MobileInfocenter

Comments on: Palm Zire Handheld Review

Palm Inc. is revamping much of its handheld line for Fall 2002 and the first model released is the Zire, an entry-level device introduced at a new low price point: $99. With it's basic feature set, it isn't the kind of device that PIC regulars are going to get overly excited about, but it should appeal to a lot of people who might not have seriously considered getting a PDA before. New PIC reviewer and long-time "Piloteer", Dan Royea, brings us this in-depth review of the new Zire.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article Comments

 (128 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down

Why don't Palm call it a retro model?

peter167 @ 10/7/2002 11:05:30 AM #
Everything goes one grade down, except the price. sigh...

******************
Lie is the future.
RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
EdH @ 10/7/2002 11:42:36 AM #
16MHz processor
2MB RAM (1.8 usable)
No backlight
plastic digitizer
No universal connector

Just a bit too retro IMHO. I'd rather have a used M100. I think the backlight issue is a huge fumble. We'll see how well it sells. When the original Pilot shipped, it was the first and backlights weren't assumed. Now even free cellphones have a backlight so you can see at night or in a dimly lit room. I wonder how many will be returned when the user figures this out.

RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
Ce @ 10/7/2002 12:51:05 PM #
believe me....it's a hell of a job to disassemble thousands and thousands of old Palm Pilots and solder all those old parts in a new casing. Well worth 99 dollar!

RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
jamesgood72 @ 10/7/2002 1:36:05 PM #
My original Pilot didn't have a back-light and it was still a VERY usable device...
RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
LotSolarin @ 10/7/2002 2:08:10 PM #
Although I'm pretty sure I agree with Palm's logic in letting go of the backlight, I can't help but think that this may hurt Zire's chances as the "gateway drug" that it is meant to be. If people cannot use it in bad light, their Palm may find its way into the drawer instead of their pockets, and these people will not think of upgrading.

Of course, I could easily be wrong. Palm certainly has more usability data than I do. And every feature that they leave out of this little puppy is one more carrot for people to break into upper end models later.

RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
Bmann @ 10/7/2002 2:26:04 PM #
Palms backlight has sucked since my palm VII. The inverted backlight made it unreadable except for totally dark conditions. Now I think a PDA should have backlight, but like the old palm professional.

My boss had the orignal palm with no backlight and the original merky screen and it was very hard to see.

RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
rsa @ 10/9/2002 1:57:46 AM #
Ever wonder what "Zire" means?

ZIRE is extinct language of NEW Caledonia
Zire is reported to be extinct. No mother tongue speakers. There are apparently a few who learned it as second language. Grammar. Extinct.

Hopefully, Palm has done enough research not to cause the same fate to ZIRE.



RE: Why don't Palm call it a retro model?
zireuser @ 9/19/2005 8:55:44 PM #
anyone who has somthing negative to say about the zire, please consider this-
i have dropped my zire down FLIGHTS OF STAIRS and it still works perfectly
it was made to be a student model
not a damn mp3 player/digital camera/laptop replacment
that is why it is palms most durable model
so stop putting it down!

DOWN WITH MICROSOFT!

Sounds Like a decent strategy

soundguise @ 10/7/2002 11:14:16 AM #
I for one am always glad to hear of new palm devices. Of course that means that the older devices get price cuts and the like. Nice for all. Plus new devices build interest and publicity for the platform.

In terms of how well this new low-end-technophobe targeted device will sell. I thinks so. I know that my roomate has purchased two discounted m100s as x-mas presents for family and all have been quite pleased. Just as palm probably hopes with this zire they have now decided that their current devices just aren't expandable enough and they need to upgrade.

As far as the no UC goes, In my experience only the "power-user" types, myself included really get into the mass add-on market. Excluding, in my experience, cases.

So in all I think this is a good move for palm. Or course I would have liked to see the Zire with 4-8M RAM but you can't have everything for $100 and still make money (which by the way is an important thing for any company to stick around).

Anyway just my $0.02.

-Ryan

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
Nate @ 10/7/2002 1:09:21 PM #
I dunno. I think that it's a good move in general to expand the user base by bringing in more people with a super low-end model, but the danger with the Zire is that even if newbies buy it, they may not like it because of the lack of features.

There are two main weaknesses of the Zire; the backlight and the buttons. The lack of a backlight will leave many newbies thinking that Palms are not useful in any situation where lighting is irregular -- if the user can't make use of it on a plane, in the car, or in a dimly lit closet, chances are they are going to start viewing the Palm as an object that they can only make use of some of the time. That attitude will not lead them to upgrade to another Palm.

The button issue is bigger than I originally thought because of the problems with programs that remap the buttons. Sure, most Palm users don't download new stuff, but somebody who just spent $100 on an organizer with the Palm name on it has the right to expect that it's compatible with all the other Palms out there that their friends have. As soon as they get beamed a copy of some pac-man clone and they can't play it easily, they'll start thinking that Palms aren't as compatible with each other. That lends credence to the argument that PPC OS is more "compatible". If they ever bother to upgrade, they'll be more likely to go with the PPC.

There's also a growing problem with overall software compatibility with the new OS5 coming out. One of the major problems facing PPC at first was that there were all these different version of the OS, and different chips inside, so users had to find programs that were not just compatible for the OS, but for their individual handheld. That leads to confusion and frustration, and that's exactly where Palm is heading if they continue to split the field with different OSs running on different chips.

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
SabMary @ 10/7/2002 1:20:48 PM #
I agree with you. I think the only purpose for this new device is to expand Palm's customer base. I don't think this unit is meant to dazzle current Palm users. I can't wait to see the new Tungsten!
RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
peter167 @ 10/7/2002 5:49:58 PM #
A decent strategy? Not even close. At $99, the Palm executives thought it will be an impulse purchase. I think he better needs some rethinking. I only see items below $10 for impulse purchase, instead of $100.

(If $100 is an impulse purchase, then the Son PS One should be selling on the counter as well.)

Palm hopes to sell boat load of these units to consumers, but the type of consumers they are trying to target is the most price conscicous group. "An $100 for an organizer? No deal!" Just like we normally don't spend more than $50 for a calculator.

The worst effect of putting the Zire line in K-mart store and etc. is that it degrades the Palm hi-tech image. General consumers will stop purchasing other high-end Palm units because the kid sitting beside you are playing with his/her Zire when his/her mom is pushing him to eat faster because he will be late to school. Imagine this...

Just like no one will buy a Hyundai if it is priced over $30000, no matter how classy the vehicle is. It is because Hyundai means cheap, economic, bread-and-butter vehicles.

The Zire will be an absolute failure. The current units cannot move at $100; lowers it to $60 and it may sell. But then, no one will buy the high-end Palm units anymore because of this cheap K-mart image. It will be a lose-lose situation for Palm, no matter how it turns out. Hopefully, Palm OS will have a more successful in the near future.

The top Palm exec. and employees have to be removed, or we'll se the company being remove, not very soon.

******************
Lie is the future.

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
SarahHeacock @ 10/7/2002 7:50:35 PM #
$50 is an impulse purchase for me.

Hardly anything is under $10 anymore.

I think impulse purchase sets at different places for different people.

