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PalmOne Releases 4GB PDA [updated]

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the smallish-biggish dept.

Handhelds 279

davidconger writes "PalmOne has introduced the first device in their new line of Mobile Manager handheld devices. The LifeDrive includes an embedded 4GB Hitachi Microdrive and additional software for file/folder synchronization. The device includes both WiFi and Bluetooth. Price tag on the device $499. PocketFactory has done a complete review of the LifeDrive." Reader gandell adds a link to Brighthand's review. Update: 05/18 18:08 GMT by T : An anonymous reader corrects this story's original headline, writing "Despite rumors the LifeDrive would run Linux, it runs PalmOS 5 (Garnet). However, the device seems to have a Linux-friendly design, and is likely to run Linux soon, whether supplied by PalmOne's sister company PalmSource, or by Linux hobbyists. PalmSource is likely to offer a Linux OS upgrade for the LifeDrive, once it is ready to support the huge variety of legacy Palm apps under Linux." Update: 05/18 18:44 GMT by T : One more review, this one at MobileTechReview.

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279 comments

4GB? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566477)

I bet this thing will even be able to run Longhorn with that kind of memory fp.

Re:4GB? (-1, Flamebait)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566538)

uhh, harddrive!=memory. A standard install of XP won't even fit on a 4GB drive

Re:4GB? (2, Informative)

enigma48 (143560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566575)

An XP Pro install comes in at 1.5GB, including a swap file. Even if you add another 1GB for Office 2003 and .5GB for a hibernation file, you still have room to play with.

Re:4GB? (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566618)

I must be doing something incredibly wrong then, because every time I've installed XP Pro with standard options, it took at least 4.5GB without Office or any other software

Re:4GB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566648)

I can confirm the GPs post. I've installed a fresh XP Pro on a 2.5gb partition recently and it had about 1 gb free afterwards.

You have done something horribly wrong... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566651)

You have done something horribly wrong, or you are a horrible liar.

Fitting 4.5 GB of Data onto a single 650MB CD (and it's not full by any stretch, nor does that take into account all the drivers that don't get installed) would be fucking amazing. Microsoft could put PKWare and all the other compression authors out of business.

Re:4GB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566678)

How much Ram? The more Ram you have, the bigger the standard swap file will be.

Re:4GB? (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566712)

Okay, I'm willing to admit that something is possibly terribly awry. I'll do a clean install on a fresh drive some point this week to test whether or not I am a moron.

Re:4GB? (1)

enigma48 (143560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566719)

I've got two XP partitions - one I use daily, one is on another partition as a "clean" copy (updates, virus scanner, not much else). According to Explorer, the drive has 1.35 GB (1,455,919,486 bytes) worth of files but occupies 1.50GB total space. Just FYI.

Re:4GB? (1)

Baikala (564096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566738)

What the heck are you tlaking about? Only someone out of his/her mind would even fantom porting Longhorn.

4gb internal microdrive? (1)

BluhDeBluh (805090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566478)

Is this much use for anybody, for anything other than a big MP3 player - for which, you could just buy a big MP3 player anyhow?

Is there any real advantage of a big memory card built in?

Re:4gb internal microdrive? (2, Funny)

geeper (883542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566503)

Yea and 640K ought to be enough for anybody.

Re:4gb internal microdrive? (1)

Harbinjer (260165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566587)

Well, it can play movies and video clips. That might be useful.

I would be cool for things like wikipedia, I suppose. That's what one of the reviews mentioned.

Its not good enough to be a true portable video player though, unfortunately. On review said the battery life was too short.

Re:4gb internal microdrive? (1, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566672)

Just paint "Don't Panic" on the back.

Re:4gb internal microdrive? (1)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566636)

I completely agree. And to add, down with these generic products. I can get a digital camera the size of a credit card, a phone (those tiny ones) and an mp3 player and they'd all take up less rome than one-phone-does-all solution.

If people need a solution for carrying around files, buy one. If you want a personal digital organiser, buy a personal digital organiser. When will people learn that economy is lost in diversification?

Maybe a slightly different take on convergence (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566843)

The standard take on convergence is Phone + PDA.

Speaking as a Treo 600 user, the combination is pretty good, but there are compromises. Text input is OK, but a bit cramped. It is irritation to have the phone crash every so often. Likewise battery is overall good, but you're dead in the water if you run out, which you may if you will if use it much as an MP3 player or browser.

Now, suppose you are carrying a Treo and an iPod photo. Now you are no longer converged, but have two packages of functionalty: PDA/Phone/Network Access on one hand, Media Player/Mobile storage (like a USB key chain) and the other. Plus, you have a limited choice of phone carriers, and if Sprint is what's available for a Treo in your area, you might not like the way they package their services (sorry -- no voice dial on the treo, we sell that). Even worse, the excellent service policies you once enjoyed with Palm aren't there anymore. If you break your phone, you are S-O-L, unless you paid the exorbitant fees the provider wants for a "service plan".

Now, reenvision a slight redistribution of the functions between the two packages: Phone/Network Access on one, Media Player/Mobile Storage/PDA/Wi-fi access on the other. Link the two packages by Bluetooth.

There are significant advantages. Here are a few I can think of:

(1) If one device is out of juice, you can still use the other; furthermore if you have wi-fi nearby you may still be able to communiate when your phone is down. Skype anyone?

