Palm OverDrive

This morning, we sent the old Palm Treo 600 and Tungsten T5 packing, and got some lovely new Palm toys to play with. What came were the Tungsten E2, Treo 650, and the LifeDrive.

Tungsten E2

My initial impressions of this device before I got it out of the box we’re good. It definatly looks good, probably the best looking PDA around. It’s polished aluminium exterior with is sleek body certainly make it look more sophisticated than my Tungsten T2 which I use for day to day duties, but its actually made out of plastic, which might save weight, but is no-where near as though as my T2.

As I picked it up, I was surprised at how heavy it is. It certainly feels every gram of its 133g weight. It’s also not that thin either, only managing a few millimeters off my ageing T2. It’s surprising how little difference the is between the E2 and T2, the screen, the size, the weight, the design (apart from the slide-down graffiti area).

I haven’t had time to actually use it properly yet, but it’s safe to say that my initial impressions of it are underwhelming.

Treo 650

An update to the incredibly dissapointing Treo 600, I have to say I wasn’t expecting much from this PDA cum mobie phone. At first glance, it’s slightly smaller that is predecessor, but still weighs an astonishing amount, 178g to be exact. Too heavy to fit in a trouse pocket comfortably, I would have to carry this around in a man bag or wear jackets all the time. The screen is infinitly better, being a useable resolution (320×320) rather than a blast back to the 90s (160×160).

To be honest, you would still look like a bit of a dick with a phone that big held against your head, so I’m glad that this supports bluetooth, however, as it’s mainly targeted at business users, I’m confused at why Wi-Fi isn’t included, and why it doesn’t offer the same sort of functionality as the BlackBerry, instant on demand e-mail. Something, which you can now, even do to a certain extent with a Microsoft PocketPC PDA and ActiveSync pusing new e-mail to your PDA over GPRS while you’re away.

LifeDrive

The much anticipated LifeDrive, I expected it to be big… but it is huge. I wouldn’t be comfortable putting this in any pocket, the risk of it’s weight ripping a hole in it and falling onto the ground destroying the hard drive is too great. I’ve had the least amount of time to try this device, so I’ll reserve judgement until I get some more time, however, although it may be big, it is the smallest PDA with a hard drive, I’m including those devices that have hard drives, run Windows and play videos, such as the Archos AV700, although I doubt the software included can compete with the Archos on refinement and ease of use.

The AddIt software included crashes HotSync, hanging the PDA when it tries to update. I finally did get it working, but it seems to download something off the internet every time it HotSyncs. Also, although it has an 416MHz XScale processor, it is excessivly slow. Even the Treo 600 was slightly faster than this is, and that only has a 166MHz processor. You click on a button, and theres a noticable lag before anything happens. Open an application, theres lag, turn it on, theres lag. I’m not sure what the problem is, I’ll be contacting Palm to see if this is normal behaviour, but if it is, the lag alone makes the LifeDrive completely undesirable.

I’ll have some photos on Flickr soon.

Tungsten T5

I thought I’d write a little aside on the Tungsten T5. I don’t see the point of this, its very expensive, but has almost the same functionality as the E2. However, it’s one saving grace, is that it provides huge amount of screen space for a GPS navigation system, such as TomTom’s Navigator, which you can connect to wirelessly through bluetooth. It works sublimely, one of the only applications that’ll use the 416MHz processor to its fullest extent.

Update

Well, we’ve now sent them all back. Not one of them impressed, and we’re hugely slow at dealing with our custom made applications, mainly because of high the RAM usage, which the newer models can’t cope with, dispite having double the amount of RAM (128MB on the T5).

Time to see what PocketPC has to offer.

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