Discussion: How Good is the m505's Screen?
It doesn't seem like a difficult question: "How Good is the m505's Screen?" But it doesn't appear to have a simple answer. Reviews of the device have been trickling out and all of them say the screen is either awesome or dismal. Which is it?
PalmStation tried to answer this question by posting some pictures of a side-by-side comparison of an m505 and a IIIc taken under various conditions. Unfortunately, the shots taken indoors appear to have been taken with a flash, which totally skews the results.
Until now, one of most frequent complaints about color Palms is that they are unusable outside because the colors get washed out by the Sun. The m505 appears to have turned this problem on its ear. Most evidence seem to point to the m505 looking great outside and it is inside where the trouble starts.
Palm's own Knowledge Finder has a page with the slightly ominous title "Information on why the display on the m505 is not as bright as the display on a Palm IIIc" which says, in part:
The Palm m505 uses a reflective screen, which greatly enhances its ability to be viewed in direct sunlight conditions. In fact, the greater the ambient lighting, the better the viewing experience.
If it is necessary to keep the front light on whenever using the handheld indoors, how much is this going to affect battery life? Palm's Knowledge Finder only says that "The average user can expect approximately 3 weeks of use from a fully charged device."
No where does it explain how many hours a day is assumed in that approximation. The NewsBytes article mentioned earlier says that the m505's screen, "contrary to some reports, does not drain the batteries unduly." Whether this means with backlight on or off is just another thing that isn't clear.
It is possible that the answer to this question will always depend on whom you ask. Possibly, the screen will never satisfy users with very high expectations but will make the average user happy. We won't know until the m505 is shipping and thousands are able to judge for themselves.
If you have held an m505 in your hands, please chime in with an opinion on the screen. Also welcome are links to other reviews that mention the screen. -Ed
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