-10k and are just great (even games).

As long Palm doesn't start to feature bloat it's products (in my book, even the IIIC was a stupid move). I'm very happy with what it provides.

It probably really depends where you're coming from: As a geek gizmo the Palm seems a bit, well, lame; if you find professional applications however then its simplicity (including itslimitations) is actually very appealing...

Re:Why do they do that ? (3)

Lucretius (110272) | more than 13 years ago | (#366910)

Yes, of course they do. There's also no threading, let alone multitasking.

Well, to be truthful, I beleive that the operating system is fully multithreaded, however, they just don't give the developers the ability to do muliple threads. Perhaps if they would just give us a peak at that source code, life would be a bit happier in this realm... though most likely not

Are cheaper, finite models available? (2)

skoda (211470) | more than 13 years ago | (#366911)

"The Handspring Visor Edge(TM) is the thinnest, infinitely expandable handheld computer"

I don't suppose they have an even thinner, but finitely expandable handheld computer. (I'm assuming infinity requires a bit more space) I don't really need to store life, the universe, and everything, and I wouldn't mind saving another hundred bucks.
D. Fischer

Re:Different Focus (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 13 years ago | (#366924)

Have you tried any of the WinCE 3.0 devices? (iPAQ, newer Jornada's, etc.)

They've improved things a lot... I was a loyal palm user (hey! get your mind out of the gutter...) since the PalmPilot, but I got an iPAQ and it's got everything the Palms do but with much more horsepower. MS finally realized people don't want a "windows" interface on a handheld, and cleaned things up a lot (I tried out some of the WinCE 2.x based ones as well, and there's NO way I'd trade in a Palm for that). The start bar is still there for "quick access" things, but everything is arranged better in the folders now to give a view not unlike the folder-based layout of the palmpilot's app manager.

Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of Microsoft, I must say it's pretty useful, the handwriting recognition is 99% like the palm's, and you can back up the flash and put linux on it if you feel like tinkering. :) The new "familiar [handhelds.org]" distribution for the iPAQ is starting to get useful as something other than a development base.

8mb/$399. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#366925)

That is an awful lot of money for what you get here. 8mb, .44" thick, and no color... $400... I would much rather a slightly larger machine w/more processing power (33mhz is slow) and more ram and upgrade capabilities...

Just seems like an upgrade to nothing.

Just my worthless .02

Re:What's so good.... (1)

RichN (12819) | more than 13 years ago | (#366926)

It also runs at 33MHz...


"Could you, would you, with a goat?"

TiBook Influenced? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 13 years ago | (#366927)

Looking at it design it reminds me very much of the design of Apple's TiBook (I don't have an issue with that). Now that we gone through the boring phase (Palm's Pilots), the candy colored phase and now the brushed metal look, what is the next fashionable look likely to be?

I like it, but already being an owner of Palm, I won't go out and buy one of these, unless the company is willing to expense it ;-)

"Nothing up my sleeve" (2)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 13 years ago | (#366928)

I think Handspring would do well to offer a longer attachable Springboard slot for this, so it mounts flush onto the back of the unit and includes its own battery (yes, like the iPaq expansion sleeve). The eyemodule kills my Visor's battery in about two minutes. How long would an 802.11b springboard module be useful? Modules that solve the problem by including their own battery like the VisorPhone feel clunky. Those are the issues that affect the market I'm developing for. Sigh.


Gah! (2)

Deluge (94014) | more than 13 years ago | (#366938)

The bloody thing's $399! USD! That's like $700 CDN or some such thing. I find it incredible that these overpriced annoyances enjoy the kind of sales that they've been getting.

I can't imagine the justification for dropping that much money for something that a $5 appointment book will do better. Aside from the geek-chic thing, I suppose.

And people why the economy's goin' to shit -- everyone's wasting their cash on useless crap like these things (well, ok, I'll admit, they are useful in so far as any sort of personal management doohickey is useful) that cost 10 times what they should, and then when they realize that they really shouldn't have thrown their money away, they uh, lose their confidence as consumers, and stockholding idiots freak in reaction to the confidence index drop of other idiots and for some reason it affects even the sane people, and that's what really bothers me.