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
bzi99 @ 10/8/2002 6:11:26 AM #
The worst effect of putting the Zire line in K-mart store and etc. is that it degrades the Palm hi-tech image.

IMHO, for the general public Palm has lost the image of a hi-tech company long ago. First to Handspring, now to Sony. And I won't even mention PPC :-|

The new smartphone w/o mic and speaker is a good example of a clueless company and may degrade Palm's "tech" image even further.

B Z

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
TapPadGuy @ 10/8/2002 7:24:48 PM #
Personally I think they WILL sell a ton of these, but I guess we'll see shortly. To the average consumer, Palm definitely has a hi-tech image, and $99 for a Palm device is certainly low in their minds. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say it's an impulse buy though. If anyone can succeed at this strategy, it's Palm, because of their reputation... "Wow, a PalmPilot for $99. I want one." I can't see this happening with Sony or Handspring or anyone else. Just MHO.

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
peter167 @ 10/8/2002 8:01:43 PM #
IF you did read news from Reuters, a Palm spokeperson says the Zire will be placed near where batteries and bubble gums sell. I believe bubble gums and batteries will not cost more than $10, not even a Car and Driver magazine.

Impulse purchases means that the items you purchase when you are queueing to pay the cashier. Not any items you would like to purchase 'impusely'. That's why I say I have never seen products on the counters that exceeds $10, especially @ Target and K-mart.

******************
Lie is the future.

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
stupidnewpolicy @ 10/9/2002 9:06:07 AM #
I agree that bringing in more consumer-level customers is a good thing for PDAs in general, and Palm in specific. But I can't help but wonder just what the cost-limiting factor is in their component list.

160x160 non-color screens have GOT to be cheap by now. If Palm-based PDA vendors haven't gotten a satifactory arrangement by now on those things, they never will. It makes me wonder at their negotiating abilities.

Memory has gotten so cheap now, 2MB is almost an insult. How much could it possibly cost to add 6MB more RAM?

Batteries are still an issue, to be sure, but it just seems like they could put together a nicer unit for $100 and stil turn a profit.

I had a IIIe and felt limited by it nearly immediately. If I had paid $100 for it, it might have turned me off PDAs altogether. As I paid less than half that for my IIIe, I eagerly moved forward to the IIIc. If Palm wants people to do the same, they need a bit more bang in the beginning. Or for what the Zire is touting, an even lower price.

Ick

RE: Sounds Like a decent strategy
lgodfrey @ 4/21/2003 11:22:30 PM #
I got the Zire for free when I bought 4 new michelin tires. This is great because I have always wanted to see if I would use a palm but why would I spend a couple of hundred dollars on something I might not use? The Zire has enough features on it to get me going. If I like it I will upgrade later to a palm with more features. Great strategy by Palm! For those who think this cheapens Palm products, I have many friends who own palms and have heard about them for years. Anybody who does any research before they buy is going to find out that Palm has some of the better products on the market.

dimly-let areas or in the dark?

I.M Anonymous @ 10/7/2002 11:22:56 AM #
Great review, but there is a typo.

RE: dimly-let areas or in the dark?
Strider_mt2k @ 10/7/2002 3:08:44 PM #
Give the guy a break will ya?
He's already written about his spelling habits. And besides, it does happen to the best of us don't it?



strider_mt2k@yahoo.com

RE: dimly-let areas or in the dark?
I.M Anonymous @ 10/7/2002 4:27:14 PM #
I did say it was a great review!

RE: dimly-let areas or in the dark?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 4:40:53 PM #
Heh, I thought it was a PIC tradition to be the first to find the typo? Ryan, maybe you need to start awarding prizes for that!

Oh and IMA, thanks for the complement. You know, I used to find you frequently annoying, but I'm liking you much better these days ;o)

ROM

huggy @ 10/7/2002 11:39:16 AM #
How much ROM does it have? Is it flashable? The European version holds versions of the OS in english, french, german, italian and spanish... So I guess If it was flashable you could use jackflash to get an extra Mb or two...

-------------- huggy ---------------
RE: ROM
huggy @ 10/7/2002 11:41:27 AM #
Apart from that... I've never seen a review come out SO quickly after the release of the device. Man, it even has a descrambled unit photographied! Nice work. You've returned my faith in PIC :-D

-------------- huggy ---------------
RE: ROM
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 11:44:52 AM #
Check the "Specs" table: 2MB mask ROM -- sorry, I should have spelled that out in the text too...

Thanks for the nice comments huggy -- the Zire didn't arrive until Saturday afternoon, so it was a pretty busy weekend doing the reasearch and writing ;)

BTW, PIC readers, please feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them :)

- Dan

Great Review

bjbyrne @ 10/7/2002 11:51:15 AM #
Even though my 6 year old uses more advanced palm hardware, I would like to thank Dan for the great review. I hope to see more like it. BJ
RE: Great Review
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 12:14:35 PM #
Thanks BJ :)

FWIW, the clear IIIe in the picture belongs to my eldest, who's now 7 and he keeps bugging me to upgrade him to a color screen device that plays mp3s

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

RE: Great Review
terrysalmi @ 10/7/2002 12:15:00 PM #
I'd like to second this. This was an EXCELLENT review, and I hope to see this author return to PalmInfoCenter and continue to write such detailed and descriptive reviews - I love how it does not explain just the device, but the marketing strategy behind the device.

______________________________________
The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
-Hubert Humphrey
RE: Great Review
Altema @ 10/7/2002 1:20:29 PM #
I'll third that comment. Detailed, honest, AND entertaining. Looking forward to more reviews. Seems like you could write a review about a peice of paper and make it interesting. Oh, wait, Zire is the replacement for the paper...

RE: Great Review
re_ality @ 10/7/2002 1:29:01 PM #
you guys are so damn fast - great review! :top:

Palmusergroup Mannheim/Germany - www.steffennork.de
RE: Great Review
tmuralli @ 10/8/2002 6:03:54 AM #
I have to agree with you, PIC's review is getting better but sadly without Ed Hardy.

RE: Great Review
pietersj @ 10/8/2002 6:56:56 AM #
the same for me : this is a WAW-review!!!!!!!
RE: Great Review
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 9:56:46 PM #
Sorry, but I have to ask:

"WAW"?

Wild-Ass Wicked?
Without Any Worth?
Whoa - Amazing Wisdom?
What Assinine Words?

??

first Zire sucks post

chainrust @ 10/7/2002 11:54:20 AM #
ZIRE SUCKS!
PALM SUCKS!

RE: first Zire sucks post
kozmos @ 10/7/2002 12:17:40 PM #
Very, very good review. Congrats!

RE: first Zire sucks post
markgm @ 10/7/2002 12:22:35 PM #
And there you have it, doing away with anonymous doesn't do away with morons ;-). The Zire seems like it could have been my first Palm back when I wasn't sure if I'd use one. It is useful enough to get a feel for the platform, and cheap enough that I won't feel bad if I find I like my paper planner. (Back when I got my first Handspring I never thought I would pay $600 for a future model, now, thanks to the Visor, I have a nr70v.) Though like a lot of the opinions here, if I was getting a Palm for my Mom, I'd have to look to eBay.

puppy dog technique
emotive @ 10/7/2002 11:33:32 PM #
I'm with you. After I lost my 128kB Sharp organiser and all the data I bought a Palm Pro for A$300 (US$150) in 1998, and never considered spending more. Then 18 months later I was addicted to using the thing and was seduced by the slimline rechargeable Palm V with the better screen, which I bought. And 2 years later, I was screaming for more room, and colour, and bought the M515. I never would have thought I would spend A$800 on an organiser back in 1998, and never would have if I hadn't bought a more basic model first. It is now my second brain.

