Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

The Latest PALMS

Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

The Latest PALMS

Article excerpt

Three new computers give users expansion card capacity, more memory, additional built-in software and new faceplates.

Palm Inc. has introduced three brand-new models--the m105, m500 and m505--along with a whole suite of new updated peripherals and software products (created by other manufacturers) that can turn a Palm handheld computer into virtually anything you want it to be.

The Palm m500 and m505 follow in the footsteps of the Palm V series. At the time of its introduction two years ago, its stylish design, light weight and technical capabilities made the V the Palm of choice among the company's core customers at the time--tech-savvy, professionals.

Last summer, the Palm m100 was introduced. It was created and marketed for first-time buyers--a younger, more cost-conscious target. The marketing focused on the m100's usability, its ruggedness--it could be tossed in a backpack as well as carefully placed inside a briefcase--and its reasonable price of $149. The product also came with removable faceplates in different colors, which appealed to the youth market. Sales exploded, with Palm discovering a large market outside its core user group.

The Palm m105 model

Now enter the Palm m105, priced at $199 and looking and feeling like the m100, but with four times the memory--8 MB instead of 2 MB. It also ships with a HotSync cradle, the device that allows it to interface with a personal computer, and comes with a Mobile Internet Kit that allows anyone with a compatible mobile phone or modem to wirelessly access e-mail or Web information from anywhere. One practical feature is the conveniently positioned date-clock that appears at a click of a button and doubles as a travel alarm to get you up on time. Of the three new Palm models, this one is most likely to show up alongside the pencils and books of the classroom. If that's not enough, it has 14 new color faceplates to choose from that can feed the need of even those of us with more than the average wardrobe coordination fetish.

The Palm 500 and m505 models

The feature-rich Palm m500 and m505 models resemble the Palm Vx at first glance. But if you look a little closer you will see that the monochrome display on the m500, priced at $399, has better contrast than the Vx, and the m505, offered at $449, has a 16-bit color display and backlit icons. Feel the m500 and you will notice another difference--it's lighter--while the Palm m505 weighs just about the same as the Vx. Both new models feature rechargeable lithium polymer batteries for longer battery life than the Vx, and both have expansion card slots that can accommodate two types of removable media: SD (secure digital) or MMC (multimedia card). By placing one of these cards in the slot, the user can expand the memory from 8 MB all the way up to 128 MB--a figure that Palm expects will continue to grow. Students and teachers can take advantage of this extended capability by backing up data onto the cards, keeping additional information, such as databases, or storing extra applications. Both the m500 and m505 are fitted with a new connector that supports both USB and serial, so that they are compatible out of the box with both Macs and PCs.

Bonus software for e-books, photo-editing and documents

In addition to its basic software package, Palm is bundling three bonus software products with the m500 and m505. …

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