I'll shut up now.


Re:What's so special about it? (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 13 years ago | (#366939)

Gawd, Palm seem to be creeping up on Handspring. The m100 is clearly better than the old Visor. Maybe Handspring should update their low-end market? How about a 4MB device with the latest OS for $150?

The Visor Deluxe needs a $50 rebate to look like it competes with the IIIxe. Sure, the Handspring devices use USB, not serial, which is nice, and include microphones, nice for quick voice memos I am sure, but in the end it just doesn't look comptetitive enough. You can't update the OS without installing a springbrick module, etc.

The Clie looks more enticing than the Platinum, even though it costs $50 more. It is smaller, has some interesting looking apps, and also has its own proprietary memorystick expansion.

The Prism looks like it would compete with the Palm IIIc, but then you compare the prices - USB and a few more colours for an extra $120? Yeah, right.

Now the only thing that you don't get the details for is the speed of the processor. Handspring say that they use the latest PalmOS processor technology (you what?) and that everybody else doesn't - but the IIIc uses the 33MHz Dragonball just like the Prism, etc. Palms are flash upgradable as well.

Someone care to ease my mind about Palm actually being better value than Handspring?

Re:The Edge (1)

PhilMills (209855) | more than 13 years ago | (#366940)

Flashing lights and expantions slot are great bells and whistles, but other than that, I see no major differences.

Trust me - that 33MHz Dragonball makes a difference on your apps. I've got a Visor Platinum (same powerplant as the Edge, just a bulkier box) and it blows away a Palm Vx when I'm doing text searches on huge documents. The 33MHz unit takes about 6 seconds to do a search through >1500 (printed version) pages, while the 16MHz Vx takes 10-15 for the same search.

Tragically, though, it actually runs too fast for some of the games out there (i.e. try to turn left just a hair and you've spun halfway around by the time you can get your finger off the button). Oh, well.


The microphone is almost useless (1)

sleight (22003) | more than 13 years ago | (#366942)

Incidentally, unless Visors have changed that much since their initial release, the microphone is only connected directly to the springboard slot and is inaccessable from the rest of the hardware within the device. In other words, the microphone is only useful in conjunction with a springboard.

As a long time Palm owner - disappointed (3)

joshv (13017) | more than 13 years ago | (#366943)

I first owned a Palm 500, Palm 1000 (if I remember correctly that far back), a Palm V and now a Palm Vx. I simply love the Vx. All I can say is that Handspring's new offering is simply not competitive - I might have bought it if I did not already have a Vx. And I might think about buying one in the future if they double the memory and halve the price (or add color and price it at around $300).

These companies are still trying to make Mac like profit margins in a market that is rapidly being driven to PC like commodity level economics. It is only because the few current vendors of Palm devices participate in a de facto form of price fixing (they are all greedy) on their high end models that these damned things are still so expensive.

I can't wait until there is some *real* price competition in this market.


Interesting, BUT.... (4)

RobertAG (176761) | more than 13 years ago | (#366944)

1. It doesn't use existing cradles. I purchased an extra cradle for my home when I purchased my VISOR. Handspring says I have to purchase another one now?!?!

2. At $399, Jumping up to one of the WinCE devices isn't going to be that much of leap. For myself, I'm going to wait for a Linux device. But for other people, the incentive to buy a WinCE device will be greater: Color, Multimedia, the MICROSOFT (tm) name.

The older Visors offer many of the benefits of the new Edge Visor without the price hike. Is $200 justified for more memory? Sure you also get an OS upgrade, but this is invisible to the average user. Over the past few years I've seen 2 classes of devices: The cheap (around $150-$200), but powerful Palms/Visors and the expensive WinCE devices. Anything in the middle usually includes wireless (like the Palm VII) and doesn't seem to be as popular. I don't see the real appeal of the Edge Visor as it doesn't seem to offer a decent performance for the price.

