Price Cuts for Visor Prism and HandEra 330

Two events that have been rumored and hinted at are now official. The prices of the HandEra 330 and Visor Prism have both been cut.

Handspring has dropped the Visor Prism to $300, down from $400. The Prism was announced almost a year ago and many have thought it overdue for a price cut, especially after Handspring lowered prices on all its other models last month.

There is now no Handspring model that costs more than $300.

This change has also set off speculation that Handspring intends to announce a replacement for the Prism in the near future.

The HandEra 330, which debuted at $350 last spring, has dropped to $300. A 16 MB Compact Flash card is available for just $10 more.

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The question: Prism or 330?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 3:34:21 PM #
Color isn't important to me, but PalmOS functionality is. With lots of price cuts going on, which device is the best bang for buck?

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
kevdo @ 10/2/2001 3:40:47 PM #
>which device is the best bang for buck?

Well, obviously, it depends on what you value.

Color? Low weight? Small form factor? Expansion options? Peripheral support?

That being said, the m125 seems like a good value, if you factor in and value the bundled software. The Clie s320 and Handspring Neo units are also very attractive in generally the same price range.

At this point I'd stear clear of any models with only 2 mb of RAM and/or less than a 33 Mhz processor (e.g. m100, low-end Handsprings).

I value small size and color so with a often-seen street price of $400 I'd still factor the m505 as a pretty good bang-for-the-buck (certainly better than the $300 IIIc and Prism units which have color but are comparable to heavy bricks).

The Clie 610 is also a good deal in this price range, though I personally feel the hardware buttons are completely unusable for games (plus, third party peripheral support is low right now).

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 4:13:34 PM #
Go for the handera. Great screen, great backlight, and two industry-standard expansion slots, plus sound. A great little device.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 4:37:38 PM #
I got a Palm Vx for $229 at Office Depot. I don't need the SD card of the M500 and the accessories for the Palm Vx are going down in price also. I got the Magellan GSP companion for $60 and I've even seen a GSM phone sled and a MP3 sled for the V series, although they were both more expensive as the palm Vx was. (like HS)

I like that I can have the Palm Vx in my pocket and not really know it's there...

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 4:37:38 PM #
If you ask me, for the money ($300) is down right cheap for the Handera which no doubt has the most features for that price.

If color is not important for you then this is THE device to have. The opportunity to expand it is uncanny and the hi res screen, virtual grafitti, superior backlight, voice recorder,loud speaker and well implemented jog wheel out do any other monochrome device out there.

I couldn't be more happy with my Handera 330 with the only down side being that many games are not compatible with the new hi res screen, Hopefully time will fix that.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 4:57:31 PM #
Don't buy the handera. With its non standard aspect ratio and resolution most software will not work on it. Most companies today are opting to support the clie's 320 x 320 resolution wich is completely backward compatible with the old 160 x 160 screen. Buy from Handspring, Sony or Palm itself.

A Palm OS software developer.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 5:00:25 PM #
> With its non standard aspect ratio and resolution most software
> will not work on it

That simply isn't true. I hope this was a real mistake and your not trying to spread FUD. The HE330 has an emulation mode that runs almost all appies at 320 x 240. The few that don't can be run at 160 x 160.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 5:28:32 PM #
Actually, the Sony runs at full screen rather than the centralized window that the HandEra has.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
Ed @ 10/2/2001 5:37:47 PM #
Before this thread gets totally off track, I'd like to suggest that anyone who would like to learn more about the HandEra 330's three different ways of displaying legacy applications should read my review of the handheld:

The specific section you are looking for is labeled "Emulation".

News Editor

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:02:45 PM #
>... and your not trying to spread FUD.

He's just spreading FUD. It's just that same Sony child that keeps posting anti-HandEra stuff everywhere.

Most all non-hi-res applications scale nicely to 240x240 on the HandEra, and it seems that more business application developers are jumping to support the 330's resolution than the Sony's.

The 330's aspect ratio is a standard aspect ratio, and we will be seeing more Palm OS devices with similar screens soon.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:12:08 PM #
Sorry Ed,

you may say this is off topic now, but....