(2) You have a choice of service providers. You can even switch without throwing your PDA away.

(3) You can get your PDA fixed. And you don't give up your phone. Switching phones is a snap too.

(4) You get a phone whose ergonomics are optimized for making calls, and (hopefully) a easier to use PDA.

(5) You don't have stupid hardware limitations the carrier builds into the phone. The Treo 600 has a header on the circuit board for Bluetooth, but no bluetooth headsets for you: Sprint doesn't want to cut into sales of their CF network card, which sucks in ways to numerous to count and only works on Windows.

Of course the alternative next step would be a converged PDA/phone with a hard disk.

I'm not too sure about that though. It will avoid the Batman utility belt look, but it may be too expensive, too inflexible, and too complicated. Converged phones have major screen size trade offs, after all; you may be able to store video on the thing, but would you want to?

Linux (5, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566489)

It runs PalmOS so where's the Linux part come in?

Re:Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566563)

The part where false information gets it posted on the front page of slashdot. Slashvertising at it's best.

Re:Linux (2, Interesting)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566570)

I'm a little unclear on this also; I think what happened at Palm is that PalmOS became the Palm API built upon a Linux core, or somesuch. Anyone more knowledgeable than me care to chime in? :)

Re:Linux (5, Informative)

spotter (5662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566638)

future versions of Palm OS 6 (Cobalt) is supposed to be built around a linux core. Current versions of Cobalt aren't.

But that's totally a different point, as the life drive (According to the review) is built w/ Garnet (PalmOS 5.4) which has more in common w/ PalmOS 3/2/1 than Linux.

"Palm OS Cobalt as a software layer on Linux" (2, Informative)

free2 (851653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566629)

Re:"Palm OS Cobalt as a software layer on Linux" (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566665)

Although, this runs Palmos 5.4 whic isn't based on Linux at all..

Hook... Line... and... (1)

soloport (312487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566979)

The new marketing strategy: Put "Linux" in the tag line to attract more attention.

Examples:
* "Now with more Linux!"

* "Ten percent real Linux!"

* "With multiple Linux kernels!"

* "With ten essential Linux distros!"

Or add "Linux" to the name:
* Instead of "Turbo", use "BMW Linux"

* Instead of "Luxury", use simply "Lexus LX" (ok, not much change, but it should work)

* Instead of "Professional", use "Linux Grade Drill Bits".

See?

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566653)

Yes, it does run Linux but so far they sell it only with Palm OS of which I am not sure if it is based on Linux. The plan on selling it with Linux at some point so I might buy one.

Re:Linux (1)

tonyquan (758115) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566660)

The LifeDrive runs PalmOS Garnet, which is not Linux based. Only PalmOS Cobalt is Linux based, and to my knowledge there are no PDAs currently available running Cobalt.

compatibility between Garnet and Cobalt ? (1)

free2 (851653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566736)

Hopefully here is a compatibility at the software level. But is there somme hardware compatibility between these 2 versions of palmOS ?

Re:Linux (1, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566667)

You sir fail to respect the right of this PDA to run Linux if it wants to. Ya bloody splitter

Re:Linux (2, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566833)

The part where you have to mention Linux in the title to get your article posted to the front page.

PDA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566494)

But its only a PDA! Just a PDA!!!

Yet again... (0)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566496)

Yep! Linux has driven down the price of the PDA once again to a lowly $499! (smell the sarcasm?) I must say, though, in this case getting 4gb with it does make it more attractive.

Re:Yet again... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566524)

Doh! There IS no Linux!? Makes sense, otherwise they'd up it to $599!

Re:Yet again... (1)

tomcio.s (455520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566625)

Nonono.. It's $499 + $699 for linux licence. get your numbers straight!

It's not a Linux PDA (4, Informative)

ArsEric (780868) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566499)

It actually runs PalmOS 5.4, not Linux.

Re:It's not a Linux PDA (1)

sconest (188729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566511)

Indeed. I failed to see where it was said that it was a Linux PDA

Re:It's not a Linux PDA (0)

youknowmewell (754551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566551)

Egg, meet Face *splat*

Archos PMA400 runs Linux (1)

Vamphyri (26309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566741)

Here is a PDA that truly runs linux, you can shell out to a command prompt and run uname -a.

Archos PMA400 [slashdot.org]

Geeks (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566502)

So does this mean the geeks out there will hack it to put linux on it?

Re:Geeks (1)

Harbinjer (260165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566518)

I'm sure they will. They have with others. This is certainly powerful enough

Re:Geeks (1, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566525)

I mean hacking it to put windows on it.

Are PDA's even still relevant ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566505)


in this age where my celphone has as much capability as a PDA (including 4gb of storage)
why would anyone want a bulky pda anymore ?

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (4, Interesting)

Harbinjer (260165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566550)

Better input capabilities, and a much larger screen. So you can watch movies, and do some work perhaps?

I think Cell phones are too small for many pda-ish things, currently.

Unless someone comes up with a better display method, perhaps holographic, they are limited. Oh, and they need a better input interface

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566755)

a better display method, perhaps holographic

I'm still holding out for a Microvision [microvision.com] PDA/cell phone. Alas, it may be a few years more.

