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Rumor: Visor Edge Photos and Full Details

An anonymous source has come through with full details on the Visor Edge, including pictures of the front and back, including the Springboard sleeve. These are not the same photos that were posted on PDABuzz.

It has the fastest Palm OS processor currently available, the 33Mhz Motorola VZ and 8MB of memory. The screen is a monochrome LCD with 4-bit grayscale (16 shades of gray). The Edge has a rechargeable lithium ion battery.

As had been previously reported, it has three color options: Metallic Silver, Red and Blue and will be announced at a press event next Monday, March 12. It will be available on the Handspring website on the same day.

It will sell for about $475, though that price is very approximate. It could be $450 or $500. The source was very unsure about this.

Its size will be 4.7 inches x 3.1inches x .43 inches. In comparison, the Palm Vx is 4.5 inches x 3.1 inches x 0.4 inches.

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Actuslly, it's not bad looking at all

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 4:59:56 PM #
It looks very straighforward and clean. Very much in the spirit of the original Pilot.

I'm anxious to see one in person.

backpack

Nate @ 3/8/2001 5:01:53 PM #
I can't say I like the DaVinci-like stylus holder, but I'm getting used to the look of it overall. It won't win any design awards though.

Pleni: You forgot to mention that the shot of the back shows the springboard backpack, which is removable.

Syncplicity. Redefining Simple. www.cognitiveroot.com

Price

Nate @ 3/8/2001 5:07:34 PM #
I think the price you quote is way off - when it was briefly listed at several online stores, the MSRP was $399. That's all just rumor of course, but I don't think there's any way that Handspring could get away with charging $500 for a monochrome PDA these days. Then again, charging $400 seems ridiculous too...

Syncplicity. Redefining Simple. www.cognitiveroot.com

too expensive

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 5:10:52 PM #
Much too expensive!
No built in SD/CF expansion slot? only 8mb?
I'll stick with a Vx or the new m500 or m505 !


Congrats!

mikecane @ 3/8/2001 6:03:28 PM #
Congratulations to Ryan and Ed for delivering the goods to us!

This is a very interesting design.

The CLIE looked ugly in photos but is quite nice in person. Perhaps, in person, this will inspire the same degree of lust.

I don't know about that odd stylus arrangement, however. Could be that way to allow the sleeve.

It will be very interesting to see this in person as well as to read owner's opinions and the opinions of reviewers.

Let's hope this screen will not present the same problems I've read about with the Visor Platinum!

Fugly!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 6:11:28 PM #
Fugly! That's all I have to say. Fugly. JBH.

Bravo!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 6:13:18 PM #
Finally, I've been waiting for a factory red PDA. haha Seriously, this looks like a winner, and should give a boost in the arm to the entire Handspring line. Handsprings are like the Volvo of PDAs... very boxy, but very functional. This new Edge will add some zip to a sagging line!

$500!!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 6:43:44 PM #
I'll take a Platinum or a Prism thank you very much. I had a Compaq iPAQ for a few days and ditched it because of complicated things like detachable CF sleeves and crap. I don't understand why rechargeable batteries are always looked at as a benefit. For those of us that depart civilization for long periods of time, rechargeables aren't a godsend.

RE: $500!!!
Ed @ 3/8/2001 8:34:21 PM #
The source isn't in retail so they are really unsure about that price. Other sites are listing the Edge's price at about $400. We'll know on Monday.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter

New visor

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 6:55:12 PM #
I just want to say that the detachable springboard sleeve is dumb. That is what made the visor the visor. whenever anyone who knows anything about PDA's saw the back of it, they would see the expansion slot, and then i would feel proud because i knew that i had the best pda ever. But without the expansion slot on there, people will just think that it is another stupid, normal PDA. I just think it takes away from what makes the visor the visor. Although, the internal li-ion batteries will be nice.

RE: New visor
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 1:12:55 AM #
Don't be childish and vain... SpringBoard is too FREGGING THICK and BIG to have on those newer and thinner PDAs...

If you want to show off, buy an old and dead Visor... And show the expansion slow off to people who are actually interested in staring at you.

and I offer for your approval...Exhibit A

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 7:30:54 PM #
http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/em500-review.html

Anyone else notice how much this "Visor" looks like the Casio em500 pocketPC? Look at the buttons, they're look identical, spacing of the unit around the screen area seems exact on all for edges; the Handspring logo is right where the Casio logo is and the "Visor" etching is in the same place as the PocketPC logo. Makes me wonder.....