I hear that Sony's HiRes implementation is nothing more than a hack. The HandEra implementation is a well thoughtout API, so much so that Palm itself has adopted it as an upcoming standard (I think I read HandEra/Palm announcememnt at Palmgear).

Any developers want to confirm that? The developers I work with agree.

Yours Sincerely
A solution provider for developers.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:19:13 PM #
I certainly wouldn't disagree with the idea that Sony's implementation is a hack. It basically doesn't support anything other than legacy API pixel doubling and then throwing another API on top of that for 320x320, so any other resolution would require yet another API. HandEra's API is basically Palm's with some scaling and support functions added. Looking at it another way, HandEra's APIs could pretty easily also support a 320x320 screen (or other resolutions) with few changes, while Sony's API is pretty useless anywhere other than 320x320. Their virtual graffiti API seemed well separated from the hi-res API, so that it would fit pretty nicely on other devices as well, or could be removed on devices that don't support it.

I've also heard hints that at least code samples for HandEra will be in the next CodeWarrior release so that's another possible move in that direction.

Get the m505 or the Clie. If not, you will always regret it
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:29:52 PM #
Prism is a brick and Handera is, well, ugly with no color.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
Noah @ 10/2/2001 7:25:54 PM #
You say that color isn't an issue? I've got the 330 and must say it's worth it. I've heard all the slams against it, but really if you *OWN* one, the high res and vitural graffiti area makes all the ignorant slams seem...well... ignorant. (How poetic!)


Palms are better!

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
JET8810 @ 10/2/2001 8:53:56 PM #
I use a 330, and the only PDA I would say might compete with the Handera 330 is the new color sony clie. For $400, sure it is $100 more, but the color on it blows you away. It is smaller, lighter and more compact than the Handera, and perhaps if I hadn't gotten all these accesories I would have chose it over my 330, but I have used my Handera so much and used its features so much, that I don't know if i could go back to graffiti and serial modem, perhaps if they made a memory stick modem I could consider upgrading, but now it is out of the question. Also, the firtual graffiti really comes in handy for reading doc files and especially the rotating for excel files. So overall, if you need color and can afford the clie, get it, if not, the prism. If you don't need color, get the Handera.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
rldunn @ 10/2/2001 10:39:44 PM #
There is a wireless modem for the Clie.

CodeWarrior support
bcombee @ 10/2/2001 11:35:13 PM #
The next version of CodeWarrior for Palm OS Platform tools, version 8, will contain SDKs for both HandEra and Sony. Metrowerks isn't taking sides -- we will support all Palm OS developers, no matter what devices they are targeting.

Ben Combee
Technical Lead, Metrowerks

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 11:55:57 PM #
Wireless Modem: The Minstrel III works on the 330

Uh. Just bought a Handera from Dell. For 229.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 12:14:11 AM #
Uh. Just bought a Handera from Dell. For 229.

Glad I waited a few days.

Sale lasts til midnight

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 2:11:28 AM #
Go for the Prism. No Questions at all. it is the best color handheld out there. Plug n play modules. no stupid memory stick memory gate crap where memorystick is PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY! IF SONY WANTS ANYONE TO USE MS IT SHOULD BE FREE! But Handera is stupid and outdated, even though there are a few neat-o gimmicky things that ALL companys could learn from, like landscape screen and vr grafitti. anyway Hand-era obviously stole their name from Handspring so they suck too. Palm sucks the most. 505? 500? what a joke! SD? hahahahahahahahahah. memorystick? hahahahahahah.

RE: The question: Prism or 330?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 2:20:22 AM #
one point, surely the springboard is "proprietary" in much the same way. sony licensed their MS' out and other ppl make SBM's but they can only be used with one device. with the handspring, how many modules do you want to buy just to be able to access all data. it doesn't make sense. and neither does b*tching about which particular flavour of OS rules. it doesn't help people make an informed choice.

personally, i have the clie 710c. that was my choice. i know its faults, i forked out a lot of cash for the memory stick etc, and i had to buy a lot of add-on programs to make full use of the MS, but i am very happy. it's a personal choice which PDA one buys. i have a lot of problems with the prism, but i wouldn't dare to criticise your choice...

make your own choice
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 10:21:37 AM #
Hmmm, if I was choosing between the Prism or 330, then I would choose the Prism. In my opinion, it's a better value. You could just as easily swing with the 330 for its features.