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (2, Informative)

e40 (448424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566913)

I think Cell phones are too small for many pda-ish things, currently.
What about the Treo650 [palmone.com] ? I used to have a Handspring. I carried it in my backpack and only ocassionally used it to retrieve an odd bit of information. I never used it for things like "todo" or calendar management, since I never carried it with me. However, with the Treo, I always have it. I can jot something down. I keep a full calendar. I immediately saw a spike in productivity and fewer missed appointments.

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566564)

Because user input (typing) on a phone is a PITA. The screens are often too small to be usefull. And I don't want my phone battery to die because I've been busy doing something on the PDA portion of it. Keep um separated I say.

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

Quantum Fizz (860218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566717)

Why would anyone want a PDA?
  • Can you input data into your cell phone as quickly as a screen keyboard or graffiti?
  • Can you run word-processors and spreadsheets on your cell phone?
  • Does your cell-phone have a decent-sized display?
  • Is there a vast library of both free and commercial software for your cell phone? Including e-books and document readers, dictionaries, map software, etc?
  • Can you connect to a GPS via bluetooth with your cellphone, have it display real-time maps, such that you can navigate your car with it?
I kind of agree with you that it's annoying having both PDA and Mobile Phone, but there are many reasons why I need a PDA and my phone just doesn't cut it. (I just bought my first PDA about 5 weeks ago, BTW, a Palm Zire 31).

I do hope that within the next few years we'll see a merging of phones and PDA's, like the Treo, but with a better design.

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

Anti Frozt (655515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566795)

I do hope that within the next few years we'll see a merging of phones and PDA's

You mean like this [blackberry.com]

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566849)

* Can you input data into your cell phone as quickly as a screen keyboard or graffiti?

Yes, as a matter of fact, my phone runs PalmOS and has a graffiti pad and on screen keyboard.

* Can you run word-processors and spreadsheets on your cell phone?

It's basically a Palm m515 integrated, so if it runs there, it runs on my phone.

* Does your cell-phone have a decent-sized display?

As big as most PDA's I've seen.

* Is there a vast library of both free and commercial software for your cell phone? Including e-books and document readers, dictionaries, map software, etc?

Yep, I told you, it runs PalmOS. It has an SD slot.

* Can you connect to a GPS via bluetooth with your cellphone, have it display real-time maps, such that you can navigate your car with it?

Nope. But I can go straight to mapquest and get turn by turn directions if I need them. My "real time display" is called the windshield and rear view mirrors, and are much more useful to me when operating my horseless carraige.

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (1)

PierceLabs (549351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566946)

* There are a growing number of phones that have full keyboard pads on them and that number looks only to increase.

* Why would you run a word processor or spreadsheet on your PDA, much less your phone. They are useful for showing things off to folks (at which point there are some J2ME midlets that can do this), but PDAs are VERY poor content creation devices.

* Depends on your definition of decent and what its being used for. Many cellphones have the same resolution of the Treo 600.

* Yes yes oh goodness yes - this is especially true if you run Symbian OS on your phone. J2ME adoption by phone folks has led to a HUGE assortment of freely (or cheaply) available wares for phones.

* Yes, depends on the phone. Some have GPS in them and others can use tower triangulation to provide driving directions.

Your views of cell phone technology is about 3-4 years old. Flash your brain with CTIA knowledge - STAT!

Re:Are PDA's even still relevant ? (0, Offtopic)

mcho (878145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566941)

why would anyone want a bulky pda anymore ?
Exactly. Although, most people don't even need a PDA phone either.

That's why I've started messagingreminder.com [messagingreminder.com] , which sends your calendar reminders (whether it's Outlook or Sunbird) to my service. And before your appointment, my service sends you a reminder to your cell phone -- even if your computer is off.

And now you can ask my service what appointments you have coming up. Just send a text message to my service and it'll reply with up to three (3) of you next upcoming appointments.

My service is very affordable (only $10.00 per year), easy to use and innovative!

Linux? (1, Redundant)

timdorr (213400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566507)

The LifeDrive runs Palm OS Garnet on a 416 MHz XScale processor.

Last I checked, Palm OS wasn't Linux...

What you can store with that memory... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566508)

1,200 office documents; - yes because, dammit, I write so many documents.
6,000 emails - DUDE can I sync them with my gmail?!
1,000 photos - PRON!
300 songs - Oh no! Here comes the RIAA!
2.5 hours of video - Jenna Jamison never looked so yummy
50 voicemails - From people I probably don't want to speak to.
10,000 contacts - Because hey, man, I am just THAT popular.
10,000 appointments - The life of a geek is ultra busy.

Linux? PalmOne? wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566514)

I don't see anything about Linux on the PalmOne web site.

Rip off Britain (1)

Alibloke (838866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566520)

How come it costs $499 in the US, yet if you want to buy in Britain it's the equivelent of $600?

Re:Rip off Britain (4, Funny)

fatted (777789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566642)

It costs a lot of money to get everything tranlated into English!

Re:Rip off Britain (2, Informative)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566652)

Brittain has a VAT. Legally all advertised prices must include VAT. US prices do not include tax. So add on State Sales tax to 499. State Sales is 7% in my state. So our total comes out to 533.93. I believe VAT is 17% which would put the price at $583.83. That's pretty close to $600.00. So... There is your explenation.

