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Palm Officially Announces i705

i705 Front View At this point, it will probably come as no surprise to anyone that Palm Inc. officially announced the i705 today. Information has been leaking on this new wireless model for weeks and it has actually been on sale at numerous stores across the U.S. since late last week.

Of course, the main function of the i705 is to provide "always on" wireless email. The user is notified as soon as a new email is received, even if the handheld itself is turned off.

It is available now for $450. It will only be offered in the United States.

Hardware
The i705 is 4.7 by 3.1 by .60 inches and weighs 5.9 oz. It's in a plastic casing and has in integrated antenna that doesn't need to be raised or lowered in order to work.

i705 Top View It has an SD/MMC slot that is located on its right side, down near the power button. It can't be on the top because that is almost entirely taken up by the antenna, though the infrared port is still there. The SD slot gives it the ability to use external memory cards and other SD peripherals.

The transreflective monochrome screen has the standard Palm OS resolution and a reversing backlight. The Graffiti area is not backlit.

It processor is a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ. It has 8 MB of RAM and 4 MB of ROM. The decision to use only 8 MB of memory in the device has already proved controversial, as other high-end devices announced recently have twice as much.

The i705 has a built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that Palm estimates can keep the device running for a week with "normal use".

It uses Palm's Universal Connector, meaning many peripherals are already available for it. It has been confirmed to work with the Stowaway folding keyboard and the PalmPix camera which use the UC.

It has a vibrating alarm in addition to audible ones.

It comes with a flip cover that slides into a rail on the left side. This is not the same as the one on the m500 series. It comes with the standard UC USB cradle.

Wireless Access
The i705 can still be checking for messages even when the handheld is off, as long as the antenna is active. The user has complete control of when the antenna is turned on and checking for new messages. It can be turned on or off manually or on a schedule, like from 9 am to 5 pm. It can be set to become active whenever an application that uses it needs it.

It uses only the Cingular Interactive wireless network. This is the same system the Palm VII series used under a different name. Of course, the i705 has numerous abilities the VII series didn't. This network offers coverage to 93% of the urban business population in the U.S.

The user must get a Palm.Net account from Palm itself. The wireless plans include:

  • Associate - $20 per month - 100kb
  • Executive Unlimited - $40 per month
  • Executive Unlimited w/ Annual subscription - $35 per month
The i705 can only handle data. It isn't a smartphone and can't do voice communications.

The light on the top of the handheld is to show signal strength, indicating how good a connection the device has to the wireless network. A green light means there's a good connection, a red one means there's not. There is also an app on the i705 that gives more detailed info on signal strength.

Email
It comes with MultiMail Pro 1.0, the first real upgrade to MultiMail since Palm bought the company that developed it. This allows email to be checked from up to eight different accounts and supports email standards like IMAP, POP3, APOP, ESMTP, SMTP.

The user can also download a PQA called ThinAir from, obviously, ThinAirApps, which Palm recently bought. This also lets the user access email, though it is especially useful for America Online, which doesn't allow access from standard email apps.

An additional email address is included as part of the Palm.Net service.

The user can control how they are notified about messages. This can be with a vibrating alarm, an audible one, blinking the light on top, or a combination of these.

The i705 comes with Palm MultiMail Deluxe Desktop Link, a Windows application that can forward email from a PC to the handheld based on criteria selected by the user. For example, it can be set to forward messages only from certain people.

Palm will soon be releasing a beta of server software designed to let large companies serve their own email.

It also ships with Chapura Software's PocketMirror for synchronization with Microsoft Exchange.

MyPalm Homepage Web
The i705 still uses the Web Clipping technology that first debuted with the Palm VII series. These are small applications, called PQAs for Palm Query Apps, that retrieve small bits of information from the Web, like a stock quote. This helps save bandwidth and is much faster than downloading a whole webpage.

Open a Website or Search Some users find this too limiting so the i705 will also allow regular Web browsing. Reportedly this browser is weak but Palm plans to release a new one in February.

The browser as it currently exists doesn't support tables. When displaying webpages that have a left column with a collection of links, like this one, that column is displayed before the contents of the main part of the page.

As part of their Palm.Net account, the user is given access to MyPalm home page, which can be configured to display information the user finds interesting.

Palm.Net acts as a proxy service. This means that all websites that the handheld requests first go through the Palm.Net proxy server before being sent on to be displayed.

Software
It runs Palm OS 4.1 and, of course, all the standard Palm applications. In addition, it has new applications needed to handle wireless email.

It also comes with DataViz's Documents to Go Professional. This is the full version of the app, including the ability to access PowerPoint files.

The i705 comes with AOL Instant Messenger and the handheld will notify the user when an instant message arrives, even if the handheld itself is off. Other instant messaging applications will work too, like Yahoo's.

Also included are MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition and the free version of Palm Reader.

Target Market
Palm is targeting this device at both individual and enterprise users. It believes the i705 will be useful to anyone who is away from their desk or office for extended periods, whether across the hall or across the country. Palm also says the i705 is for large companies that have lots of employees whose job functions put them frequently on the go. This includes field sales, claims adjusters, and others.

Accessories
Palm is also offering a mini-keyboard for $60 and is similar to the SnapNType for the m500 series. The keyboard can be bundled with the i705 for $480, a $30 savings.

Palm is also offering a Slim Leather Case for $25. This has credit and expansion card slots and uses a sliding rail to hold the handheld in. It also offers a Leather Belt-Clip Case for $30 that also has slots for expansion cards.