3. Wireless connectivity. Forget these stupid subscription services. I want to see REAL wireless networking. I want to see wireless TCP/IP capable devices NOW. I want to see these handheld companies team up with manufacturers of wireless hubs and access points and give me something I can use to connect to my building's wireless network. I'll worry about the ultimate connection to the internet. As long as I have a choice in the matter, I'll be able to negociate the best deal for ME.

Re:What's so good.... (1)

Kristopher Johnson (129906) | more than 13 years ago | (#366945)

USB and Springboard would be enough for me to choose the Edge over a Palm. USB syncs much faster. And the Springboard Backup Module is something I wouldn't want to give up.

No, *you* are the one who looks like an idiot. (1)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 13 years ago | (#366946)

you are the one who looks like the idiot. Sitting around waiting to complain about a humorous grammar check on a news for nerds site. This is not a news for complainers site. Or the Law Review. Do you read newspapers? Look how much gets complained about there. Does it matter? No. Why? Content is king. Start your own site. Call it complainerz.org and repost /. replies with all your petty complaints.

Re:What's so good.... (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#366956)

This app is just a licensed version of DateBk3 or DateBk4. Noting is keeping a Palm owner from purchasing this app.

Re:I disagree (1)

knick (19201) | more than 13 years ago | (#366957)

Comments which have been thoughtfully written and given a 5-second review are the ones which I take more seriously.

A 6-second review would have let you notice you lack of commas.

Comments, which have been thoughtfully written and given a 5-second review, are the ones which I take more seriously.

Based on your own rules, I am ignoring the rest of your message.


Re:UK Availability (1)

padzo (82089) | more than 13 years ago | (#366958)

Check out: http://www.handspring.co.uk
you will find it on that site for the price of
£280 plus VAT. You can even order it online there.

I guess once it finds its way to the streets the price may be around 280 including VAT.

Is Handspring the Palmtop of Choice now? (1)

yog (19073) | more than 13 years ago | (#366959)

I've got a Palm III and IIIxe. Great stuff; got a Kodak Palmpix camera for quick digital pictures. Couldn't live without one of these things. Well, life wouldn't be as fun anyway.

But Palm has come out with four incompatible hardware lines: Pilot/5000, III/VII, V/Vx, and M100/105 series. Cradles are different, expansion devices like modems are different. Who are they kidding? All they've done is shoot themselves in the foot.

Now Handspring is coming out with one great product after another, all using the same cradles and expansion boards. Is there any reason to buy a Palm anymore?


Re:What's so good.... (1)

Shitsack Comments (256887) | more than 13 years ago | (#366960)

The lack of a blinking light has been a tremendous drawback to the Palm design from the beginning. Now, with "Das Blinkenlights", you can program the thing to hypnotize the moron across from you on the bus into doing your bidding.

Re:What's so good.... (4)

SMN (33356) | more than 13 years ago | (#366961)

First of all, you're missing the two most important differences, IMHO. the Visor Edge is 33 MHz, the Palm Vx is only 20 MHz (I think - sombody correct me if that's wrong). The Visor Edge has a special optimized version of PalmOS that runs slightly faster and several superior apps are built in (eg, DateBk3), but at the cost of Flash ROM.

That being said, of course Visor Edge is playing catch-up -- in case anyone hasn't noticed, the Palm Vx has been Palm's best-selling model, largely because Handspring has no comparable model. Handspring is making a good business move by putting out an essentially equivalent model with a flashy design, which nearly guarantees that they'll capture at least a piece of the Palm Vx market.

I know you were only commenting on the model itself and not Handspring or Palm, but I just have to point out that Palm's new marketting strategy is absolutely absurd -- they put out the Palm m105, a model inferior to the Palm IIIxe, at a higher price, with a flashy appearance and an extensive advertising campaign. And it'll work, too.

That being said, I prefer Handspring to Palm in general, mostly because I've always been rooting for the underdog. But when Best Buy started selling Palm IIIxe's this week for a mere $150, I went out and bought it. I'm appalled by Palm's promotion of the m105, but everything boils down to money.