Re:Rip off Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566673)

Because we secretly hate you. I guess it's not much of a secret anymore.

Re:Rip off Britain (1)

PseudononymousCoward (592417) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566684)

Uhhhh, Britain's VAT?

Re:Rip off Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566720)

Even better is that they won't let you import it either.

HEY! I thought this was a Free Market here!!!

Pretty High Res Photos and Video, oooh, ahhhh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566522)

YES, BUT.... (0)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566532)

Will it run Linux?

Re:YES, BUT.... (1, Informative)

Drantin (569921) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566583)

no

Re:YES, BUT.... (1)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566643)

Apparently, the answer is no.

Specs (1)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566539)

In case of Slashdotting, here are the LifeDrive's specs:

Dimensions: 4.76" x 2.87" x .74"
Weight: 6.8oz.
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion providing 2-2.5 days of battery use, 1660mAh capacity.
Expansion: SD, SDIO, MMC slot
Processor: Intel 416mhz "Bulverde" Xscale CPU
Screen: 320x480 Transflective TFT color display with 65,000 colors
Memory: 64MB Program Memory, 4GB Hard Drive (3.8 available to the user).
File management: LifeDrive smart file management
Wireless: Dual wireless connectivity; Bluetooth 1.1, WiFi (802.11b)


Also, here is a mirror [onceuponat...tibles.com] .

No CF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566772)

Bit of a bugger, really, since I don't have any other flash technology and already use CF.

2 days of battery life? NO WAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566900)

Maybe if you never turn it on the battery will stay charged for 2 days. No way if the drive is spinning and the LCD backlight is on.

This means war! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566544)

And I was feeling l33t because I was about to hack a 250M external harddrive to my MC-10 [slowcomputing.org] .

Missing a nice speaker. (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566552)

One thing I found really interesting on my Treo 650 is a decent (but mono) loudspeaker built right in. May seem like a throwback to gathering around the AM radio, but it's a real hoot with other people.

Review repost - site already a bit slow (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566555)

(reposted anonymously - I'm not a karma whore)
I haven't reviewed a palmOne PDA in almost exactly a year. That last review was the Tungsten E. Today I'll be reviewing the Tungsten T5, which curiously enough looks almost identical to the TE at first glance. The T5 is palmOne's new top of the line model set to replace the popular T3. In the year since I posted that last palmOne device review, they have released 3 other PDAs (not including the T5). The Zire 21, 31 and 72. At the time of their releases, neither Judie or I felt these models were interesting enough to us to warrant reviews. To be truthful, palmOne has left me less than excited the past couple of years, and I'm pretty certain Judie feels similarly.

This time around, palmOne is only offering one new model to consumers. Is this just an interim device to compete against the latest Pocket PCs before the new OS 6 devices are ready? Or is the T5 a compelling new PDA that T3 owners should consider upgrading to? Read on to learn my opinion.

Hardware Specs

Processor: 416MHz Intel XScale Processor
Operating System: Palm OS software version v5.4
Memory: Total 256 MB (215MB actual storage capacity; 160MB internal flash drive, 55MB program memory)
Display: TFT color display with backlight, 320 x 480, 65,000 colors
Interface: USB (for HotSync® operation), Infrared, Bluetooth
Dimensions and Weight: 4.76 x 3.08 x 0.61in, 5.1 oz. (including stylus)
Power: 120VAC, 60Hz, 100mA
Battery: 1300mHa Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery (internal - non user removable)
Expansion: SD card slot (Secure Digital), supports MMC and SDIO cards

Package Contents

Tungsten T5 PDA
Stylus
Flip cover (wasn't included in my review sample)
USB cable with sync button
AC adapter
Graffiti 2 sticker
Read This First document
License Agreement
Accessories Catalog
Software Installation CD

I had a real sense of Deja Vu when I first opened the T5's box. This new PDA looks almost identical to the TE. Same color, same shape, same application buttons and same 5-way navigation pad. In reality, this PDA is actually about .25 inches longer, slightly thicker and heavier than the TE.

Although the T5 looks like it has a metal shell, it is only made of plastic. This was the first of several disappointments regarding this new model. As the T5 is set to replace the T3 which does have a metal shell, I was very surprised that the T5 was left lacking one. Even though the case is plastic, it does have a solid feel and did not creak, crack or flex when I performed the good ol' Gadgeteer creak test on it. That said, the case does show fingerprints and smudges. In hand, this PDA feels balanced and comfortable to hold and use. It might be a little too long to be considered a good candidate for a shirt pocket, but it does fit nicely in a side cargo pant or jacket pocket.

On the front of the PDA there are 4 application buttons, the 5-way navigation pad and the color display. The buttons have the same layout as the ones on the TE. They are small, flat and square with good tactile feedback. From left to right, the application buttons are assigned to the Home, Calendar, Contacts and File Manager applications. Like other models before this one, the buttons can be reassigned to launch other applications by modifying their preferences.

The 5-way navigation pad allows you to scroll up/down, left and right. Pressing in on the center button performs a select function. Using the nav pad, it is relatively easy to perform some tasks such as address look ups and application launches with just one hand. The nav pad also makes game play more enjoyable for certain types of action games.

