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Zodiac Gets SD WiFi Drivers and Free Email Client

Tapwave has announced a Wi-Fi SD card solution for the Zodiac Palm Powered multimedia handheld. In addition to the Zodiac's built-in Bluetooth, users can now use a SanDisk Wi-Fi SD card or the palmOne Wi-Fi SD card. Tapwave is offering a solution that includes a Wi-Fi SD card, drivers and Zodiac enhanced Web Browser and email client.

Available in the Tapwave Online Store for $99.99, the SanDisk Wi-Fi SD card offers connections to popular 802.11b Wi-Fi Hotspots worldwide, providing the highest performance with the lowest power consumption for the Zodiac multimedia handheld. Tapwave is also offering an enhanced Mail application as a free download. The Web Browser is already included on the CD-ROM shipped with every Zodiac handheld.

"We have been waiting for an excellent Wi-Fi solution and are glad to be one of the first multimedia devices to offer it to our customers," said Peng Lim, co-founder and CEO of Tapwave "Now Zodiac consumers have all the power of a laptop computer in a 6.3-ounce multimedia device that can be slipped into a pocket and go anywhere."

The Zodiac offers a high-resolution (480x320) 3.8-inch color display, Yamaha audio with stereo speakers and vibration effects. The Zodiac can be operated in landscape or portrait mode, allowing Microsoft Word-compatible documents, email or family pictures to be viewed in the orientation that best suits them. The Zodiac also features high-capacity rechargeable lithium batteries for extended use, a touch-screen for direct interaction and text input, and the first ever analog controller with 360 degree of motion in a handheld product.

Both the Zodiac 1 and Zodiac 2 handhelds feature a powerful Freescale ARM9 processor and an integrated ATI graphics accelerator. The Zodiac 1 comes with 32MB of memory and the Zodiac 2 comes with 128MB of memory. Each can be expanded by adding in SD cards in the handhelds two expansion ports, offering up to 2GB of additional storage -- so you can store even more songs, photos, e-books, games, videos, and business documents.

In addition to the Zodiac multimedia handheld and Wi-Fi solution, consumers can choose from over 40 Tapwave Certified titles include: Electronic Arts Madden NFL 2005, id Software's DOOM II, 3D Realms/MachineWorks Northwest's Duke Nukem Mobile, Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and Midway's SpyHunter, Tiger Team: Apache vs. Hind and GTS Racing Challenge. Along with premiere titles, Tapwave is also offering two game packs -- Z:Pak: Adventure, which will include Galactic Realms and Legacy; and the Z:Pak: Fun featuring Paintball, MegaBowling and Kickoo's Breakout. Zodiac accessories available at retail include the Zodiac Sport Case, Zodiac Cradle, a Zodiac Stylus 3-pack and the Zodiac Deluxe Leather Case. Other announced games for the Zodiac platform include Neverwinter Nights (Atari), Street Hoops (Activision), Motrax MTX (Activision), Tomb Raider (Eidos) and Hockey Rage 2005 (Fathammer).

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Amen

Hal2000 @ 12/2/2004 6:25:53 PM #
Woo Hoo! Now my life is complete. To heck with you naysayers!
Hit me with my OS5 baby! Bring it!

Zodiac2/T616
2.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Amen
Hal2000 @ 12/2/2004 6:29:06 PM #
Wow, 1st. and 2nd. post seem trivial now.

Zodiac2/T616
2.128 gigs under the hood.

At last!!

palmdoc88 @ 12/2/2004 6:29:53 PM #
I am glad the Zodiac has Wifi.
This is something palmOne should have released as a successor to the T3. A 128MB dual slot high capacity battery device.
Instead now with the T3 or T5 one has to do the SD Switcheroo game :(


T3 user

RE: At last!!
ackmondual @ 12/2/2004 7:54:43 PM #
Just how far apart are the dual SD slots? While the WiFi card doesn't look too thick, I'm reminded of my current power strip which only 6 plugs or half that many if they're not "standard sized" (in other words, those bulky AC adaptors)
RE: At last!!
ackmondual @ 12/2/2004 7:54:43 PM #
Just how far apart are the dual SD slots? While the WiFi card doesn't look too thick, I'm reminded of my current power strip which only 6 plugs or half that many if they're not "standard sized" (in other words, those bulky AC adaptors)
RE: At last!!
Kesh @ 12/3/2004 12:06:12 AM #
It's only about a quarter of an inch (~ 1 cm) between them. However, if you just have a regular SD card in the other slot, it shouldn't be a problem, since the card should be near-flush with the case.