RE: and I offer for your approval...Exhibit A
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 8:36:55 PM #
Don't disgrace the Casio EM-500 by comparing the two... They are not even in the same league (odd that the EM-500 is less expensive isn't it?).

This device is obviously made to compete with the Palm Vx, but I tend to think it will be the worst value on the market when it is released.

-Vual

RE: and I offer for your approval...Exhibit A
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 9:59:19 PM #
the only similarity is that they are both red. I like the visor much more but I would like to have that speaker (or at least a headphone jack . . )

Mr. Abe

Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 7:40:28 PM #
There should be a soft grafitti area just like the keyboard. Pop it up when ever you need it. So much valuable space would be given to us, if this happened. Why wait for PalmOS5 for this, do it now. Especially for the new m100/m105 form factor that Palm is using to replace the III factor. This is a good try for Handspring, especially the detachable springboard interface. I don't think many people use that slot, at least not in my office. I've got some cowboys here that proclaim at the top of their lungs that they have a better device. But do I see any springboards in that slot?! No! Fools!

RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 10:00:48 PM #
Yes, and they should really think about making the screen bigger, period. For example, they could cut right back on the borders around the screen. And the buttons could be relocated to say the bottom edge so that the screen can be made longer.

Let's face it, the single biggest issue with the Palm/Handspring/TRG/Clie/etc form factor is not adding gizmos that might be used by 5% of the market. Rather, it is allowing all users to be able to use their computers with greater ease and the main game here is getting a better and bigger screen. Colour is nice. But a bigger screen would be an improvement which would be appreciated by all - size does matter, you know.

Just my two cents worth.

RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2001 11:27:52 PM #
Until the screen size is addressed, then Palm-based devices do not interest me, regardless of the form/memory/expansion. It is all completely useless if you can't get a good look at the info you store/access...

RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 2:38:15 AM #
It would definatly be a big plus to have bigger screen and a soft grafitti area. I have a CE device and a HWR program I've been messing with has the ability to recognize writing anywhere on the screen...Palms would be much more attractive with this kind of functionality.


RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2001 2:04:14 AM #
There are PalmOS apps that allow you to write anywhere on the screen, FYI.

-MZ


RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2001 2:01:48 PM #
I like the dedicated grafitti area. I put a piece of that special 3M tape over it, which both protects the grafitti area and improves recognition. A soft grafitti area just increases the chance you're going to leave scratches all over your main display, and it feels too squishy for my liking anyway.

RE: Time to get rid of that Grafitti area!
megazone @ 3/10/2001 5:03:43 PM #
I've been using WriteRights since I got my first IIIx and continue to use them on my Visor. I think they're great - they reduce glare off of the glass, protect the screen, and I like the feel better with the sylus on the overlay than the glass.


-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
Eyrie Productions FanFic http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

Funny Stuff

EGarrido @ 3/9/2001 6:36:48 AM #
So I don't like it. The m505 had better be more imporved than that. I could see, however, why people would buy it...

But what concerns me is that the sleeve (assuming it's disconnectable, right?) is just another thing to carry around. I mean, wasn't Handsprings motivation to simplify the devices one caries in their pockets? Now you just have another box to carry around, one new box to lose. It might be a small deal to worry about, but it also might be one to think about.

Eric

What if this is a hoax?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 6:49:16 AM #
It would surprize me a lot if handspring really intends to release something this ugly to compete with the V-line.

So, maybe this could be explained by them just releasing some fake pictures to feed (and fill) the rumour mills and stop them from digging deeper into while they really are preparing the real thing (having learned a lesson from Palm's m505-leak)?

Maybe Baby

Missed Opportunity!

melen @ 3/9/2001 7:48:21 AM #
The EDGE is not an improved Visor, innovation and advanced features were excluded making this an expensive executive toy not a serious business tool. Why not 16mb ram? Why not built in CF slot? Built in cellular? Upgradeable OS? Hello Handspring. . .where is the advancement in technology?!?
Handspring is the herd.
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 8:33:48 AM #
Handspring is too dependent on other industry companies to succeed.

They are dependent on Palm for the OS. They have to march in time to Palm if they're to continue using the PalmOS.

They're dependent on third-party developers who developed springboard modules only because Handspring promised to support them for X number of years.

Kudos to handspring for bringing expansion capabilities to the masses, and for sacrificing their resources and name, running a test market fot Palm and other companies.