RE: first Zire sucks post
Fly-By-Night @ 10/8/2002 6:23:10 AM #
I agree. When I bought my Visor DLX, the only reason I didn't buy the 2Mb model is because they only had 8Mb models in the shop. Back then I didn't know anybody with a Palm, and I didn't know about the vast quantities of software out there. I never realised that AvantGo, Vindigo, Wordsmith, and a few games could so quickly fill a Palm device.

Looking forward to Sony's next OS5 device though... Hopefully be nice and small.

FBN

RE: first Zire sucks post
agunn @ 10/8/2002 9:57:04 AM #
Hey emotive,

That almost sounds like my path :) I started with the Newton Message Pad before ditching it for a Palm Personal. Then came the Vx, and now A m515.

Like emotive, there is no way I would have spent over A$800 for a PDA unless I knew what I was getting. The basic features of the Palm Personal were enough to get me hooked.

I think the Zire is a great move, and hope it sells well.

I lent my Palm Personal to a friend of mine and he has been using it ever since. He can't afford any of the palm models available at the moment, so I'm hoping he'll buy himself a Zire when they come out - and I can my old palm back :-)

RE: first Zire sucks post
zireuser @ 9/19/2005 9:05:00 PM #
HEY CHAINRUST!
if you think palm sucks then what are you doing registred to a website called PALM INFO CENTER?
just wondering

DOWN WITH MICROSOFT!
RE: first Zire sucks post
zireuser @ 9/19/2005 9:05:00 PM #
HEY CHAINRUST!
if you think palm sucks then what are you doing registred to a website called PALM INFOCENTER?
just wondering

DOWN WITH MICROSOFT!
RE: first Zire sucks post
ZekeSulastin @ 9/20/2005 9:10:46 AM #
...
...
...

I know I shouldn't make the issue worse by doing what I am about to lambast ZireUser over, but I can't control it ...

FFS YOU DUMBASS IT'S BEEN JUST SHORT OF THREE YEARS - *T*H*R*E*E* (3) SINCE THIS THREAD WAS LAST POSTED IN!!! DON'T RESURRECT DEAD THREADS, ESPECIALLY ONES THREE YEARS OLD!!! AND THIS ISN'T THE ONLY 3-YEAR-OLD THREAD YOU'VE POSTED IN EITHER, ELSE I WOULDN'T BE SO TICKED!!! LOOK AT THE DAMNED DATE OF THE LAST POST, AND IF IT'S OLD, DON'T REPLY!!! kthxbye

no backlight?

UZI4U182 @ 10/7/2002 12:02:42 PM #
Great review dan, love the pictures of the zire taken apart. But how could Palm not include a backlight?

And another thing...the mini usb port. Does this mean it's compatible with Sony's SL/SJ hotsync cable? thats pretty neat. And the power jack? is that for charging?

--Devan-- | Email me: UZI4U182@att.net

Webmaster of www.tavern.2ya.com
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such
Check out the brand new forum!
Proud owner of a Palm m100, Sony CLIÉ PEG-S320, and Sony CLIÉ PEG-SJ30!

RE: no backlight?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 12:17:16 PM #
Yeah, I was really surprised that there was no backlight too - easily the most serious drawback to the Zire IMNSHO.

Typical comments from showing the Zire to people for the first time:
"Nice! ... Wow, it's light, eh?" and eventually "You're kidding! No backlight??!!!"

The included cable is a stock mini-USB to standard USB cable, same as the Clie SL/SJ so there shouldn't be any problems using one cable for both.

Guess I should get a picture of the Zire with cable connected added to the page ;-)

RE: no backlight?
hotpaw4 @ 10/7/2002 1:01:52 PM #
How does the display contrast or the Zire appear relative to that of the IIIe under good indoor lighting? The only positive potential of leaving out a backlight is that it then might be possible to use an LCD display that's more readable in good ambient light. Did they do that?

If not, then this product might have a weakness in the market segments consisting of older customers (with aging near vision sight).

RE: no backlight?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 1:10:58 PM #
Hi Ron :)

How does the display contrast or the Zire appear relative to that of the IIIe under good indoor lighting?

I have *got* to get a better scanner with some depth of field! As I mentioned in the review, the images just don't do the screen quality justice. If you're familiar with the great contrast of an m500, you'll know what the Zire screen looks like - it's that good. The IIIe screen has the old olive-green coloring, but the Zire has a kind of slight golden-grey hue with dark blacks. It's slightly better contrast than the m100 too.

The only positive potential of leaving out a backlight is that it then might be possible to use an LCD display that's more readable in good ambient light. Did they do that?

Yeah, with good lighting the display is nice and crisp.


If not, then this product might have a weakness in the market segments consisting of older customers (with aging near vision sight).

Good point. I should see what my Mom thinks of the screen - I'll be sure to set fonts to the large size too. ;)

RE: no backlight?
drivola80 @ 10/8/2002 2:57:51 AM #
You are missing the point: the typical buyer of the Zire doesn't care about the backlight, the 2MB, or other thing.

He will see a nice design, the size and the weight and he'll say: great, that is the thing that my friend has. I didn't know that they was so cheap, why not give it a try ?

When I first buyed my Visor it was not an impulse purchase. It was 249 dollars and I was a student. But for 99 or less it's very easy to buy because the "let's give a try" factor is very important.

RE: no backlight?
hotpaw4 @ 10/8/2002 1:03:25 PM #
> You are missing the point: the typical buyer of the Zire doesn't care about the backlight

They might not care about the backlight, but they will care about display readability. A significant portion of PalmOS purchases is due to word-of-mouth recommendations. If grandma X can't read the display, that's one less recommendation about how useful the gadget is at keeping track of doctors appointments, grandkids Christmas wish lists, etc.

> [or ] the 2 MB

probably right about that one...

RE: no backlight?
drivola80 @ 10/9/2002 2:47:22 AM #
Ok, I agree that 99 bucks is too much but this is the introduction price, I expect to see the price to drop quite a lot.
But remember this simple rule of production: the price is normally 3x the cost of production, so if you want a 49 dollars palm it means that the cost of production is 16 dollar... And maybe for 16 dollar palm can't afford the backlight.

RE: no backlight?
UZI4U182 @ 10/12/2002 9:59:52 PM #
>You are missing the point: the typical buyer of the Zire doesn't care about the backlight, the 2MB, or other thing.

When I first got my Palm m100, I had to be sure it had a backlight, and if I found out that it didn't, I wouldn't have gotten it.

--Devan-- | Email me: UZI4U182@att.net

Webmaster of www.tavern.2ya.com
Palm OS apps, news, reviews and such
Check out the brand new forum!
Proud owner of a Palm m100, Sony CLIÉ PEG-S320, and Sony CLIÉ PEG-SJ30!