Tungsten T5, Zire 31 and Tungsten T

One of the most exciting changes that the T5 has over the T3 is the lack of a slider. As a matter of fact, the T5 is palmOne's first PDA that has a 320 x 480 display that does not also include a slider. This is a big advantage in my opinion as I grew very tired of having to open the slider on the T3 in order to view the entire display in full screen mode.

The display itself is very nice. It is bright, crisp and easy to read in most lighting conditions. The colors are not quite as vivid as they are on my new HP hx4700 Pocket PC, but I suppose it's really not fair to compare the display from a $400 PDA with one from a $650 PDA.

As far as stylus sensitivity with regards to writing on the display, I have found that the screen is smooth and not overly spongy. There does seem to be some lag time when writing Graffiti, but I'll get to that a bit later.

The left side of the T5 has a slot for the included screen cover, while the right side has the stylus silo. The included stylus is better than average. It has a polished metal barrel that is thick and heavy. The top screws off to reveal a reset pin.

The top of the PDA has the IR port, SD slot, power button and earphone jack. In some quick tests, I found that I was able to beam an address to a Zire 31 from the T5 at a maximum of 3.5 ft. Not too great... Regarding volume levels through earphones, WOW! The max volume level on this PDA is fantastic. I believe that it is the loudest of any PDA I've ever reviewed. For me a comfortable volume level in a quiet room was at less than 10% of maximum. Sound quality is very good using the included RealPlayer software. Music lovers will really appreciate this PDA. I did notice one thing though... when earphones are plugged in but no music is playing, you can hear some white noise...

The bottom of the PDA has the new Multi-Connector. I guess the universal connector is now truly history folks. Don't expect to use any of your old sync cables or cradles with this new model. They won't fit... Which brings me to another disappointment. The T5 does not come with a cradle. You'd think a $400 PDA would warrant one, but nope. Instead a USB sync cable is included. The cable does have a hotsync button integrated into it, so it's not that bad I suppose. Unfortunately the USB cable does not sync AND quick charge the PDA. You have to plug in the included AC adapter either directly into the T5 or into the USB cable to charge. By itself, the USB cable does offer trickle charging, but it seems to take a very long time to charge a depleted battery.

The back of the T5 has the reset switch and speaker grill. Speaker volume is impressive. You can easily use this PDA as an alarm clock. But guess what? The alarm sounds have not changed with this new model. You still get the same seven lame sounds we've had for what seems like forever: Alarm, Alert, Bird, Concerto, Phone, Sci-fi and Wake up. I read somewhere that the T5 was supposed to be capable of playing polyphonic alarms. I'm not sure if this is true or not. I tried installing some alarms that were only tested on a CLIÉ. They didn't show up as choices in the alarm preferences dialog .

Do you use your PDA as a voice recorder? Sorry, you won't with this one. That feature is missing from the T5. Also missing are vibrating alarms and LEDs for alarms and charging status.

It's not all bad news though, you do get a few cool new features with this PDA. The biggest goodie is the 256MB of memory. It's non-volatile memory too. If you happen to let the battery run completely down, you'll not lose any of your info. As a person that has run into problems with Pocket PC batteries spontaneously draining, this feature is very nice indeed!

The 256MBs of memory is partitioned into two chunks called 'Device' and 'Internal'. The Device partition holds the OS and is 64MB with 54MBs in use. The Internal partition is set aside for the USB flash drive. it is 160MB with a little over 157MB available.

Using the included USB cable and the Drive Mode application, you can connect the T5 to any computer and it will mount as a removable hard drive. Drivers are not necessary, it's all plug and play. You can drag and drop files to it just as you would any drive.

Another nice feature is the 1300mHa Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. I had a real hard time trying to run it down. I played MP3s for an hour, played video and photo slide shows for 30 mins and was only able to get the battery to go down to 95%. I'm pretty sure the average person could get at least 2-3 days of work out of this PDA before needing to recharge.

Bluetooth fans will be happy to know that it is built into the T5. WiFi fans will be annoyed to learn that once again palmOne is ignoring us. Yeah I know you can get an SD WiFi card, but I personally don't want to futz around with a card that sticks out of the top of the PDA. I also don't really want to shell out an additional $130 or so for the card. I want it to be built in!

As far as overall system performance, I have only one complaint about the T5. While the system feels snappy and responsive, there is one feature that seems to have a small lag problem: Graffiti. I've noticed that while I'm writing, the system is always lagging a letter or two behind the current one that I'm writing.

Although I really liked the form factor of the TE when I reviewed it a year ago, I am disappointed that palmOne used the same design for the T5. Where's the imagination and innovation guys? I guess we just have to wait for the OS 6 devices huh?

Software-wise, the T5 comes ready for both business and pleasure.