Re:Gah! (1)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 13 years ago | (#366962)

CAN$700? I'm waiting for it to arrive in Merrie England, probably priced at £500.99 and there'll be no springboard/crud accessories to make the bloody thing functional either for at least 2-3 years.

I'll just stick with my Palm III (2 years old and still going strong).

How about a real FAQ! (1)

thunker (206170) | more than 13 years ago | (#366963)

A real question that should be on their fake FAQ is "Can you use the flip cover AND the springboard adapter at the same time?"

Re:What's so special about it? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 13 years ago | (#366964)

And then you read about the Palm m500 and m505 and it just makes you think that Visor is really gettings its butt kicked.

The Palm m500 will cost the same as the Visor Edge. It has an expansion port for SD-card devices (a standard if ever there is one for small form factor expansion slots), and it has Palm OS 4.

If you want colour, pay $50 more and get the m505 with a superior sidelit screen.

So why buy the edge when you can buy the m500?

Re:8mb/$399. (4)

aidoneus (74503) | more than 13 years ago | (#366965)

33mhz is slow? Not for a PalmOS based system... From a quick check of Palm's page most PalmOS based systems are clocked at 16-18mhz, which is more than fast enough for what they are supposed to do. There is a Visor on the market (the VIsor Platinum) that runs at 32mhz. Considering the memory, processor, and size I think they've hit their market perfectly.

33mhz may be painfully slow for a desktop, but for a palm, it's blazingly fast. Remember, people aren't running X on the Palm.

Re:Why do they do that ? (1)

UsonianAutomatic (236235) | more than 13 years ago | (#366966)

Read the article again - Springboard expansion is facilitated by an external adapter; same Springboard Standard as used by the earlier Visors. HS was the first to roll out a proprietary expansion slot, and they're smart enough to realize they'd be shooting themselves in the foot if they created yet another standard for the Edge... Palm & Sony jumped on the bandwagon with SD and Memorystick.

Re:Why do they do that ? (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#366967)

Springboards I & II, which are aparrently incompatible

Your spelling ability is surpassed only by your comprehension, Cap'n. If you go through their site, you'll notice that there's an extension module that goes on the back, so you can use either the small Springboard modules or the big ones.

Finally... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#366968)

A backlight. My mom's $99.00 Wizard has one of those, and it's incredibly useful,
since it lets you continue to SEE the screen, even in poor light.

'bout friggin' time.

What's so special about it? (1)

the wub (135471) | more than 13 years ago | (#366969)

I might be pretty daft, but it looks and feels like a Palm Vx for the prize of a Vx. Ok, the flash LED is cool, but else? Maybe I'm missing something here...
For a real millenial disaster, computer glitches cannot hold a candle to global warming.

What's so good.... (5)

gus goose (306978) | more than 13 years ago | (#366971)

I have always been a fan of the PalmOS devices. I still use my PalmIII after three years. Handspring is a good machine too.

Yet, this new "Edge" is simply not that much better .... here is a link to a handspring hosted comparison table [handspring.com]. It shows that the Vx is smaller and lighter. Where the Edge is better is only because it has the latest software (which can be upgraded on the Vx anyway), has a microphone, the "springboard" (which I have never seen used...) and has a blinking light ... ;-)

Really, Visor Edge is playing catch up still.

Re:Site down until 11? (2)

yoz (3735) | more than 13 years ago | (#366972)

Er, yeah, but a big sign on the front page would have sufficed... taking the entire site offline's a bit extreme.

mmm, shiny I like it! (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#366975)

This looks really cool, as it solves my main complaint about my Visor. With a complete lack of springboard plugins that I'd want to buy I don't like having a thick bulky box when compared to my mates Palm Vx ones. People will pay good money to have the slightly smaller, cooler looking model - just look at mobile phone sales.

Re:Time to change the palm icon (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#366979)

So. Every time I see the icon I think back to the Pilot 1000 that I used to use. It is a good warm feeling. The same one I get when thinking of the many hours I spent hacking assembly code on my Apple II+...

