PalmOne LifeDrive Is Born

PalmOne has taken the wraps off its latest PDA and Riyad Emeran was there to see it spring into Life.

Making use of the WiFi and Bluetooth functionality is the same comprehensive mobile email client seen first in the Treo 650, so you should be able to download your email whenever you pop into Starbucks for a coffee.

PalmOne has also been careful not to make the LifeDrive an exercise in substance over style, and the design of the device is very appealing in a sleek, minimalist kind of way. I particularly like the bevelled edge surrounding the screen – it reminds me of an art deco mirror.

Files can be copied to and from the LifeDrive, or you can choose to synchronise files or folders. You can sync via the supplied USB 2.0 cable, or over WiFi or Bluetooth, if you prefer a wire free environment.

The screen is a 420 x 380 transflective TFT affair and can be flipped between portrait and landscape modes at the touch of a button. With dimensions of 121 x 73 x 19mm (HxWxD) and a weight of 193g, it’s not the smallest or lightest PDA around, but it does feel comfortable in the hand and only weighs 12g more than an iPod Photo.

The 416MHz Intel Xscale processor isn’t the fastest around these days, but it’s worth remembering that Palm OS is a lot more streamline than Pocket PC, so don’t get too bogged down in the numbers game.

To me, the LifeDrive looks like a huge step forward for PalmOne, and with a suggested retail price of £329, you’re not paying masses more than you would for a high-end PDA with a fraction of the storage capacity.

I desperately tried to convince PalmOne to give me a LifeDrive to take away with me, but to no avail. That said, I should be getting my paws on a review sample very soon, so check back for the full low down.


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