The rise and fall of handspring

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 8:04:00 AM #
Palm was actually smart in not jumping on the expansion card/slot bandwagon until now. The Technology is now available to make expansion cards the size of a stick of gum.

Because Handspring jumped on too soon, they are forced to choose between consumers and their third-party developers. They obviously chose the developers.

This huge add-on slot tells me two things:

1) The vast majority of Handspring users don't even use the modules.

2) Handspring is locked into klunky, outdated technology. Those modules are huge compared even to compact flash cards, which existed before springboard.

I can't wait to see my coworkers get one of these devices, and try to write on them during a meeting with that backpack thing acting as a teeter-totter. I hope I can hold back the laughter.

I'm sorry, but these HS devices have not made a lick of sense since day one. I'll take the new Palm device.

does your mommy sign you underwear too?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 9:16:00 AM #
The purpose and joy of the Internet is the passing of free information.

Most reputable sites give credit where credit is due.
You didn't originate the picture you just displayed it.
So if the real author didn't sign it, why do you feel you have the right to 'own' it?

The "this is Mine" Banner is both UGLY and easily removed. Forget this trend it's puerile.

Ian.


Hotsyncing, accessories

PFloyd @ 3/9/2001 10:27:00 AM #
It looks like the Edge won't use the cradle from a Prism or Platinum. Which makes me think if you use a Springboard to sync (ethernet for example) you can sync with any Visor.

Nice but NO details

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 10:37:03 AM #
Looks like a decent machine but is there going to be a color version? I also hope that Handspring FINALLY incorporates Flash memory into it!

If not, well I'll stick with my $250.00 Clie'.

A Marketer's dream!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2001 12:27:38 PM #
I am amazed and shocked at all the people drooling over this. This truelly is nothing new or amazing added to the Visor's Edge. The new m50x have a better apeal. At least it's rumored they will have a newer OS on in, and an expension slot and color. But Visor is marketing the same technology in a new SHOE BOX and charging about $200.00 bucks more. I don't want to hear "Oh it's thiner and lighter". That's bull. The Prism I can see spending alot more, it had a color 16 bit screen, but the Edgeis no better than the Platuim. I guess what Apple Computers showed the word is true. Market yesterdays technology, in new fruity colors and cool box, charge a primum and people will buy it.

I don't know... I like the Palm OS alot. I am just getting tired of spending money on high priced PDA's with old and lame technology. If they put half the effort into marketing another model that actually add new features and new technology, then they do in making a new CASING for the PDA, then maybe they'd truely have the best PDA's in the world....I think its time to look start looking at other platforms and PDA's for my next purchase.

RE: A Marketer's dream!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2001 12:30:02 AM #
[quote]
I guess what Apple Computers showed the word is true. Market yesterdays technology, in new fruity colors and cool box, charge a primum and people will buy it.
[/quote]

I guess Apple learned it's lesson when they tried to sell us sexy black/dark green PDAs 5 years ago, with new innovative technology but very few people bought them ;)

Geez, so much negativity...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2001 2:05:39 AM #
Ok, to take some of the points raised...

1. The look.

That comes down to opinion. Personally I've never liked the PalmV's look. I like my Visor Deluxe better. But I kind of like the pics of the Edge I've seen so far - I'll reserve final judgement until I see one in person.

2. The price.

We've seen prices ranging from $300 to $500. Some sources report that the Edge was briefly listed on some ecommerice sites for $299. So why don't you all chill and stop fuming over the "$500" price. Wait until HS announces the damn thing and sets the official pricing.

3. 16MB vs 8MB

The simple fact is most users never even fill 8MB. Making it 16MB adds cost to the unit and raises the price for functionality unnecessary for the majority of buyers. That's bad business.

4. No built in Springboard.

We'll see. One article already mentions that the Edge has a new, smaller SB slot built in and the sleeve is for the larger modules.

5. It isn't 'standard'.

I don't think that's such a big deal. The SB spec is open for anyone. And there are already adaptors for CF memory and SmartMedia available. Technologically you can also make an adaptor for CF devices, there just hasn't been the needed demand. InnoGear is working on the InnoDrive models for Memory Stick, DataPlay, and other media. And other vendors are also working on adaptors. The flexibility is a powerful thing. Additionally the SB spec offers features not found in any of the other systems - like the auto-install, de-install of SW on insertion, etc. There are also a couple of SBs that use MMC and are expected to allow the slots to be used for general purposes. Physically MMC and SD are compatable, perhaps there are possibilities there.