Re:Site down until 11? (2)

micromoog (206608) | more than 13 years ago | (#366980)

Yeah, that's ridiculous. Makes me wonder if they were actually having "technical difficulties" (virus, DoS, cut fiber, etc.) and used this as a convenient excuse to cover it up . . .

Flashable ROM (1)

n-baxley (103975) | more than 13 years ago | (#366981)

I won't even think about gettting a Visor until they fix the flashable ROM issue. I don't want to be stuck with the same OS for the life of the unit. Why hasn't this been fixed? I would think this would be a big issue for people in the know. I love the springboard concept, but come on Handspring!

I disagree (4)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 13 years ago | (#366982)

I respectfully disagree. I just read an article [kuro5hin.org] on K5 [kuro5hin.org] which I totally agree with.

In a nutshell, sloppy writing tends to indicate sloppy thinking. This leads to disorganized thoughts being put down in a barely coherent manner. Comments which have been thoughtfully written and given a 5-second review are the ones which I take more seriously.

Likewise, when I'm hiring somebody, I toss their cover letter and resume in the can if I catch a mistake. Why, you ask, would I care about spelling and grammar for a programming position? Because if they didn't take the time to check their work then I feel that they will produce sloppy results if I hire them. The one time I relaxed this requirement of mine I was quickly proven right.

I didn't even care so much that their own writing was so sloppy. They could just as easily have taken the effort to have it corrected by somebody else and would have, and then their resume wouldn't be in my fine paper recycling box, but instead perhaps in the "interview" pile. That they didn't know how to spell is of no consequence. I only cared that they take the time to do it right, and perhaps get the resources they need to do that. That way I know they'll make an excellent programmer.

Let's face it. Nobody is going to understand you or take you seriously if you can't get your thoughts across in writing. Content can only be king if people can read it.

Re:What's so good.... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 13 years ago | (#366983)

Go with the Revo. Kicks Palm up the butt in general, very good quality, nice screen even at 480x160 in 16 greys.

The Palm has a better interface for PIM work, but not for programming!

Future support may be a problem - Palm will be around in a few years time to be sure, but Psion are having difficulties.

But MAME and SimCity make up for that. And you can do real work in it, like word processing, programming, etc. Even has its own COM like system for embedding spreadsheets etc into other apps.

The Revo has a 36MHz ARM processor, the Palm has a 33MHz Dragonball. The ARM is arguably better, and if you want to do programming, ARM assembly is fun and nice, and has a future.

One2One is 30p a minute for data calls - well it was when I last looked. Yeah, right, like I want to pay 30p/m for a 9.6kb connection.

Back to the Future (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#366984)

Technical specs include 33mhz processor, and 8 megs of ram.

The flashback for me is that this compares to the 486 desktops when they were shipping consumer desktop models some years ago.

One has got to ask what will they be like when they get to have the power of todays' low end desktops in 5 to ten years?

Let's face it, when the 486/33 was king, if you told people that gigahertz machines with dozens of gigabytes of storage would be commonplace, who would have beleived you? or imagined that it would be like it ?

So my flight of fancy for today is to imagine what one of these would be like when they have todays desktop PCs.

Wooo - head rush!

I'll keep my HP200LX for now, thanks. (2)

dbowden (249149) | more than 13 years ago | (#366985)

I keep hoping someone will come out with something that beats my 6 year old HP200LX, but I haven't seen it yet. I have access to thousands of DOS shareware programs, a full PCMCIA slot, a keyboard, and a screen that's visible in most light conditions (I'm not quite geeky enough to install my own backlight, like those crazy japanese [din.or.jp]). I'm an embedded s/w engineer, and I can use the standard serial port to give me access to a fair number of diagnostic devices that would otherwise require a laptop. I can carry my source code around in it (though the 80186 is DOG slow to use for editing 100,000 lines of code!). It has 6 MB internally, so I can keep a large amount of information on it. There are two sets of batteries, so I never lose any information unless it sits unused for a month or more. It'll talk to my Linux machine or my WinDoze machines, and I have duplicate versions of the PDA applications that run on my laptop as well.