Very Interesting

Admin @ 12/2/2004 7:38:44 PM #
Very Interesting that they got both the SanDisk WiFi Card and the palmOne card working off of the same drivers.
RE: Very Interesting
ocspub @ 12/2/2004 8:56:59 PM #
Not very surprising given that they are apparently essentially the same card.

Oliver


Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

RE: Very Interesting
hkklife @ 12/2/2004 9:16:46 PM #
Woo hoo! What great news. Now all they need to do is somehow get a Netfront-based web browser up and running for this sucker and it'll be a superb machine!

Next year, bring OS6 to the table with dual wireless & a bigger battery integrated into the same formfactor as the current Zod. Then do a T3-style unit where gaming is secondary to productivity but leave of the gimmicky & buggy NVRAM etc.
Offer user-selectable G1 & G2 and the Palm faithful will be devouring these devices!

The time for the Zodiac as a portable gaming powerhouse came and went with barely a whimper. The time for the Zodiac as a jack-of-all-trades non-smartphone PDA, however, is hopefully just beginning. These guys can feast from the carcass of P1 for a loooong time to come if they play their cards right!

RE: Very Interesting
joad @ 12/3/2004 12:19:44 AM #
Oh, to have SOMEBODY compete with PalmOne and bring out a phone as beautiful and usable as the Treo 650 but with adequate memory (and dual flash memory slots...?). Tapwave has proven themselves to be willing to build a cutting-edge device, with an emphasis on memory and performance (regardless of the silly "what most users need" mantra of P1. If they could JUST take over the Treo line from PalmOne then maybe they could do it justice.

In fact, Tapwave has a great shot at taking over where PalmOne has dropped the ball on just the basic daily PDA: bring out something along the line of the classic M515 but with OS5, virtual graffiti, hi-res, and dual slots. I would have kept my Zodiac except it was too large to meet the "shirt pocket" PDA test. Now Tapwave is bringing out wifi drivers and free email clients while PalmOne has promised wifi on the Treo 600 (not delivered) and wants $30 for versamail on the Treo 600. The worst I could say about Tapwave is to call their Technical Support. (Unfortunately, PalmOne's previously "good" technical support disappeared at least 4-5 years ago, so I guess that's a wash).

RE: Very Interesting
PalmOne Guru @ 12/3/2004 9:57:29 AM #
The palmOne and Sandisk WiFi cards are the same. There both rebranded Sychip cards.

RE: Very Interesting
bcombee @ 12/3/2004 12:09:34 PM #
The PalmSource Web Browser 2.04 that comes with the Zodiac is based on NetFront 3.0, the same browser core that powers Blazer 3.0.

--
Ben Combee
http://palmos.combee.net - PDA programmer weblog

Great to hear, but hard to choose

vesther @ 12/2/2004 7:59:06 PM #
Now that Wi-Fi (plus some goodies for Zodiac Users) hits the Zodiac circuits, and since both the SanDisk and palmOne Wi-Fi card are supported for the Zodiac, Zodiac Users will have a tough time to decide which Wi-Fi card to use. Which Wi-Fi card a Zodiac User will be for the Zodiac user him/herself to decide on his/her own.

Powered by Palm OS since March 2002
RE: Great to hear, but hard to choose
halcyon @ 12/2/2004 9:45:50 PM #
Decisions. Decisions. PalmOne name and PalmOne joy for only $75 more.

Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devices?

gfunkmagic @ 12/2/2004 9:31:55 PM #
It's being reported that the mail client being offered for free on Tapwave's site is the standard PalmSource Mail client announced a while ago that supports eight individual IMAP4, POP3, and SMTP accounts:

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=6641

Sounds like a neat email client. Does anyone tried to see if this will work on other PalmOS devices yet?