6. The sleeve is just another thing to lose.

Yeah - if you can't hold on to your stuff. The sleeve design has proven popular for the iPaq, and there are external add-ons for the PalmV series as well. Same with other devices. You don't need to carry it with you all the time unless you have a need for a module. I own three modules - Backup, CF adaptor, and GPS. The one I use regularly, that lives in the Visor, is the Backup. But I could leave it in a sleeve and I don't need it with me all the time. You already have to carry the modules (or your CF cards, SD cards, etc) with you anyway. I don't see this as a big deal - and if the unit does have a new type of slot, there will probably be cards for it and you may not even need the sleeve.

7. No color.

Face it, the majority of users don't need color or aren't willing to pay the added price for it. Note the comparative sales of color and greyscale PDAs in general. I won't be surprised to see a color unit down the road. If you want color buy a Prism or an m505. (I think the IIIc is crap - 8bits? Bah.)

8. Screen size, etc.

Hey, not a HS issue. That's PalmOS, at least until 5.0. If you don't like it, WinCE is that way, and Linux PDAs are over yonder. I'd like a higher resolution myself, but I know it isn't going to happen any faster than Palm has planned. I can't stand WinCE, though I might be tempted by a good Linux PDA.

9. No flash.

As with RAM this isn't likely to be an issue for most users. I can understand avoiding flash due to the shortages and the higher prices than masked ROM. Yes, flash is better in absolute terms, but I don't consider this a show stopper. Most people with flashable Palms never flash the damn things anyway.

10. Think of the possibilities.

Ok, so this is blue skyng, but think about it. What about different sleeves as with the iPaq? Native CF support? Native DataPlay? Etc... A larger sleeve with a built in battery in the lower half for longer usage - perhaps providing more power to the modules, like 500mA for a CF microdrive. (One of the limits of the SB as it is is a 100mA peak draw.) Once you have the 'sleeve' capabilities you can do a lot - MP3 player? Digital camera with additional storage (CF, MMC, etc) built it? Think of the type of add-ons for the PalmV, and that there are many more possibilities. Even a sleeve with a SB slot up top and say a SD slot below...


Overall - we'll probably know a lot more on Monday. I just got sick of all the negative comments based on limited and questionable info and wanted to offer some alternatives.

Personally I'm still happy with my Deluxe, with replaced my IIIx. If I upgrade it'll be to something with color, so I'm not likely to buy an Edge unless and until that comes out.

-MZ


RE: Geez, so much negativity...
Ed @ 3/10/2001 11:10:18 AM #
If Palm Infocenter had an award for best comment posted, I'd give it to you right now. This was an excellent, well thought out response. Thanks for the time you took to write it.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter
RE: Geez, so much negativity...
EGarrido @ 3/10/2001 11:35:37 AM #
That was beautiful. Could be an opinion article in itself.

Eric

RE: Geez, so much negativity...
megazone @ 3/10/2001 4:17:01 PM #
Thanks - forgot to login last night...

Well, it looks like there has been some new info - doesn't look like there is a new SB slot, just a connector for the external slot. I don't think that's a big deal. They probably didn't want to fragment the SB market since it is just starting to take off, which took longer than expected.

Writing at 4AM, or so, I did make one mistake that I noticed - the MSRP that has been reported is $399, not $299 as I wrote.

In general I don't understand the product bashing that I see regularly in the PDA market. The market overall is growing and is strong, HS doesn't have to die for Palm to grow, or vice-versa. Hs has helped grow the PalmOS market more than any other PalmOS licensee, far above the market that Palm was able to achieve alone.

If you don't like the product - you don't need to buy it. If you like PalmOS you have products from Palm, Handspring, TRG (I forget their new name...), and Sony. There are specialty devices from Symbian. There is the PalmOS phone from Kyocera, and one coming from Samsung. If you don't like PamOS there are a number of WinCE / Pocket PC platforms. There are a few Linux PDAs available. There are Psion devices. Just pick the unit that works for you. You don't have to slam other products - just don't buy them. If you think SD is better than SB - don't by a Visor. If you like MS - buy a Clie. There are plenty of options available and there is room in the market for multiple vendors.

Personally I'd rather have the options and choices than a monopoly situation where you just take what they deign to give you. HS is good for PalmOS because they've expanding the market second only to Palm themselves, and have offered enhancements to the platform, some - such as the 16bit color API - have been rolled back into the OS in general.

-MZ


-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
Eyrie Productions FanFic http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

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