It has lousy graphics, but I can still play "LodeRunner" or other classic x86 games on it during boring meetings. It's not quite as small as a regular Palm, let alone a Palm Vx, but I've still managed to carry it with me all over the world for the past 4 years. It takes standard AA batteries, so I'm never far from a power source, and it'll last me for 3-4 weeks between battery changes.

When they come out with a palm device that at least equals this one for usability, then I'll consider the upgrade, but I haven't seen one yet.

If the 200LX ran Linux and was backlit, I wouldn't even be thinking about an upgrade. Where are the Palm devices for the geeks?!

Going for the sexy market (1)

Asikaa (207070) | more than 13 years ago | (#366986)

This just shows Handspring have realized that their previous line-up, while having some nice features, looked clunky and old-school compared to the Palm V range.

Handspring had a chance to leap ahead here and grab some market share from Palm. All they had to do was make it sexy and increase the spec by, say, 30%.

I have a Palm V and I would be tempted away if the Edge had a significantly higher spec or was about $150 cheaper.

Give us a cool-yet-useless built-in laser pointer. How about a headphone jack and a memory pack to have mp3 capability? Give me the ability to hold the speaker up to a phone and tone-dial numbers from my address book...

Without sexy features to match the sexy design, you can forget that $400 price tag.


PalmOS API over Linux (1)

rabalde (86868) | more than 13 years ago | (#366987)

Would it be difficult to get a Free (beer) working version of the PalmOS' API for Linux?

I mean, can someone do the same to the PalmOS' API that the (incredible) people of WINE is doing to the Windows one?

Imagine if you can run all the PalmOS programs w/o having to pay for the OS ...

Re:I disagree further (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#366988)

Read your Strunk and White. The lack of commas in the line you quoted from the original post is marginally correct, though the sentence construction is awkward at best. Your use of commas, on the other hand, is incorrect.

A decent (though not perfect) rule of thumb is to read the sentence without the phrase that would be bracketed by commas. If it makes sense, then the comma usage is correct.


Rather hold out for a Prism + OmniSky (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 13 years ago | (#366989)

I'd rather have the colour of the Prism [handspring.com]. That plus an Minstrel modem with OmniSky [omnisky.com], and PalmVNC [btinternet.com], I can connect to my linux box from anywhere, and have the nice rich full colour of my KDE desktop.

Re:Gah! (1)

Asikaa (207070) | more than 13 years ago | (#366990)

"everyone's wasting their cash on useless crap like these things [...] that cost 10 times what they should"

I'd like to see the business model that relies on retailing a Palm Vx-spec'd PDA for $30 apiece.


no color?@! (1)

Ilsundal (3288) | more than 13 years ago | (#366991)

wtf, no color model? bah! and watch, as soon as i decide to purchase the eixting color model, an "edge" version will be available.

Re:Going for the sexy market (1)

dingbat_hp (98241) | more than 13 years ago | (#366992)

Handspring have realized [..] looked clunky and old-school compared to the Palm V range.

So how do you explain Sony's Clie ? That's plug-ugly, even if Memory Stick is the only really useful Palm add-on around.

It looks cool... (1)

eap (91469) | more than 13 years ago | (#366993)

But what are the other advantages? Reading the site it looks roughly comparable to a Palm V and costs as much as a Palm VIIx, but without the built in wireless. I suppose the new form factor is more convenient, but for the same price I'd rather have the Palm VIIx's wireless internet.

What about Palm (1)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 13 years ago | (#366994)

How does Palm allow them to exist, does Handspring pay a lot for the licence?

But the device is cool looking. I still perfer the pen and paper.

The Edge (2)

underclocked (71050) | more than 13 years ago | (#366997)

After compareing these the Handspring to the Palm, I'm left shocked and amazed. Not in this engineering marvel, but the fact that this company reinvented the wheel; or more specifically, the Palm V(x).

Flashing lights and expantions slot are great bells and whistles, but other than that, I see no major differences.

