palmOne LifeDrive Mobile Manager PDA Review - Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Review

DataViz Documents To Go 7 Office Suite enables you to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel files and PowerPoint files (the latter only for PC users) and view PDFs. However, I couldn’t view graphs in Excel, only cells, so again you’ll need to pay more to upgrade to a version that can, which is a bit of a shame.

Wi-Fi is the big news on the LifeDrive and I was eager to test it out. It proved so easy to set up though that it was almost an anti-climax – I was connected to the office wireless router and browsing in a couple minutes. The Blazer browser proved perfectly fine and speedy and has an Optimized Page mode to help pages fit the screen. I was also able to set up my email account and pick up some test messages without any fuss. I was even able to connect over Bluetooth and get my phone to automatically dial a number embedded in the email.

I was really amazed though to find that I was able to connect to my Sony Ericsson V800 over Bluetooth and use it to browse the Internet via Vodafone’s 3G network. I was surprised to see all this information already built in and even more surprised that it worked first time. I’ve done this on a previous phone with my Apple iBook, but that involved obtaining arcane scripts from obscure web pages. This was a simple matter of choosing options from drop down lists and away I went. This is how connectivity should be and it came as a real fresh air to me. It was so nice to see technology just working for a change, without having to get hot under the collar or feel the need to throw something against a wall.

The palmOne Media application handled images very well, including a neat slideshow mode which can use music in the background. It plays MPEG and most AVIs without issue but what I was looking for was native DIVX and XVID playback without any need for time consuming conversion. I was fortunate as this is now available for palmOne users thanks to an open source application called TCPMP. This used to be known as Beta Player and is the same application that I found when reviewing the Dell Axim X50v. This worked flawlessly and is a perfect partner for the 4GB hard disk. Want to have three DIVX movies and a bunch of albums with you on that 12 hour plane journey? No problem. The LifeDrive can handle it.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.