Peripherals for m500 and m505 Also Announced
No handheld is complete without accessories and companies have clearly been hard at work developing them for the new m500 series.
Novatel Wireless, developer of the Minstrel line of wireless modems, has announced a model for the m500 series. It will clip to the bottom of the handhelds, leaving the SD slot clear for other uses. It will use CDPD or GPRS, allows pass-through charging, and has a longer battery life than the Minstrel V. Pricing and availability are not yet available.
Kodak will be releasing a version of its PalmPix camera that fits on the new Uniform Connector. Apparently, they were one of the major forces in convincing Palm to stop forcing them to redesign their products every time a new handheld came out. John Cook, senior director of product marketing for Palm, said the camera maker's message to Palm was, "We want to support you but we can't keep doing this."
Palm has been quick to announce products that use the new SD slot as well. There is a $40 backup card and a 16MB Expansion Card for $50.
Software and content is already coming out on SD, too. There are versions of Lonely Planet CitySync Travel Guides for the U.S., Europe, and Asia and games available now. Coming soon is a Reference Dictionary/Thesaurus card.
There are also a wide variety of the usual accessories available. There are four leather case options for the m500 series, ranging in price from $25 for the most basic to $34.95 for a zippered model with slots designed to hold SD or MMC cards. Also available is the $40 Deluxe Leather Carrying Case for carrying both a Palm m500 series handheld and the Palm Portable Keyboard.
There is a version of the folding Palm Portable Keyboard for the m500 series. This version features the new Universal Connector and sells for $100.
For those who don't want to wait for an SD modem, they are offering the PalmModem Connectivity Kit which allows 56K dialup data speeds.
For users who travel frequently, Palm offers several travel accessories, including a charging kit and serial and USB HotSync cables.
Socket Communications has also announced the Digital Phone Connection, a snap-on attachment that allows the m500 series make a wired connection to a mobile phone. It's initial version works with Motorola's StarTAC, Timeport, Talkabout and V Series handsets and with a variety of handsets from Samsung. It will be available in Q2 for about $70.
Socket Communications has announced that they are going to release the In-Hand Scan Card, an SD plug-in card that integrates a miniature power-efficient laser scanner engine from Symbol Technologies to add advanced bar code scanning capability. It will be available in Q4 for about $250.
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