It's Official: m500 and m505 Released

What some people have been waiting for since Palm's CEO hinted about it last fall is finally here. The Palm m500 and m505 are all over Palm's website.

As was learned yesterday, almost all the rumored specs are confirmed. Both devices run Palm OS 4.0 on a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ processor and have 8 MB of memory and Secure Digital (SD) slots. The m500 is $400 and the m505 is $450.

Both are available for sale now on Palm's webstore. The m500 is scheduled to be delivered in the US in late April, with the m500 coming in May. Also, orders made during yesterday's unofficial "sneak peak" are being honored by Palm.

The monochrome m500 is 4.5" x 3.1" x 0.4" and weighs 4 oz. Palm suggests it will get four weeks of use without needing to recharge its lithium-polymer batteries. Palm says it has "an enhanced gray-scale screen for a crisp, clear display, with greater contrast for easier readability."

The color m505 will cost $450. It is 4.5" x 3.1" x 0.5" and weighs 4.9 oz, so it is slightly thicker and heavier. Palm's suggested time before needing a battery recharge is half that of the m500, probably due to the increased power needs of the screen, which can display 65 thousand colors.

Despite hopeful rumors to the contrary, both models still have the 160x160 screen resolution.

Both models come with a USB cradle and flip cover. Their ROMs are flashable, meaning their OS is easily upgradeable.

It still isn't clear whether applications can be run straight from SD cards though there are hints that this is possible. Games are being sold on SD cards. Presumably, the main reason for this is to use the anti-piracy features of the SD standard to prevent them from being pirated. If the game has to be manually copied into memory before playing, then this security is compromised.

In addition, a conversation with someone who until now was under a non-disclosure agreement reveals that applications on SD cards work like they do on desktop computers. When an app on an SD card is open, it is transferred into main memory and run from there. When the app is closed, it is automatically removed from memory.

Both devices feature the new Uniform Connector, Palm's new standard for attaching peripherals to the serial port. The good news is all future models for at least the next two years will use this same connector. The bad news is that no current serial port accessories are usable with the new handhelds. The serial port itself has been redesigned to allow the Palm to connect to a PC via USB. There is no word yet on whether anyone will release an adapter.

One of the handy new features of the m500 series is its new alarm methods. The old audible alarm is still there and a vibrating alarm and a blinking alarm have been added. Also new is an application called Attention Manager that lets users view and clear multiple alarms with a single tap.

Palm has also enhanced the security in OS 4 to allow users to put an automatic lock on the handheld, assign a password and encrypt sensitive data to keep information safe, then view or edit secured data easily.

Both models also come with the Mobile Internet Kit, which appears to have been renamed Mobile Connectivity. This allows users to connect via infrared to a mobile phone, use Web Clipping apps, and access e-mail accounts.

The m500 series comes bundled with an excellent collection of third-party software, including DataViz Documents To Go 3.0, MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition, Palm Reader, powerOne Personal calculator, and more.

"This is the set of products that goes after the heart of Palm's market--mobile business professionals. They get to keep the things they liked about the Palm V, but now they have options for expansion and for color," said John Cook, senior director of product marketing for Palm.

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M505 Order

scouter075 @ 3/19/2001 7:47:37 AM #
I was able to place and order on the web yesterday (Sunday) and today it shows up in order status. I called and talked to customer service today to add an item. I was given a 4/2 ship date. (That's also the date they should be in stores I was told.)
Interestingly enough, the young lady said that the only reason we were able to place orders on the web yesterday was because someone hacked into the web site yesterday morning and created a link to place orders for the new products. She said that csutomer service started taking orders at midnight.
Ed. thanks for the heads up.
RE: M505 Order
philmair @ 3/19/2001 8:12:23 AM #
I've spent most of the day trying to place an order -- and get some straight answers from the various bits of Palm. I'm in the UK. Palm Europe know nothing about the m505. Speaking to Palm Inc they say the info should be on the Euro web site today (Mon) .. not so. I tried to place an order direct with US .. they say they won't ship to the UK (although I got my Palm V direct when it was launched). Palm Europe say the m505 won't be available until mid-June, yet Palm Inc say it is their policy to 'go global' at the same time as the US. So ..... how/when DO I place my order ??? Anyone out there with some accurate info ??

RE: M505 Order
Ed @ 3/19/2001 8:16:51 AM #
I also just got off the phone with Palm Customer Service who confirmed that they are honoring my m505 order. However, I was quoted a shipping date of somewhere in middle to late April.