RE: no backlight?
katunka89 @ 10/13/2002 2:48:06 AM #
The backlight is really irrelevant for most use. I have had several personal organisers and then i finally got a palm recently. None of the organisers had backlights, but hey, i didn't use them at night. I now own a palm, but I still don't use the backlight on it, cos i don't use it at night. Most people will use it in the day, and if they use it at night, it is likely there will be light around.

Katunka----also known as slim devil
RE: fuck the backlight?
Volcom @ 10/31/2003 7:23:35 PM #
hey ****er,bitch ******* we need a backlight... yer so dubm
go **** a pole bitch

Zire Questions

robman @ 10/7/2002 11:57:36 AM #
Dan---

Can you describe the mini-USB connector in more detail? Do you think someone will be able to build a "Bridge" device that allows Zires to connect to traditional Palm serial interfaces?

Also---when you press the "star" icon, does it start a HotSync or just go to the HotSync application?

Is the beaming range comparable to other Palm handhelds?

How are the lack of buttons handled through out the Palm softare? Are they listed in the Prefs->Buttons application? Do other third-party applications that expect to be able to configure them have trouble?

How durable was the packaging the Zire came in? Are there likely to be many units damaged in shipping (in your opinion)?

Thanks!

Palm Research at the University of Texas at Austin

RE: Zire Questions
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 12:29:30 PM #
Hey robman :)

Can you describe the mini-USB connector in more detail?

It's actually a standard connector format - I've heard it referred to as a "B" type USB plug, but I'm not sure that's the standard nomenclature or not.


Do you think someone will be able to build a "Bridge" device that allows Zires to connect to traditional Palm serial interfaces?

Hmm, there's USB-to-serial adapters available (a good source is here: <http://pfranc.com/usb/usb.shtml>) and you could probably hack in a mini-USB plug *BUT* I wouldn't be surprised if the Zire is USB Slave only (no Master protocol) -- I'll have to check into that.

I'd be willing to bet that there's only two chances for a third party to come up with a Bridge adapter: "fat" and "no". ;) It would most likely be too costly to produce, relative to the cost of the Zire.


Also---when you press the "star" icon, does it start a HotSync or just go to the HotSync application?

"Favorites" just launches the app, so it's two taps: one to open the HotSync app and a second to start the sync.


Is the beaming range comparable to other Palm handhelds?

Well, I haven't checked to see what the range with OmniRemote is yet, but doing a quick informal check beaming business cards between the Zire, a Clie N760C and an m505, the Zire easily holds it's own.


How are the lack of buttons handled through out the Palm softare? Are they listed in the Prefs->Buttons application? Do other third-party applications that expect to be able to configure them have trouble?

Prefs > Buttons only has 3 choices listed: DateBook, Address, Favorites. Because I've only had the device for a short while, I haven't tried any apps that remap the buttons. I'll load Zap! a little later and see what it thinks...


How durable was the packaging the Zire came in? Are there likely to be many units damaged in shipping (in your opinion)?

Well, the blister-pack plastic is thin so it doesn't offer much protection at all. The Zire has relatively robust construction though, so I'd guess that shipping damage isn't going to be much of an issue.

- D

RE: Zire Questions
bcombee @ 10/7/2002 1:16:49 PM #
Looking at Dan's interior shots, it doesn't look like there is a MAX232 or similar RS-232 interface chip on the Zire's mainboard, and its also missing the switching circuitry that lets other EZ devices switch between the serial port and IR port. Without this, adding a RS-232 serial interface isn't going to happen.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: Zire Questions
stickboy @ 10/7/2002 2:35:18 PM #
I've heard it referred to as a "B" type USB plug, but I'm not sure that's the standard nomenclature or not.
I doubt it. "A" and "B" typically are used to refer to the two different ends of a normal USB cable. (AFAIK, "A" is the narrow, rectangular end, and "B" is the squarish end.)

RE: Zire Questions
c_blue @ 10/7/2002 2:42:24 PM #
but what about that IR keyboard that we so at PIC some time ago?

c_Blue

HotSync 1 tap: my bad
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 2:52:53 PM #
robman: Also---when you press the "star" icon, does it start a HotSync or just go to the HotSync application?

Palm_Otaku: "Favorites" just launches the app, so it's two taps: one to open the HotSync app and a second to start the sync.

Sorry, my mistake - one tap on the Favorites actually initiates the HotSync :) Thanks to Ben for his prompt to check this.

RE: Zire Questions
palm_pilot_guy @ 10/7/2002 4:13:48 PM #
that's usb mini-b, not to be confused with usb regular-b. usb mini-b and usb regular-b are the same, electronically, or so i think.

----
two sl10s in the hand don't make an sj30 in the bush.
RE: Zire Questions
pocketscience @ 10/7/2002 7:01:03 PM #
Hmm, there's USB-to-serial adapters available (a good source is here: <http://pfranc.com/usb/usb.shtml>) and you could probably hack in a mini-USB plug *BUT* I wouldn't be surprised if the Zire is USB Slave only (no Master protocol) -- I'll have to check into that.

All Palm devices thus far produced are USB slaves only - Zire will be the same.


Cheers,



RE: Zire Questions
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 12:25:18 AM #
stickboy: "A" and "B" typically are used to refer to the two different ends of a normal USB cable. (AFAIK, "A" is the narrow, rectangular end, and "B" is the squarish end.)

palm_pilot_guy: that's usb mini-b, not to be confused with usb regular-b. usb mini-b and usb regular-b are the same, electronically, or so i think.

pocketscience: All Palm devices thus far produced are USB slaves only - Zire will be the same.

Yep, all good input. Checking the specs at usb.org does show that the mini-B includes the four standard pins (signal +/-, power +/-) plus a fifth, currently unused pin "ID". More than you ever wanted to know about mini-B at: <http://www.usb.org/developers/data/ecn1.pdf>

Who's going to explain how to find a better deal?

Moosecat @ 10/7/2002 12:20:44 PM #
The Zire is targeted at people who are not likely to read PIC, or C/Net, or any other geek-source of techy knowledge. The only way they're going to learn about alternatives to the Zire is through advertising -- especially TV commercials.

The Zire may not offer the best bang-for-the-buck among PDAs. But who's going to tell that to consumers?

No other company has a competing product at this level that would justify the marketing expenditure. I guess the closest thing is Sony's low-end model. But that's still only arguably in competition with this, and it's not like Sony is likely to launch a massive comparative advertising campaign.

RE: Who's going to explain how to find a better deal?
PacManFoo @ 10/7/2002 1:28:09 PM #
One other thing is that although the target group may not
know much about PDA's, most of them have heard of Palm. Now when their in the checkout lane at Target and there is a peg of Zires and they see that price your going to get alot of impulse sales.

One thing I wish they would get away from is that M100 size screen. It is TOO SMALL for most people. It apears from the picture that they could have made it the same size as the M500 series.

Can't wait for the Zire Deluxe model to come out, or better yet the Zire Platnium.

Gotta pick one up

bcombee @ 10/7/2002 1:11:06 PM #
Dan, great review!