Included in ROM:
Quick Tour - Simple overview of features.
Addit
Bluetooth - Control panel for the Bluetooth features.
Calc - Same old calculator.
Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Memos, Note Pad - PIM applications.
Card Info - Displays data about the SD memory card in the slot.
Dialer, and SMS - Mobile phone applications.
Documents to Go v7.0 - Word, Excel and PowerPoint viewer and editor that can read and write native files. No more conversions are needed.
Drive Mode - Simple toggle application that turns on/off USB mode.
Expense -
Favorites - Simple application launcher
Files - Finally, an actual file manager. Not nearly as good as File Man, but it's a start.
Hotsync
Media - Picture and Video (MPEG1) viewer
Prefs
RealPlayer - Digital audio (MP3, Real Audio) player
VersaMail - Email client
Blazer - Web Browser
World Clock

Included on the CD:
Palm Desktop 4.1 for PC and Mac
File Transfer (Windows only)
Microsoft Outlook Conduits (Windows only)
Phone Link Updater
Quick Install (Windows only)
Documents to Go Desktop and Conduit (Windows only)
Send to Handheld Droplet (Mac only)

Bonus Software:
Adobe Acrobat Reader - PDF file viewer
eReader - My favorite eBook Reader
RealPlayer Desktop - Desktop
Audible (URL)
VPN (URL)
Websphere (URL)
AOL Mail access software

Not a lot has been changed / added to the T5 as far as software goes. The interface remains pretty much unchanged from the T3. The bottom toolbar still gives you access to the quick screen rotation and soft Graffiti popup. Clicking the clock display will allow you to see more info about the PDA and change the screen brightness setting.

Click thumbnails to see full size images.

The agenda screen still exists in the Calendar application. I like this overview screen as it gives me all the pertinent info I need for the day like the Pocket PC's Today screen.

All the other standard calendar views are there as well.

The new additions to the OS include the Drive Mode toggle application, the File manager, Media viewer application and the new Favorites launcher.

The Drive Mode application is simple to use. When you launch it, there is one big button to tap to turn the Drive Mode (USB mounting) on.

If you have the T5's USB cable plugged into your PC and turn the Drive Mode on, it will instantly mount a drive on the PC that you can drag and drop files to.

The new file manager called Files, is a simple application that allows you to navigate through the Internal memory partition. You can copy, delete, move, rename, beam and open files.

The Media viewer is an easy to use picture / video (MPEG1) viewer and slideshow program.

The Favorites application is basically just a simple launcher that you can use instead of using the application view. You can arrange icons on 4 different screens and have a background image. Personally, I just use the good old application view...

On the desktop (Windows only), we get a new program too. It is called File Transfer and is a drag and drop file manager for the T5. With this program you can copy, move, delete, and rename files in the internal memory partition, SD cards. Copying files to and from the PC are pretty quick.

So, what's the bottom line on this PDA? I would have to say that my overall feeling is ho-hum when it comes to the T5. Yes, it has 256MB of memory which is nice, but SD cards are really cheap these days, so who cares. That said, the fact that the memory is non-volatile is a great feature. The only other halfway interesting feature is the USB mode which really doesn't give me any goose bumps. Why oh why couldn't this PDA have had OS 6 and WiFi built in?

T3 users, I suggest that you not upgrade to this new model unless you're just dying to spend $400 on basically the same thing you already have minus the slider and extra memory. Those of you that have PDAs that are several years old and are looking to upgrade to the T5, I would say that if you can't wait a few more months for the OS 6 devices, the T5 is a solid performer and should serve you well.

Price: $399 Find best prices here.

Pros:
256MB of memory
Non volatile memory
USB Mode
No slider

Cons:
Plastic case
Lack of built in WiFi
No voice recorder

meh... (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566578)

That thing is clunky! For a little bit more, I'd rather get one of these [asus.com] and put in one of these [hitachigst.com] . It would be thinner, have 6gb (removable, too), a more powerful processor, and a VGA screen.

Bluetooth to mono earset rocks. (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566599)

Best application--toss a huge text file into a text-to-speech app and have it spit up a low-quality mp3. One step closer to transhumanism (while looking a bit like the borg). Only problem is treo 650 only transmits phone audio. I'm assuming this one will use the bluetooth for this.

Is Linux involved or not? (1)

tbedolla (637963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566600)

If anyone out there knows anything about "Linux" being used on this device, please enlighten the rest of us...otherwise it seems like the term is being thrown in to cause interest from those of us who wouldn't even look at a PDA from Palm.

buzzwords (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566661)

Seems to me that LINUX use of buzzwords in SCO news stories these MICROSOFT days without even bothering to check if OPEN SOURCE it really makes any coherent sense.

Re:buzzwords (1)

tbedolla (637963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566794)

Clever, but true.

Might Be True... (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566666)

Might be true [66.102.9.104]
The original poster should have included a bit more info really

Nick ...

Re:Is Linux involved or not? (2, Informative)

Trillan (597339) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566874)

It's because PalmSource announced a few months ago that some of the Cobalt (Palm OS 6) devices would be based on the Linux kernel instead of the traditional Palm OS one. Idiots assumed this meant that all Cobalt devices would be based on Linux, and then assumed all future devices (like this one) would be Cobalt. Except so far as I can tell, this is (yawn) just another Palm OS 5 "Garnet" device from PalmOne.

In short, it is entirely un-Linux related.

Re:Is Linux involved or not? (1)

tbedolla (637963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566962)

Thanks for the reply, and it seems that you are right...but it could make sense for Palm to go the Linux route.

Best Device, Worst Demo. Ever! (1)

schestowitz (843559) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566627)

When I saw their on-line demo/tour this morning, I was appalled to find a Flash clip that incorporates every possible usability flaw. 4 GB on a Palm-powered devices is useful for nothing apart from MP3. LifeDrive? I'll have four, please.