If you are looking at all Palm OS handhelds, then I would suggest making your own decision. Don't come here and expect everyone to agree on one model. Check out various websites for reviews and top ten lists to get a general idea of what is popular. Talk to friends and co-workers and find out what they have. Then, go to your local store to look at the peripherals that are carried and try the different models out. You will make a better decision this way, even though it takes a little effort.

Reading between the lines

skoty @ 10/2/2001 6:23:11 PM #
So what can we expect from Handspring within the next month or so after this price cut? The last time they cut prices they were clearing out Deluxe and Platinum inventory for the Neo and Pro. Can we expect a new color Visor from Handspring in the near future? A color Edge perhaps? I think this move of Handspring's definately foreshadows things to come.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:37:41 PM #

Islander @ 10/3/2001 5:26:10 AM #

RE: Reading between the lines
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 9:26:55 AM #
Ignoring the bleating of the unwashed heathen, I'd say Handspring is setting up for a new color model. The pessimist in me says it will just be the Prism with 16MB or memory. The optimist says Handspring will go for some form of high resolution screen. I wonder if they would make a deal with HandEra to use their 240 x 320 screen, in color.

RE: Reading between the lines
mikecane @ 10/3/2001 10:31:19 AM #
"Ignoring the bleating of the unwashed heathen" -- hahaha! That made my day. Thanks.

RE: Reading between the lines
TDS @ 10/4/2001 12:01:12 AM #
I would love to see a replacement Prism with a Springboard slot & a Secure Digital slot. My Memplug hardly ever leaves my Springboard slot. Whenever I want to use another module (Eyemodule or my Xircom Modem) I loose 1/2 my Programs! (Until I put my Memplug back in). Handera did it right with a CF slot & an SD slot for memory expansion. Lets hope that Handspring goes this route, too...
While we are at it, throw in 16MB of RAM for good measure.


Handera 335?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 7:57:04 PM #
So any rumors on what Handera is going to bring out next?
I'd love to see a thin one, a la the m500 series, with the universal connector.
Probably too much to dream for...

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 8:17:00 PM #
I think HandEra said their next unit would not be serial, so the universal connector would be a good guess. I'm speculating a color unit otherwise the same as the 330, except with a built-in Lithium-Ion battery. The other route they could take would be a thin unit with the same screen as the 330, but I'd think squeezing in CF would be a challenge. Both thin and color would be a nice surprise, but probably a difficult combo.

HandEra is probably FINISHED as a PDA maker:
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 9:34:19 PM #
It took them 2 years to replace the TRGPro.

They brought out the monochrome 330 just when color took off in high end PDAs.

They can't respond to market changes anywhere as fast as Palm, Handspring and Sony.

They need a color model, but they don't have the ability to produce one.

The three or four rabid HandEra 330 owners that post here will obviously jerk out their knees (as usual) and label this a "troll post", but these are the facts. It's a shame these Handera drones don't learn to lighten up and stop taking every negative comment about Handera so personally. IT'S JUST A PDA YOU TWITS!

RE: Handera 335?
bradleyboy @ 10/2/2001 10:15:06 PM #
I don't know about anybody else, but I don't think that the sun rises and falls around color. Don't get me wrong, I like color, and I have an m505, but I still think that some people don't really care much one way or another. The 330 seems like a solid device for the power-user who wants Palm OS. I do think that eventually color will be the standard, but at the moment for those who don't really need color, there are some great deals. Dell has the 330 for something like 225, which is a great price. It will say 287 or so, but when you put it in your cart, a 20% discount will appear.



RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 10:28:03 PM #
> It took them 2 years to replace the TRGPro.

The TRGpro feature-wise is still one of the best PDAs available today.

>They brought out the monochrome 330 just when color took off in high end PDAs.

Taken off so well that supposedly the m500 is selling better than those high-end color PDAs, and the 330 is selling better than HandEra expected.

>They can't respond to market changes anywhere as fast as Palm, Handspring and Sony.

Given the 330's current feature-set and the TRGpro's still nice features, I'd say you are very, very wrong.