I think I'm going to have to pick one of these up soon. Not for use as a real device, but to test for compatibility -- so far, we've had mixed luck getting USB debugging to work from CodeWarrior to different Palm OS devices... the m125 works great, but the i705 doesn't send back acknowledgements for breakpoints. Since USB is the only method to talk to this device, we need to know if we can list it as a supported device for our V9 product. If we can, an academic bundle of this with CW for Palm OS Academic edition for under $200 might make a nice introduction for students learning embedded system or PDA programming.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: Gotta pick one up
helf @ 10/7/2002 1:28:19 PM #
if it werent for the fact it only has 4 buttons you could prbably set up a direct cable connection between 2 zires (or more with a hub) and play multiplayer games :)



RE: Gotta pick one up
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 1:32:37 PM #
Hey Ben :)

I noticed a couple of new (to me anyway) and interestingly-named apps in ROM (Applications > Info > Version):

Sync Get v1.0
Sync Set v1.0

Hmmmm.....

- D

RE: Gotta pick one up
bcombee @ 10/7/2002 2:25:03 PM #
Sync Get and Sync Set sound like apps that automatically set the "Favorites" button to be HotSync after a reset. If the Favorites button directly activated HotSync, then one of them could be an app that just posts the appropriate HotSync virtual character. What are their creator codes? Does a "Favorite" setting stay in place after a soft reset?

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
SyncGet SyncSet
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 3:19:53 PM #
Sync Get and Sync Set sound like apps that automatically set the "Favorites" button to be HotSync after a reset. If the Favorites button directly activated HotSync, then one of them could be an app that just posts the appropriate HotSync virtual character. What are their creator codes? Does a "Favorite" setting stay in place after a soft reset?

Heh, that was actually a bit tricky and took a little poking around in the ROM to find out: to find SyncSet I had to look at "TattooArtist" which has the creator code TTOO. Logically enough, to find SyncGet I just looked at "QueriesApp" (creator code QRYS).

BTW, after a soft reset "Favorite" maintains it's setting. Please note my follow-up post to robman above that corrects my erroneous HoySync 2-tap post.


RE: Gotta pick one up
bcombee @ 10/7/2002 5:50:53 PM #
How odd... both of those IDs are registered with PalmSource, but without any public description. Can't wait to dig into my own device.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

WCA

EdwardGreen @ 10/7/2002 2:39:57 PM #
I assume it doesn't include the Web Clipping libraries and application in that 2Mb Rom.

-
kHiTeDev
RE: WCA
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 2:55:53 PM #
Hi Edward - you're right, it doesn't look like any of the web clipping libraries are in ROM. Of course, there's no "Prefs > Web Clipping" available either.

- D

White Elephant, except now...

Strider_mt2k @ 10/7/2002 3:15:38 PM #
I still hold that this thing is a white elephant.
But my resolve is getting shaky.
I think I am seeing the point here about it being for first timers.
It is hard to think outside the box when you are an enthusiast.

I think if this drops a tiny bit in price I would certainly consider getting one for my wife to try out.
And I think that is part of it too. Many people are oblivious to handhelds because they are the same as calculators to the uninitiated.

After having a Zire for a bit, I could see them looking more closely at another handheld with new interest and knowledge, and saying "Hey, how do I get more buttons, or a backlit screen? I want a better handheld!"
And I'm guessing they will already have a little fold-out Palm products brochure that came in the Zire package too!
:D :D :D



strider_mt2k@yahoo.com

RE: White Elephant, except now...
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 3:33:22 PM #
And I'm guessing they will already have a little fold-out Palm products brochure that came in the Zire package too! <\i>

LOL - no, they *completely* missed that opportunity!

- - - -

To be honest, when I read the initial leaks on the Zire I immediately assumed that Palm Inc. was making a big mistake and was prepared to dislike it. And that was before I knew it had no backlight!

However, I'd urge people to check one out in person and keep in mind that this is definitely an introductory unit. Heck, I'm even starting to see the logic in simplifying the buttons to just include scheduling and addresses (man, am I gonna get crucified for that remark!).

RE: White Elephant, except now...
MikeInDM @ 10/7/2002 4:02:08 PM #
I think it's perfect. I have a co-worker who would like a Palm for the calendar and address book. That is all she is interested in. She doesn't want to spend a lot of money. I tried to get her to find one on ebay, but she didn't want to buy "someone else's problems".

Now, she can get a new unit (which she desires), spend less than $100 and have something she won't feel guilty if she decides it isn't what she wants.

Mike

RE: White Elephant, except now...
Bartman007 @ 10/7/2002 4:41:16 PM #
I'm debating whether or not to get out my special cruxifiction stakes or not, but great review.

This handheld is definitely not for me, I might considering giving it as a gift thought. BUt I would probably do what I did for my little brother, in March I bought a m100 with a funky digitizer, fixed it and gave it to him. Let's see the Zire beat that =P

RE: White Elephant, except now...
Strider_mt2k @ 10/7/2002 5:14:30 PM #
If they got to be around 50 bux US to buy, I might even consider one as a plaything.

strider_mt2k@yahoo.com
RE: White Elephant, except now...
hotpaw4 @ 10/7/2002 6:51:20 PM #
> If they got to be around 50 bux US to buy, I might even consider one as a plaything.

Just wait a year or two. The m105 came out at $250 and is now under $100. If this Zire model follows the same price curve, then it should be selling for under $40 around or after the 2003 Christmas holidays. Around the same time frame, used ones will be on eBay for $20 or less.

Think about comparing this with a Mac Plus, which had a monochrome display, a 7.8 MHz 68000, 1 Meg of RAM plus an 800k floppy, and sold pretty well at a price of $2500 (since it outperformed the slightly cheaper base model IBM PC/XT). A Zire is twice as fast and has more total memory+storage for 4% of the price, not even mentioning the size factor.

RE: White Elephant, except now...
amflores @ 10/7/2002 7:50:45 PM #
You´re completelly right about the mac+! I was just thinking about that, since my mom ask me to fix her mac. I was comparing it to my m105 and it´s stowaway: much more functional than the mac -even more functional than the powerbook 145 from where I was transferring the OS!-.

No matter it only has 4mb ram, she uses it with excel (for house budgeting) and word (don´t remember which version) and you know what? She doesn´t need another computer -her words-

So, I guess she might be overwelmed with the Zire power...well, maybe not, but it will do much of what she needs in a smaller package.


Upgrades?

razorpit @ 10/7/2002 3:43:57 PM #
Is the OS upgradeable to OS5? ;-)

RE: Upgrades?
aflores @ 10/7/2002 4:00:27 PM #
I don't think so, this handheld is too basic.
RE: Upgrades?
Kesh @ 10/7/2002 4:25:45 PM #
There's not enough Flash ROM space, and you'd have to have an ARM-based processor. So, no. :)

Easy 3-step process!
Palm_Otaku @ 10/7/2002 4:33:51 PM #
1. purchase Zire and find out Palm OS devices are way cool

2. start surfing the web to find out more about Palm stuff and discover tons of cool apps that you can't live without

3. realize that you gotta upgrade and purchase a bleeding-edge device

(Note: step 4 is passing on your old device to someone you like -- the cycle begins anew...)