Palm Infocenter
RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:20:03 AM #
The order status page shows a ship date of 3/19 on my order!!!! Sure it is an error but can't help hoping that it is right!!

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:40:25 AM #
What is the lowest order number that anyone has seen? I ordered around 5:45pm Eastern on Sunday and got a number in the high 500s.

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:51:18 AM #
Mine is in the low 500's.

RE: M505 Order
Ed @ 3/19/2001 9:00:38 AM #
I ordered early Sunday morning and my number is in the low 300s.

Palm Infocenter
RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 10:16:56 AM #
FWIW, my order went in just after 10pm PST Sunday (1am EST Monday), and my order number is in the high 800's.

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 12:23:44 PM #
ordered sunday number high 500

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 12:28:17 PM #
Ordered around noon Sunday and order is in high 400s

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 11:07:05 AM #
The order gal told me I was order # 131 . . .

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 11:42:39 AM #
Just to get a feel for the Pre-orders of the M505, can someone that pre-ordered the M505 Today (March 20, 2001, from the Palm site,please post your ORDER #?

RE: M505 Order on Credit Card
Ed @ 3/20/2001 12:09:08 PM #
I just talked to Palm Customer Service and confirmed that credit cards aren't being charged until the device is actually shipped.

Palm Infocenter
RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 12:11:52 PM #
I ordered on 3/19 and just called Palm to add another USP cradle to my order. The girl taking the order told me that the 505's would not ship before sometime in May, regardless of when they were pre-ordered. I don't know if this is accurate or not. The CNET article suggested that some 505's would be available in limited quantaties in Mid April and more generally available in May. Perhaps the rep I spoke to was simply quoting the company line for general availability. I hope so. It was hard enough to wait till 4/2!

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 1:27:24 PM #
I've called Palm 5 times so far since Sunday and am still hearing 4/2 consistently from them as a shipping date. My order number is in the 500's. Hopefully these reps are being told to give the 4/2 date because it is somewhat correct?

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 2:38:46 PM #
how do you guys get the order number? I placed mine through web (Monday) and all I have is 010319-2287**. I guess that I have to wait until year 2002 :) (but the order webpage says that the shipment date is 3/30/2001 --- another joke?)

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 3:29:21 PM #
Depending on who you talk to, you get a different answer on shipping. I just got off
with a girl at Palm who swears mid-MAY is the ship date. I have also heard Apr 2,
beginning of May and end of April. Anyone else want to place a bet? :)

RE: M505 Order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 9:52:39 PM #
I just spoke with a Palm rep regarding the m505 and the accessories that I ordered on Sunday. She told me that as of today, the ship date has been moved back to mid-May for the m505 and she couldn't even guess when the accessories might be available to ship. BUMMER!!!

m500 and m505 NOT available on 4/2: press release

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:19:02 AM #
Here's a quote from the official press release regarding the m500 and m505. Thought that those of us who were expecting a 4/2 ship date would find this interesting :)

. The m500
handheld, weighing just four ounces, is scheduled to be available in the
United States in late April for an estimated street price (ESP) of $399
(U.S.).(1) International availability is expected in May. The m505 handheld,
the lightest expandable color-screen handheld computing product ever designed,
is scheduled to be available in the United States in May for $449 (ESP).
International availability is expected in June.

RE: m500 and m505 NOT available on 4/2: press release
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/2/2001 5:33:34 PM #
Well any newer info than this on M500 delivery dates? Its 4/2 and I am getting impatient :-)

m500 and m505 on 4/17?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2001 12:51:52 AM # is reporting that is saying that it expects to have the Palm m505 ready for shipping by 4/17/01.

RE: m500 and m505 Availability
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2001 10:20:45 PM # says Palm's online store would be shipping the Palm m505 in 4-6 weeks. Meanwhile, Staples, Office Depot, and others would be getting their first shipments of the 500 next week.

RE: m500 and m505 NOT available on 4/2: press release
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/6/2001 12:55:14 AM #
Does anyone know when the Palm m500 will be available in retail stores (e.g. Best Buy, Circuit City)?

Some Palm M505 Questions.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:26:31 AM #
I am in Australia and we dont really have a HUGE PDA market downhere. Heck, we dont even see Handspring or Sony Clie here at all.

But i would like to know :

1) Can The M505 load applications from SD memory cards ?

2) Is 64MB really the upper limit an Palm SD reader handle? THe Press release claims 256Mb or 128mb i think
but the Palm site says upto 64mb.

3) Does the new Palm m505 have a better speaker than the older models ? My IIIc has a terrible speaker, when i play sound files, movies with TealMovie they sound horrible and the alarm is weak.