I support http://Tapland.com/

--------------------
GNM

RE: Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devi
Foo Fighter @ 12/2/2004 10:47:08 PM #
But it does not support Outlook Inbox sync as does VersaMail, which is an extremely strong selling point. Without that I don't know how PalmSource thinks this email app is going to cut the mustard for corporate customers.

-------------------------------
Editor, http://Pocketfactory.com
Contributing Editor, http://digitalmediathoughts.com
RE: Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devices?
Scott R @ 12/2/2004 10:59:34 PM #
Welp, I can tell you that it doesn't work on the Treo 650. I think that Tapwave "tweaked" this to work on the Zodiac only. Can't say that I can fault them, though, seeing as they are giving this away for, free after all.

Scott

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devi
RoadKnight @ 12/4/2004 1:43:48 AM #
It's a GAME device. Repeat after me, it's a G-A-M-E device. Corporate customers won't be seen dead with it. Who cares!?!??
What, it's a slow news day on the PPC boards?

RE: Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devi
Hal2000 @ 12/4/2004 8:39:41 AM #
RK: WRONG. What part of Wisconsin are you from?

Zodiac2/T616
2.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Will PalmSource Mail 5.2 email client work on other devices?
Scott R @ 12/5/2004 9:42:56 AM #
RoadKnight, you are mistaken. My slate gray metal Zodiac 1 looks a lot more professional looking than the plasticy chrome Tungsten E or T5, IMO. I work at a Fortune 500 company by day (and another up till about a couple of months ago) and no one ever questioned it. The Treo 650 I just bought looks even more silly looking. The black Sprint Treo 600 looked a lot more professional, IMO.

In the end, though, who cares? So long as it does what it needs to do, it could have a leopard skin pattern and I wouldn't care what other people thought. If they're not reimbursing me for it, they don't get to have a say.

Scott

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?

batmon @ 12/3/2004 4:16:04 PM #
CompUSA is selling SanDisk Wifi + 256MB comb card for $79. Will this card work too? Is it does, I want that Z thing NOW!! :D

http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=315052&pfp=XSELLPROD&xsfrom=313868&xsdesc=Zodiac+1+Mobile+Entertainment+Console%2C+Slate+Gray


RE: Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?
ocspub @ 12/3/2004 4:22:07 PM #
No, it doesn't. The Tapwave webpage says that they are working on a driver, but from what we've heard on Tapland, it's not certain that the driver will ever materialize. Given that the Zodiac has two SD slots, it really isn't that big of a deal anyway; just get a 1 GB for $40 for the other slot and you've WiFi and plenty of memory.

Oliver

Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

RE: Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?
mikecane @ 12/4/2004 11:03:43 AM #
That is very strange. In what way doesn't that card work? Not as WiFi or not as storage? I can't see why the card would require a whole new driver.

RE: Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?
hkklife @ 12/4/2004 9:59:41 PM #
Oliver, not to get OT but where can you snag a 1gb SD for $40? Best prices I've seen are for no-name cards around $65 or so.

RE: Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?
Scott R @ 12/5/2004 9:40:31 AM #
A Tapwave rep stated that the Wi-Fi + memory card won't work with their drivers, and I believe that he stated that no part of it would work (memory nor Wi-Fi). It sounds like their may be some work going on to get them working, so perhaps eventually.

As for a $40 1GB SD card, I'm not sure. The best deal I've found is a $50 (after rebate) PNY 1GB SD card.

Scott

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Does SanDisk WiFi + 256 also work?
ocspub @ 12/5/2004 2:16:32 PM #
hkklife -- I admittedly rounded a bit (the $4x part stuck in my mind), but you can get the PQI 1GB SD card from Fry's Electronics for $44.99 after $20 MIR. Not sure if their online store, outpost.com, is selling the card for the same price.

http://newspaperads.mercurynews.com/RopAds.aspx?adv=32664&ad=1331213

I paid $112 at Newegg for the very same card just about two months ago, and it works well and is pretty fast.

Oliver


Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

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