RE: Upgrades?
Bartman007 @ 10/7/2002 4:40:32 PM #
lol, you guys need to read into the ;-)

=P!!!!!!!!!!

RE: Upgrades?
razorpit @ 10/8/2002 11:05:49 AM #
ROTFL! Bartman, I almost was going to say something then I figured nah I'll sit back and see how far this was going to go...

--Dave

Palm m150

4s @ 10/7/2002 3:56:04 PM #
According to the cNET review of this device, Palm is calling the Zire the m150. Interesting.

http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0-2709830-405-20489893.html?tag=rev-rev

<><

RE: Palm m150
ganoe @ 10/7/2002 4:40:27 PM #
So you can charge it with the USB cable? That's what cnet says anyhow.
RE: Palm m150
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 2:31:42 AM #
Kinda, it supplies 1/3 the current of the AC adaptor with a "trickle charge", so it is a slow but convenient option.

RE: Palm m150
stxrower04 @ 10/13/2002 10:42:42 PM #
its more of a palm m102

Buy a new Palm m500 instead

peter167 @ 10/7/2002 6:09:03 PM #
because you get a faster CPU, 4 times the RAM, a much larger screen, an SD-slot, a UC, two more buttons and of course, a BACKLIGHT!

Don't bother with the m105. Go with the m500. This extra $100 will definitely pays out. Or go for the Sony SJ-20.

******************
Lie is the future.

RE: Buy a new Palm m500 instead
msmasitti @ 10/7/2002 10:55:47 PM #
Not everyone just has a 100 bucks extra to plop for a new handheld. This will be good for the lowbudget, students, etc.

------------------------
Mario
O/T Mod
[url]http://www.wc101.com[/url]
RE: Buy a new Palm m500 instead
formerlyanon @ 10/8/2002 2:02:28 PM #
wouldnt that miss the point entirelly of a low end handheld buy? why not spend £550 on a ppc. or £2000 on a laptop?

__________________________________________________________________
My palm III was 50p from a charity shop, and introduced me to pdas
RE: Buy a new Palm m500 instead
090h @ 11/29/2002 1:43:27 PM #
I concur. In fact, my wife was eyeing a Zire in the after Thanksgiving sales papers.

Looking at the features of the Zire for US$94-$99 - I was able to find a new M500, with a 16Mb Panasonic SD card, and a leather case, for US$149 with a US$30 rabate at OfficeDepot.

So, US$99 for a Zire, or US$119 for a new M500.

That decision took all of a split second to make.

I've already downloaded the PalmOS 4.1 upgrade, which I will install, along with the names & numbers she normally uses, so when she opens it on Christmas Day, it will be fully functional for her.

Wise Move...

schmuck @ 10/7/2002 6:43:12 PM #
I would have to agree that this is a smart move for palm inc, and that they are reaching for a totaly new market. There has been no market for NEW users for quite some time... hence the overall disinterest / outright failure of palm's M100/105, handspring's neo, & other entry level devices. Expecially since the advent of the new Sony Clie line-up (with better features for about the same price). The palm market has been strictly for upgraders lately. And the upgraders are moving to the "Whiz-Bang" Windows CE & PocketPC devices. What to do....

Invent a new market. They are going to pitch these things to high-schoolers & Jr. College students like Doritos. It's hip. it LOOKS great, and it has just enough to offer to make it usefull. They are going to buy them, get pissed off with the lack of features within and upgrade within two months.. ( See M100 ) It's genius, although a re-hashed genius I must admit.

I can only hope that palm is going to realy put some meat in the Tungston for the upgraders to focus any brand loyalty.. otherwise they are going to loose to the Sony line yet again.

Anyone buying palm Stock yet.. you better do it now.. just be ready to unload it quick ;-)



RE: Wise Move...
hkklife @ 10/8/2002 9:45:51 AM #
I would not call the Handspring Neo a "failure" outright...since essentially all monochrome Visors (excluding the Edge and Pro) are essentially the same unit, aside from a few RAM and packaging tweaks. Unless, of course, you want to call the whole Visor line a failure ;-)

Seriously, this entry-level segment IS an area where Handspring could have really mopped up--since the R&D/Fab costs for the original Visor formfactor had already long since been paid for, they could have tweaked them a bit more, dropping the Springboard, adding OS 4, and cut the price as low as possible to still make a profit. Even now, a Visor Solo makes a lot more sense than the Zire does--and the kids would still love the fruity day-glow colors!

For the record, and this is my personal favorite here, I think that Handspring could also have released a Visor/Treo (non-wireless of course) in a clamshell 2-way Motorola pager style case. Now THAT would have had the baggy-jean teenyboppers going wild! Take the Treo's keyboard, shoehorn it into a rectangular case and put a small screen w/o Grafitti on the other side. Bingo! The cachet and "hipness" of a 2-way in appearance, but with the ability to do more stuff. Pre-load a few games onto it and there you have your new cash cow. Remember, most kids associate a stylus being withdrawn as the ultimate symbol of dorkiness. But it's ok to mash tiny little buttons to do SMS and the like--so just make the unit as usable as possible without having to unleash a "nerdy" stylus. Offer it in every color under the rainbow, with some "wraps" to go around it..name is the XDA or some such. No one would care then how little ram it had or how slow the Dragonball was!

RE: Wise Move...
macfixer @ 10/8/2002 3:19:23 PM #
No "fruity day-glo colors" for the Solo -- it only came in Graphite.

K

UC

Gekko @ 10/7/2002 7:19:01 PM #
So much for the "Universal Connector"...

More Zire Questions

robman @ 10/7/2002 7:02:30 PM #
I have more questions about the Zire!

Did the unit come with any charge on the batteries whatsoever? If not, how long did it take to charge up to full (or did you try that)? If so, could you have operated the unit (to any extent) through the blister pack in the store?

Can you settle the CNet rumor about the Zire charging over USB *without* the AC adapter plugged in to the unit?

Palm's website describes a "Getting Started Manual" inside the Zire blister pack. How is it? How do you think *novice users* and Palm newbies would recieve it?

I've seen lots of pictures of the front of the blister pack, but what's on the back of it?

Have you tried any of the various overclocking programs available for the Palm to see if you can squeeze more speed out of the Zire?

A major problem with the included Palm m5xx cases (and many after-market cases) is that it's STILL easy to turn on the Palm accidentally while it's in your pocket due to the raised buttons. Does the blue flip cover address this problem at all?

Is the Zire stylus in any way comptable with any other Palm stylus? (Or is this yet another way that Palm can't standardize :-P )

Palms website (see: http://www.palm.com/products/handhelds/zire/details.html) curiously tells users that the Zire requires: "One available USB port (Systems without USB ports, require the Palm HotSync® Cradle-Serial, sold separately)." Any thoughts on what this means?

You said that one click of the favorites icon starts a HotSync. Anyone have any idea how this works? More importantly, in Prefs->Buttons is there an option for the Hotsync application AND "do a hotsync"?

If so I want the PRC for this version of Prefs!

Thanks again!


Palm Research at the University of Texas at Austin

RE: More Zire Questions
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 12:34:59 AM #
**robman
**I have more questions about the Zire!