4) I hear that there will be an MP3 SD module, how will songs be played back IF the speaker is still the same or will it be head phone jack only?

5) Also i have read about SEGA developing games for PALM. Is that going to be inform of SD card or software ? And how will sound be handled if speaker is still the same?

6)Is the resolution still 160 x 160 ? What is better for viewing photos ? 160 x160 - 16BIT or 320 x 320 - 8 bit?

7) Any international release dates? I was under the impression that it would have a world wide release date rather than USA getting it 3 months earlier.

Thanks very much in advance for any input.

RE: Some Palm M505 Questions.
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 8:32:46 AM #
To my knowledege, its not the palms that limit up to 64mb, it's the SD cards themselves. The cards and palms can support more mem. but right now, the biggest card you can buy is a 64mb card

RE: Some Palm M505 Questions. (Screen Resolution)
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 9:11:40 AM #
My guess is that if the screen wasn't 160x160 that Palm would put it in the announcements.

RE: Some Palm M505 Questions.
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2001 7:46:31 PM #
Keep an eye on Vodaphone for distributing Handspring products downunder...

Proc speed?

jayhawk88 @ 3/19/2001 9:30:26 AM #
I'm not seeing anything on Palm's site talking about what processors these units have in them. I'm assuming 33Mhz Dragonballs, but can anyone confirm this?

RE: Proc speed?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 4:50:42 PM #
What processor does the m500/505 come with?

The m500 and m505 use the Dragonball VZ processor by Motorola, running at 33 Mhz.

Palm m505 FAQ:

m505 order

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 9:45:23 AM #
Has anyone who ordered the m505 on Sunday checked their order status on Palm's site? When I check for my order status, it gives me a message saying that my order number and last name do not match. Then it asks me to call Palm's 800 number. The representative on the phone is of no help. Does anyone get this same message when checking their order status?

RE: m505 order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 10:20:15 AM #
I ordered Sunday, and got the same runaround from the order status page ("order number and last name don't match"), then I tried just leaving the "last name" field blank and that made it happy.

RE: m505 order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 3:19:33 PM #
No problem checking my order this morning. Wish I could believe the ship date of 3/19 that it displayed!!!!!!!!!!

RE: m505 order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 4:43:14 PM #
I too got the last name and order do not match, but then I capitalized the first letter of my last name (my brower auto loaded it as lower case), hit submit, and showed that I too have a ship date of 3/19/01 and that my Palm 505 is backordered. My order number is xx892.

RE: m505 order
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 6:03:56 PM #
yes, it did say that the name had to be entered exactly as entered on the order - should have just said that it was case sensitive! Duh!

waiting for updated VIIx

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 10:05:49 AM #
They sound terrific and It will be dificult to restrain myself. However I read about an updated VIIx coming in the fall with the SD slot and in in a thinner V style body, (hopefully in color at that) so I'll wait until years end, until then I'll plug along with my VIIx and my IIIc

RE: waiting for updated VIIx
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 1:54:39 PM #
The m500/m505 is definitely not the Blackberry "killer" I had been hoping for. I guess I will have to wait for the updated VIIx a/k/a m700.

Is the m700 just over the Horizon?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 7:39:56 PM #
Per today's WSJ:

"In the second half of 2001,[Michael Mace,Palm's chief competitive officer] says Palm will likely announce next-generation integrated wireless devices that support real-time e-mail reception and delivery, as well as higher resolution screens."

It appears that Palm is going to introduce its long-rumored Blackberry "killer" in the near future.

Apps from SD?!

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 10:15:45 AM #
This worries me ("they hold information for upload or download onto a handheld"). I wish they would just come out and say..."you can run apps from them" or "you cannot"!:

What's behind the expansion card slot?
The expansion card slot is a dual-purpose slot that can hold two types of cards: Secure Digital and MultiMediaCard. Both types of cards are small, inexpensive, and easy to plug in. Much like computer diskettes, they hold information for upload or download onto a handheld. With them, you can instantly add software programs, e-books, large databases, graphics, or even video files to your handheld without sacrificing memory space.

RE: Apps from SD?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 11:13:09 AM #
A Palm sales person told me that you could run apps off of the memory. She said that it doesn't have to be moved over to RAM first but these are the sales people on the first day of a product release so I'm not sure how much I believe.

RE: Apps from SD?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 1:10:18 PM #
SD is a bit-serial interface... it acts like a high speed
hard drive, not like memory. There is no way to run programs
directly out of SD... they have to be copied one way or
another (either explicitly like on the Sony, or automatically
like on the TRG).

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