>They need a color model, but they don't have the ability to produce one.

You really don't have a clue, do you?

Hate to tell you this troll, but there are far more than three or four HandEra owners posting here, and there's still only one of you. I'm sorry that you're so jealous of the 330, and how you wish you had a color one. It's not color, and you should get over it as many, many people like it as it is. It's beyond me how by making up lies that HandEra is somehow incapable of making a color model makes you feel good. HandEra has shown over and over again their technical capabilities and insight are above that of the other Palm device makers.

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 4:43:56 AM #
While it is true to say that Handera's response to market forces and consumer demands is slower than that of, say, Handspring, it has also been more accurate. Handera was first to respond to a number of demands that PalmOS users had- for a jog dial, for card expansion, for a louder speaker, for a built- in memo recorder, etc., etc.

I look forward to their next product.

RE: Handera 335?
mikecane @ 10/3/2001 10:32:33 AM #
I for one would really like to see a color HandEra.

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 11:11:17 AM #
The next HandEra will be relatively thin, 16MB RAM, QVGA color, better sound but will look like a pig next to the m505:)

Due for release Jan 2002.

You can take that as my prediction or a rumour... whatever.

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 12:52:57 PM #
I'm really suprised to see people predicting color and and huge changes to the Handera 330. As is, it is a very advanced PDA. No, its not in color. Yes, the batteries last forever and ever and ever and ever. I have mine overclocked to 50mhz, and have not charged it all week, using it many many times a day. The screen is infinitely clear. Gorgeous. The blue backlight is soothing on the eyes and the speaker is LOUD! AutoCF is at the top of the heap when it comes to card solutions, and its ability to use a Minstrel Modem AND still have tons of available, useable, bridgeable memory (with the AutoCard beta) is untouchable. With the new huge SD cards coming out, I'll have over 200 mb on-board and accessible and wireless access. The size and shape were intentional. I've switched from a III series Palm and have kept all my peripherals...That's a lot of money to save. The virtual grafitti is can one say that Handera is in the dark when it's got all these terrific advancements included? I can plug my Handera into the wall with a 12V adapter to charge it. I can keep voice memos on card or RAM, and I make them by pushing ONE BUTTON. I love it to death. And my old Palm was color; Yes, I miss it. But the trade was fair.

Handera will not put out a color device any time soon. They are designed for the business user and they intentionally left this one greyscale. They could have easily made this color, but imagine the battery drain! Two cards, a voice recorder, AND a color screen?

All I'm saying is that not everyone cares about color. We at the infocenter are a bunch of zealots who do not represent the general population. A PDA doesn't have to be color to be OK.

RE: Handera 335?
mikecane @ 10/3/2001 1:27:18 PM #
Toshina and NEC are releasing PPCs with two slots, a voice recorder, and a color screen very soon. It is possible to do so. I wish HandEra would too. (No, you won't get weeks of battery life, like a mono unit, but color makes up for that, I think.)

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 2:11:09 PM #
I don't think it would take huge changes to the 330 as another poster implied just to get color. Just make their new Lithium Ion battery permanent, put in an existing 240x320 color screen and probably upgrade to the next Dragonball processor that's about to come out. I'm sure HandEra at least has a prototype like this somewhere already.

RE: Handera 335?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/11/2002 4:29:46 PM #
Hi. I don't usually participate in these discussions but couldn't help it when seeing someone asking for a permanent battery in the HandEra 330. Please...Don't! You may get your wish. I kind of broke the rules buying this thing...I was prejudiced by the extraodinary flexibility of the hardware engineered into this PDA rather than it's ability to cope with the greatest number of softwaare titles. Look what you have: High Res., Beautiful Backlight, TWO expansion Slots (with the idea of one for memory and one for portable peripherals), Jog Dial and yes, TWO self-contained power options. What turned me off from the Win PDAs was that all of them used permanent rechargables and once it was dead, if you weren't near a plug, then so was your PDA! Or you simply may not be able to tolerate the down time while it recharges. Hardly mission critical. I've been in a lot of the backwaters of this world and have found you can almost always dig up a set of alkalines. So HandEra, please don't change this feature but do get you toosh in gear and finish up developing Autocard so we can actually use those memory slots effectively.

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