Wow, do you ever! ;)

**Did the unit come with any charge on the batteries whatsoever? If not, how long did it take to charge up to full (or did you try that)? If so, could you have operated the unit (to any extent) through the blister pack in the store?

The battery was about 40% full when first turned on: the recommended LiIon cells state-of-charge for "storage". I didn't monitor how long it took for the Zire to reach full charge - I just left it plugged in for the 3 hours recommended by Palm. Heh, I didn't try turning the device on through the blister pack, but if it starts up with the "Welcome" digitzier screen, good luck trying to do that through the packaging ;)

**Can you settle the CNet rumor about the Zire charging over USB *without* the AC adapter plugged in to the unit?

I've sent a few edits to Ryan to include but it looks like they're not "live" yet. The USB cable provides a "trickle charge" with 1/3 the current of the AC adapter, so it'll take longer, but it's possible to charge with just the USB.

**Palm's website describes a "Getting Started Manual" inside the Zire blister pack. How is it? How do you think *novice users* and Palm newbies would recieve it?

Well, it covers just the bare essentials to get set up and started, but it's clearly written and has good diagrams. A full user manual (downloadable from www.palm.com/support/zire/ ) in Acrobat format is also installed on the PC or Mac when installing Palm Desktop.

**I've seen lots of pictures of the front of the blister pack, but what's on the back of it?

Silver with Zire and Palm logos and the script: "Easy to use, easy to learn and easy to carry". Screenshots of Date Book, Address Book, Note Pad; notes about the other included apps, weeks of batteyr life, inputting data via connected PC or Graffiti.

**Have you tried any of the various overclocking programs available for the Palm to see if you can squeeze more speed out of the Zire?

Nope - didn't seem like something the intended users would be doing so I didn't bother.

**A major problem with the included Palm m5xx cases (and many after-market cases) is that it's STILL easy to turn on the Palm accidentally while it's in your pocket due to the raised buttons. Does the blue flip cover address this problem at all?

It's flexible so a squeeze will press a button - they really should have done a rigid cover ..

**Is the Zire stylus in any way comptable with any other Palm stylus? (Or is this yet another way that Palm can't standardize :-P )

I did a initial check for that - it's a new design but most similar dimensionally to the m5xx. It has a deep groove near the tip into which a metal clip at the bottom of the silo engages to hold the stylus securely. If you look carefully at the internals image you can just see it behind the main PCB.

**Palms website (see: http://www.palm.com/products/handhelds/zire/details.html) curiously tells users that the Zire requires: "One available USB port (Systems without USB ports, require the Palm HotSync® Cradle-Serial, sold separately)." Any thoughts on what this means?

Heh, it probably means they've got errors on the site. I seriously doubt that they'll have a serial cradle - too expensive, and how would it dock? Upside down? Another error I've noted there is "monochrome screen" in the comparison table (it should say 16-level greyscale like the rest).

**You said that one click of the favorites icon starts a HotSync. Anyone have any idea how this works?

It might be from a couple hidden files in ROM called Sync Get and Sync Set - more info above.

**More importantly, in Prefs->Buttons is there an option for the Hotsync application AND "do a hotsync"?

No need - by default "Favorites" is set to HotSync and it does a one-tap sync.

- Dan

RE: More Zire Questions
robman @ 10/8/2002 4:43:24 PM #
Dan---thanks for all your replies.

I wasn't clear on the Favorites issue. I'm really curious how you configure a Palm to do a HotSync with a silkscreen button.

Eg: Pick up any other Palm device and make any other button (like the calculator button or the memopad button) as "HotSync." Pressing that button won't actually initiate a hotsync---it will just go to the HotSync application.

So, what happens if you change the configuration of the Favorites away to something else besides hotsync, and then back again? Is it possible to make the Favorites button just run the HotSync App? Is it possible to make other hardware buttons HotSync? Just trying to figure out how this works.

Thanks again !

Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin
http://www.edb.utexas.edu/petrosino/pda

RE: More Zire Questions
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 5:18:32 PM #
Hey robman,

AFAIK the silkscreen one-touch HotSync is unique to the Zire and it's done through some extra programs that are "hidden" in the ROM. If you search through this page, you'll find some comments about Sync Get and Sync Set.

As a quick check, last night I used Filez to beam both files to an m100 to see if I could duplicate the one-touch HotSync and it didn't work. I'm not planning to investigate that any further because IMHO, the extra effort of a two-tap solution (Calc/Favorites, on-screen button) is insignificant.


Excellent for the platform

OzziePalmDieHard @ 10/7/2002 8:54:29 PM #
This is really good. It will bring new blood into the PalmOS fold. And the people who bite the Zire hook will be reeled in for a new tungsten.

Yes, it lacks the features of other models at similair prices. But remember, those devices are at the end of their cycle, and the Zire is still at expensive opening price. Expect it to drop dramatically very soon.

As for the lack of memory, UC, etc...
The market for this device doesn't even know these features exist, and they will not research on the net, or go on ebay. Its an impulse buy, or a christmas present.


Great review, the best and most in depth i've seen in a long time. And so soon! Good work, PIC is in good hands.

Oh well, i'll continue my vigil for a SJ30 esque OS5 machine....

Several Months Ago at Palm Headquarters;

"Hah! Those sony bastards think that they can beat us in stupid names. The Tungsten T is infinitely more ridiculous than "clie"....."

Zire's $13.99 Competition

Gekko @ 10/7/2002 10:15:41 PM #
RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
jho4thclie @ 10/7/2002 11:24:39 PM #
Sadly true. Palm can't feasibly target users who are any more casual than "Zire-candidates", or the super-drop in price once you look at the Casio B.O.S.S.-type PDAs will hurt them.

-JWH
RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
asiayeah @ 10/8/2002 2:14:11 AM #
But the Zire is so much more advanced and easier to use.

RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
Supermoo @ 10/8/2002 6:59:45 AM #
Yes, hopefully more users will take the plunge from the cheaper Sharp organisers to Zire... love Palm and never look back... :)

}:8) Supermoo
RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
xenafan @ 10/8/2002 10:01:36 AM #
Hey my mom has one of those. :) I might have to get her the Zire for X-mas. Anthing else will be to much for her.

RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
hotpaw4 @ 10/8/2002 1:19:48 PM #
The maker of the $13.99 device probably doesn't have an advertising campaign or any brand awareness.
RE: Zire's $13.99 Competition
myname @ 10/8/2002 4:11:05 PM #
You better don't get your mum the Zire ...

that $13.99 PDA has a numercal pad and key pad that your mum might not want to lose.

Upgrade the Zire from 2 to 8MB

wertersEchte @ 10/8/2002 6:56:40 AM #
Are these guys the first?????

http://www.vivomobile.de/de/index.html

The Upgrade is 49 EURO plus mailcosts
(1 Euro ~ 1 US$)

OS4 on Zire vs OS3.5 on m105

PalmAndy @ 10/8/2002 8:25:59 AM #
I am considering buying my wife a m105 since she keeps on eyeing mine....

The Zire has OS 4.1 whereas the m105 only has OS 3.5. What are the main differences between the two OS versions? I know OS 4 has VFS support but then the Zire has no expansion slot.