Palm OS 6 Anyone? (1)

tillemetry (223556) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566679)

Why aren't they running OS6? What are they waiting for?

Linux on a "PDA" (0)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566698)

(This thing is more the size of an American football than a PDA). Now I can do all the usual PDA stuff, plus:
  • keep my Unix environment with me all the time
  • log in remotely and use it as a port scanner
  • run GCC onboard, so theoretically any program can be ported to the football
  • keep my documentation, utilities, and usual configuration files with me and access them with a web browser (web server running on the PDA)
    (But the biggest thing is:)
  • it will never be orphaned

Even if PalmOne were to go belly up, a Linux-based machine will always be maintainable. It might be hard, but I'll never be forced to buy a new one because the OS on old one is no longer supported.

I thought you said it ran Linux? (3, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566742)

Man, what a waste of my time the parent post was. Thanks, Slashdot. I guess I should RFTA next time.

I dumped my PDA and don't miss it (2, Interesting)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566702)

I had a palm, a handspring and a Zarus. As I travel on business a lot I thought I would use it. What I discovered that that when I lost my palm, I didn't really loose anything...it was in my laptop. When my handspring got crushed by a taxi in New York, I didn't loose anything...it was in my laptop. When my Zarus was next to useless because it didn't really work all that well with my company-standard Windoze laptop, I sold it...and didn't miss anything because it never got off my laptop.

People I work with use their iPAQ's for watching movies ripped down to fit on their screens and listen to music. However, that is about it.

I don't miss my PDA, and I know more and more business travelers who have stopped carrying theirs as well.

Re:I dumped my PDA and don't miss it (2, Funny)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566811)

First they came for the Palm
and I did not care
because I had my handspring, zaurus and laptop.
Then they came for the Handspring
and I did not care
because I had my zaurus and my laptop.
Then they came for the zaurus
and I did not care
because I still had my laptop.
Then they came for my laptop
and there was nothing left
for me to use.

Re:I dumped my PDA and don't miss it (4, Interesting)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566866)

I have an iPaq h6315 that I use all the time, and I don't think I'd find a Palm all that handy (I know, terrible pun). I think the PocketPC's more powerful processors make them a lot more useful- as you mentioned, they can be used for music and movies, but I also use mine for games (I'm addicted to snood [snood.com] ), for checking the bus schedules (I've got the PDF's saved on my phone. They're not really very PDA-friendly, but they certainly suffice and are frequently useful), I keep mine synched with Money on my PC (which is great since I'm terrible about keeping a checkbook register), and I surf the web (and not just the limited stuff you get thru a cell phone) and check my e-mail with it as well.

Sure, some of those things I could do with a laptop, but a laptop has a shorter battery life, won't connect to GPRS by itself, doesn't fit in my pocket and I wouldn't want to carry one around all the time.

When will Skype run on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566704)

Now that Palm is using some faster CPUs, when will we have skype on these. PocketPC is getting a lot of the cool applications right now. Of course, they cost a lot too.

Microdrive????? (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566716)

Why the microdrive? Ok, I know that they are significantly cheaper than flash, but they are so much slower and they need much more power.

Yawn (5, Interesting)

KFW (3689) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566722)

I'm really disappointed by this. I've been holding off on a new PDA, but I don't think I'll be getting this one.

The good:

  • Built-in WiFi (with web browser)
  • Nice screen
  • 4 GB drive
  • Nice photo viewing
  • Multimedia features (although I doubt I'll use them)

The bad:

  • inadequate cache RAM (read the review [pocketfactory.com] that was linked to [and is probably now Slashdotted]). There is now a noticeable lag when starting applications. Thrashing the drive will probably impare battery life as well.
  • Still running PalmOS 5. C'mon, where's the innovation? What did they do with BeOS?
  • No camera

Personally, I'm glad it's not part of a phone. I want a seperate phone and PDA. I carry a thumbdrive in my pocket for toting files, which is very convenient because I don't have to mess with cables if I need to transfer files to another PC. If it's done well, I suppose the ability to carry along, edit, and then synch MS Word, etc., files could be handy. The music features aren't something I'll use. I'll stick with my iPod (which has way more than 4 GB of songs on it). Now an iPod with better PDA features--there's something I'd like to see.

/K

Portable drive (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566726)

What I think is the most exciting feature of this is the ability to use it as a mobile hard drive (albeit a small one) but also have the ability to view the files i upload to it away from a computer. I've used mobile drives several times and the ability to view / change / delete the files on it away from a computer is pretty tempting.

I use a Palm Treo 600 ("Smartphone") however, so I'll wait if (when?) they release a Treo with a built in hard drive.

GPS (1)

jargoone (166102) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566753)

Please, please, someone come out with a Bluetooth GPS receiver and software for this. It's pretty much the only thing tying me to my Windows laptop.

Huh? A linux Palm? (0)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566754)

So can I run TuxRacer on my new Palm?

How about Apache? Can I be a bluetooth enabled Apache server?

Does this mean I'll have to get rid of my Palm III?

Linux PDA the way PocketPC runs Linux? (1)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566760)

The LifeDrive runs Garnet [palmsource.com] , the latest multimedia SDK of Palm OS 5 [palmsource.com] .

No GSM/GPRS/3G, no kybd or english HWR, no sale... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566769)

... I mean c'mon. I would have a better device if I could slap a 4GB drive on my P800.