Cool (1)

tcdk (173945) | more than 13 years ago | (#366998)

It's the same size as a Palm V. They don't tell the screen size but it seems to be the same as the V. So what you get is a Vx that will take Springboards, has a metal flipcover and a USB cradle. Both the Vx and the Edge are us$ 399.

Another thing that could be interesting is the battery life, I wonder how it compare with the Vx.

Re:What's so good.... (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 13 years ago | (#366999)

Yet, this new "Edge" is simply not that much better ....

Cheers for the link to the comparison of the Edge to the Palm Vx.. but can someone tell me what the comparison is between the Edge and a Visor Deluxe or Visor Platinum? What exactly have they improved??

Not only new Handheld (3)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 13 years ago | (#367000)

Today, Palm announced that they were introducing a new model. Breaking with their current naming traditions, they decided to call the new model "Bono".

U2 can have one, for the low low price of $399.

Re:Interesting, BUT.... (2)

SnowDog_2112 (23900) | more than 13 years ago | (#367004)

Over the past few years I've seen 2 classes of devices: The cheap (around $150-$200), but powerful Palms/Visors and the expensive WinCE devices. Anything in the middle usually includes wireless (like the Palm VII) and doesn't seem to be as popular.

The other market is the "Executive" market, where folks are willing to shell out an extra hundred dollars for the metal case, just because it looks cooler and/or more professional. From a pure techie point of view, it's silly. But you show your average VP a Visor Deluxe and a Visor Edge, and he's going to buy the Edge. It looks sexier, it's more expensive ... it must be better!

This is not a PC ! (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 13 years ago | (#367008)

33Mhz is slow for what ???

Certainly it's fast enough for the Palm OS and it's apps, I have a Palm Vx which has less processing power and it seems "fast enough" for me.

Re:The Edge (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 13 years ago | (#367010)

I disagree that the expansion slot is a bell and whistle. I have a visor with the backup module, and find it unbelievably useful, If only for my piece of mind. Whenever I get a really important number or other piece of data, I backup to the flash ROM. Before I do an install of new software, I back up to the flash ROM. Yeah, HotSync will save your data, but it doesn't save your apps, and HS ain't perfect. Plus, I have been known to loose my visor at times (now is such a time, actually, been lost for 4 weeks), and even though the batteries run dry in that time, all the data is there.

Re:Gah! (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 13 years ago | (#367011)

To steal a quote from Blake Winton, "you can't grep dead trees".

and yes, there is a regexp hack for the PalmOS find utility

Re:It looks cool... (2)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#367012)

But what are the other advantages? Reading the site it looks roughly comparable to a Palm V and costs as much as a Palm VIIx, but without the built in wireless. I suppose the new form factor is more convenient, but for the same price I'd rather have the Palm VIIx's wireless internet.

It's expandable via the Springboard slot: there are MP3 modules, GPS modules, camera modules, and even an awesome cell phone module. (You plug it in the back of your Handspring, and presto, your Handspring microphone & display function as a complete cell phone, plus the speaker in the module.)

So, you not only get the wireless internet, but you can actually talk to people. This thing is the bomb. I've wanted one since I saw it in action at Comdex. I swear it had nothing to do with the hot chick handing out brochures, either.

Time to change the palm icon (1)

Pivot (4465) | more than 13 years ago | (#367013)

Soon there are no palms that look like that anymore...

Re:Site down until 11? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#367014)

Perhaps one of the reasons they were rushed is that details of the new Visor was being leaked out by sites like Amazon, who had information about it up earier than Visor did [amazon.com].

I agree it's a little odd Handspring had to take their site down for a while to get their page updated, but I wonder if maybe their time-table wasn't upped a bit because of this.

New Handspring: Site down at 11! (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#367015)

Sorry, I just couldn't resist the bad joke.

Anyway, I'm sure that they thought it was some sort of wacky promotional thing to make people wait for the site to open, unless they didn't want the world DDOSing the front page with refresh requests until the news was up.

UK Availability (1)

tapiwa (52055) | more than 13 years ago | (#367017)

Does anyone know when this baby will be available in the UK, and what the pricing will be??
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