I see the m105 as a better buy since it also has a backlight.


RE: OS4 on Zire vs OS3.5 on m105
myname @ 10/8/2002 9:28:59 AM #
that makes me wonder .... wasn't palm Inc. famous for their free OS upgrades !?

RE: OS4 on Zire vs OS3.5 on m105
hkklife @ 10/8/2002 9:34:48 AM #
I dont know about you guys, but I'd much rather have all of my hardware buttons, a backlight, and some aftermarket accessories available than a trendy case design, rechargable battery, and a slightly newer OS. I had both OS 3.5 and 4.1 on my old Vx and i *did* notice a slight speed increase after flashing it to OS 4. That was basically the main change for units that didn't offer VFS support via SD slot. There were also some bugfixes, security updates, and I think some changes were made to web-clipping and establishing a 'net connection over a cell phone, but I don't really mess around with that stuff so I am not 100% positive on what the exact changes were. Overall, I'd take anything from an m105,m100,IIIe and down to the original PalmPIlots (the first ones w/ backlight) over this atrocity. I always thought the Zire was a huge disappointment and a disservice to "new" users, and the apalling lack of a backlight was the final nail in its coffin. Heck, I'd rather have *one* meg of ram for basic PIM stuff if I could keep my backlight and hardware buttons. Sigh....

P.S. The silver lining in this, if you can call it that, is that the unit should be highly overclockable while still keeping good battery life. I am sure the ram will also be upgradable to 2 megs for a nominal fee. Don't be surprised if the next Zire is identical in feature-set, but adds a "faster" (ie factory overclocked) CPU and steps up to 4 or 8 megs of ram. But it is amazing what $50 more gets you from Sony or Handspring...

RE: OS4 on Zire vs OS3.5 on m105
legalalien @ 10/8/2002 11:56:42 AM #
m105 does appear to be a better buy at this time, although Zire's rechargeable batteries are a big plus in my view.

CircuitCity offers a $25 rebate on any PDA through 10/12, bringing the cost of m105 down to $75. I would expect Palm to drop m105 soon (since they make money on Zire, and apparently lose money on m105), so you better hurry up.

RE: OS4 on Zire vs OS3.5 on m105
Gekko @ 10/8/2002 9:21:54 PM #
GIVE your wife your old m105 and buy yourself the m515 or the CLIEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Otaku?

Admin @ 10/8/2002 6:03:20 PM #
Dan, I've been meaning to ask you... What is an Otaku?
RE: Otaku?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/8/2002 6:34:25 PM #
LOL! I've been wondering when somebody was going to ask.

Otaku (oh-TAH-kuu)
n. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "house". In Japan, the term refers to someone with a heavy, and sometimes near-religious interest in something. In the Japanese culture it also carries a derogatory meaning, in the context of being someone with no real social or personal life outside of the object of their obsession (much like the term "fanboy" or "nerd" in Western culture). However, outside of Japan, the term may or may not carry a derogatory meaning depending on the person being referred to.

Cheers,

Dan

RE: Otaku?
helf @ 10/9/2002 9:30:41 AM #
awesome :D

Will the Zire beat the Sony Clié SL-10?

kk107 @ 10/12/2002 6:29:08 AM #
Will the Zire beat the Sony Clié SL-10? So is it worth speeding a few euro's or dollars extra more for the Sony?
RE: Will the Zire beat the Sony Clié SL-10?
myname @ 10/12/2002 9:19:38 AM #
Clie SL-10
- High res monochrone 320X320
- bigger screen
- smaller size
- Backlit
- 4 buttons
- 8MB ram
- with expansion slot
- with T-series serial port
- Jogdial
- No builtin rechargable batteries

Zire
- monochrone 1600X1600
- small screen size (like M10x series)
- big frame makes it big
- no Backlit
- 2 Buttons
- 2MB ram
- no expansion slot
- no UNIVERSIAL Connector
- with builtin rechargable batteries

will you pay 50 dollars more and giveup the recharable batter yfor a Clie SL-10 with High res monochrone, bigger screen, smaller size, Backlit, 4 buttons, 8MB ram, MS slot, a T-series serial port and a Jogdial button ??

Vibrate?

apinstein @ 10/13/2002 11:40:32 AM #
Great review, but no comment on whether or not it vibrates. Anyone?

RE: Vibrate?
myname @ 10/13/2002 1:27:42 PM #
no vibrate ..

Saving Grace?

Quantum @ 10/14/2002 3:36:24 PM #
It's unbelievable that Palm would design a new platform without this option. Couldn't they or a third party make a light, which plugs into the USB port? The people who don't want or have the need for a light wouldn't have to get it, and then people who want or need it could buy it for a small cost.
WormLight?
Palm_Otaku @ 10/14/2002 7:43:09 PM #
Heh, that's the same thing people said about GameBoy and GBA. Maybe accessory manufacturers will create a Zire WormLight?

Zire Not Working

zireneeds @ 12/30/2002 2:11:11 AM #
Due to the fact that the Palm company decided they didn't want to help me, I've decided to come to you for help.

I received my Zire as a present, and it's a nice present. But, it doesn't turn on. I charged it for 8 hours when I first opened it, but it still won't turn on. It turns on when connected to the AC Adapter; but it won't turn on otherwise. I wonder if the battery is dead?

Is there anything I can do to check this out without having to send it in? It's a real pain to have to mail it to them and then wait for them to fix it and send it back.

POSE ver 3.5 does not support Zire ROM image

gpifd @ 1/28/2003 5:14:38 AM #
Does Anyone have a solution to this ?
In case I want to test an application using Emulator for Zire ...ANY ALTERNATIVE ???


Francis DMello

RE: POSE ver 3.5 does not support Zire ROM image
nono @ 3/23/2004 5:28:35 AM #
Same problem for me!(for a PALM ZIRE M150)
Have you got an answer to your question?
I am also interesting for a solution

Tanks a lot

nomartinec@wanadoo.fr

nono (FRANCE)

Be Careful!

mdcrandall @ 1/7/2004 3:15:42 PM #
Just a note that individuals should be careful about purchasing this entry level unit from Palm for gifts or Christmas presents. Someone purchased one for me for Christmas and there was a dead spot on the screen. Since I was visiting family out of state at the time I have no recourse to return the item to the original vendor and while Palm will repair I have to have to shell out to ship the item to them.
Not sure it is worth the money to have repaired.

My advice is to be careful and check the unit when purchasing. Or better yet buy something else.


Zire 21 + cell phone = data loss

unhappy @ 2/23/2004 4:13:41 PM #
I've been through 3 Zire 21's and all have the same problem. Put them near a cell phone and expect a hard reset to be triggered and kiss all your data goodbye. Same thing happens with more than one brand of cell phone. And nothing happens when my old Palm Vx is next to the same cell phones.

The Zire 21 is a bad unit. They are improperly shielded and Palm, although they are aware of this problem, refuses to stand behind their product.

Now I'm out $100 bucks and dozens of hours of time wasted on Palm's rude and unhelpful support lines.

I've been a Palm user since 1998 and am appalled by how poorly made and supported this unit is. Save your money and do not buy this garbage.


Top