I think I'll hold out for the 3G P910 successor, perhaps it'll have a HDD, a phat TFT or OLED, and AD2P wireless stereo headphones.. I'd love to have a linux phone but FWIS all those Motorola phones have locked their Linux parts and only allow J2ME...

New Tungsten E2 is cheaper and more interesting (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566803)

Not sure why the LifeDrive is getting all the press. Existing PDAs can get multi-GB HD using their SD cards.

The real news item is the huge number of improvements PalmOne made to their best-selling Tungsten E (top-selling PDA across all OS last year). Although the E2 has a slower cpu than T5, the E2 is reportedly even faster for many common tasks! Some changes from E to E2 include (cut/paste from palmone.com):

1. about 30% brighter than the Tungsten E display and with 40% better color saturation.

2. data is safe even when the battery is completely drained--if you recharge it a year later, all your data is still there.

3. built-in Bluetooth

4. Much better battery life. About 12 hours of continous MP3 playing according to one review.

5. compatible with wifi sd card.

6. Much-improved bundled software: NEW Documents To Go® 7.0 and VersaMail® 2.7.1 email client. The new versamail can finally be used with Google.

7. Improved processor. The faster Intel 200MHz XScale processor. Not the speediest but reviews indicate that for many common tasks, the E2 easily outperforms the T5 which has a much faster CPU.

8. Multi-connector port. I don't care about this feature but you might.

The E2 is about $100 cheaper than last year's average selling price of PDAs in the USA.

What is missing:

1. voice recorder. Sometimes, we don't want to pull out the pen and write. As a PDA targeting business users, the lack of voice recording is not good.

2. extra SD slot. Having only 1 SD slot and no built-in wifi means forcing the user to choose between extra storage and wifi. Not good. Provide at least 2 SD slots unless wifi is built-in.

3. >=64MB RAM. Since it only has 1 SD slot, it should provide at least 64MB RAM. At least provide a more expensive version of the PDA with this option. Yes, I know 64MB RAM in Palm device is more than 64MB RAM in PocketPC but still...

On the bright side, I've seen some multi-function SD cards hitting the market. Like wifi + storage combo SD card.

Re:New Tungsten E2 is cheaper and more interesting (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566829)

from the palm page:
http://www.palmone.com/us/products/mobilemanagers/ lifedrive/details.epl [palmone.com]

"Built-in voice recorder.
Capture that big idea anywhere. Tape important lectures. Take notes hands-free. Or, record a slideshow narration to accompany your photos. It's all possible with this integrated, go-anywhere audio functionality."

Portable wikipedia anyone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566813)

Linux PDA with a 4GB drive
mysql + apache
2GB en.wikipedia databse

Hello never being bored on the train again

Don't call this a PDA (2, Interesting)

gearmonger (672422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566846)

Just like you don't call your laptop a word processor, despite it being able to do word processing, or a gaming device (despite it being able to play games), the LifeDrive's PDA (addressbook, schedule, etc.) functionality is just one part of what it can do. Calling it a PDA just glosses over all its *other* capabilities (2X wireless, high-res screen, voice recording, A/V playback, camera buddy, etc.), the sum of which really haven't been seen before.

Sucky Pix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566861)

For a "Review" website, they sure have sucky pictures, out of focus in a lot of them. I would have liked to have gotten a better look at those things they were trying to point out.

Can a 1-box website be Slashdot-proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12566868)

This is off-topic, I know, but since the review site is currently Slashdotted and we have some time to wait for recovery, perhaps someone knows the key to avoiding huge interest bringing your site down?

Can any single-box website survive a Slashdotting? Or is this something that inherently requires massive back ends and fat pipes?

4GB ? (1)

Digital Warfare (746982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566879)

Wow, high quality pr0n on the go.

I just don't get it (4, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12566920)

I used to love the concept of PDAs. When I was at uni I used one to take notes and keep track of lectures, but I was fully aware that it was a toy more than a tool. As important as I like to think I am I don't need to put my shopping list, occasional creative thoughts on a PDA. I even sampled 'surfing' the web on it, but to be useful you had to do it through a mobile phone and that was less than useful. I still used it over my laptop because it was lighter and powered on imediately.

Then I bought a Powerbook and a T610 and most importantly of all - a pencil and notebook. I use my laptop for real computing and my phone holds and synchronises all of my PIM data so much more efficiently than my old PDA that I simply don't need a PDA, with one exception: taking notes. For that I find the notepad invaluable. The data is difficult to copy as I use a unique encryption system that only I can decipher (my handwriting), the power consumption is incredible, I haven't had to replace the battery once! It's instant on, the stylus can be replaced for pence and are universally availble and best of all you can use it to annotate the notes they give you when you go to meetings without any previous training. The price is good too, I'm not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination, but I can easily afford to have a notepad and pen in a selection of my pockets at all times, and if I want to share my data I can simply give the whole pad to that person! I've also noticed that I can freely mix drawings, and text in the same area and it doesn't constantly tell me how bad my handwriting is.

I'm sure there must be a situations where PDAs using current technology must be useful, I'll even hazard a guess: mobile, local database access for doctors, engineers and stock controllers, but really that's an industrial application for a consumer product.

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