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Looks cool to me....

Davy @ 1/28/2002 12:06:36 AM #
I personally think this is the future ahead of mobile phones. In a day where we all live on e-mails, and Instant Messages, Phones will someday take a backseat. This could be the beginning, where the divergance happens between the PDA-Phone, and the PDA-Web.

RE: Looks cool to me....
ImpReza @ 1/28/2002 12:21:36 AM #
or it could be the bloody end, as Palm really needed this one to be color for it to be more innovative. and plz, hide your secrets better, Palm, as this one was the worst kept yet.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:31:00 AM #
> plz, hide your secrets better, Palm, as this one was the worst kept yet.

Do you really want that? Or do you just like to whine?

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:38:30 AM #
"Phones will someday take a backseat"
????
How did you come to this conclusion? Voice is still the fastest way we communicate. This is a supplement to cell phones, NOT a replacement. Try recounting to a friend a recent event that happened in your life, and I guarantee that you'll do it much quicker on a cell phone than a wireless PDA with IM.

RE: Looks cool to me....
ImpReza @ 1/28/2002 1:20:41 AM #
no, i don't like to whine, but i don't like people whining over every little thing Sony does wrong either.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 2:56:53 AM #
I could someday see a device like this, with a wireless Bluetooth headset (earpiece/mic), if it had the bandwidth to do voice. Way more practical than dealling with a dinky mobile phone.

RE: Treo beats it hands down
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 7:50:33 AM #
Look at that thing and look at the treo. The treo is more compact, more useful and for heavens sake has a color version in the making.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 8:24:34 AM #
"Look at that thing and look at the treo. The treo is more compact, more useful and for heavens sake has a color version in the making."

The Treo is in a whole different "class" than the i705. People...the i705 isn't and never was designed to do voice comm, so don't compare apples and oranges

RE: Looks cool to me....
Quik_Fix @ 1/28/2002 8:30:19 AM #
True. But the Treo doesn't have the always-on feature that makes this an instant interest to some.

In regards to an earlier post, it is unfortunate we can't have this in color; I agree. But if they tried to do that now without further advancements in battery longevity, we'd have to charge our 705s every few hours instead of once every day or two, and that's just not an acceptable trade off. I'm sure they would have made it color if it was practical to do so.

...In accordance with the prophecy...

Quik_Fix
quikfix@hotmail.com

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 8:38:11 AM #
> The treo is more compact, more useful and for heavens sake has a
> color version in the making.

How do you know Palm doesn't have a color version of the i705 coming? Handspring pre-announcing the color Treo will hurt sales of the b&w 180. Palm could be waiting to announce its color one.

RE: Looks cool to me....
escobar @ 1/28/2002 10:05:09 AM #
The Treo will get always-on mail when GPRS is implemented in the software, but this will only be useful where GPRS is available (which to my understanding is mostly outside the US).

I live in Europe and we've had GPRS for some time now, so I look forward to getting the Treo!!

Hope it will be available soon in my country (Norway)!

RE: Looks cool to me.... NOT
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:15:45 AM #
"It will only be offered in the United States."

Well I'm from Canada, so this is just a pretty doorstop. Too bad. That's 6 fewer Palm's that they won't sell.

We have a bunch of Palms that need upgrading/replacing. Since I can't get the wireless, I may as well go for more capable machines (16MB RAM, high res screen) from Sony.

Of course, it would have been nicer if they hadn't been sending me teaser emails the last few weeks. Must have been doing that just to piss me off. After all, they had my address along with the email...

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:51:19 PM #
GPRS is available anywhere you can get Voicestream service.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 4:57:35 PM #
According to the voicestream website "To access iStream, your PDA must be running the Windows CE operating system."

How would this help with a Palm?

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 8:03:14 PM #
VoiceStream is clueless on their own service. I use a Handspring Prism + a RED-M bluetooth springboard to connect to my T68 phone on voicestream and use GPRS. This combo is far superior to this i705 - the only thing I lack is the "always on" e-mail. As soon as VoiceStream uses the "push inbox" features of GPRS, that would mean surpassed functionality with a Treo.

For those who think that this device is better than a Treo - voice is still the killer app. If the Treo does indeed support GPRS, even without push inbox, the combo of voice, with the ability to get fast internet access in your one Palm based device is the clear winner.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 9:52:37 PM #
Sounds like you still need to connect your Palm to a cell phone. Ick. Need to have a wire between the two and some people would not
have a phone that would do the job.

Maybe I need a (cheap and getting cheaper) Visor and (integrated) Visorphone rather than the "two pieces of hardware connect by a wire" solution.

Of course, the Visor site says that it is not supported in Canada...

RE: Looks cool to me....Nah!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:34:09 PM #
only available in the US? nah, not good
no color? nah, not good
no voice capabilty? nah, not good
no virtual graffiti area? nah, not good
clunky design? nah
8MB? nah

This is not a winner!
i'll wait for somthing better....

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:49:14 PM #
"Sounds like you still need to connect your Palm to a cell phone. Ick. Need to have a wire between the two and some people would not have a phone that would do the job."

Read it again guy - he said BlueTooth - that is wirelessly connected - hone in the pocket, Palm in hand and still connected. Nice idea.



RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 10:04:01 PM #
No. I still need a cell phone to do that. I'm quite happy with my StarTAC (sans Bluetooth). I'm not buying a new phone to do what the damn Plam should do (and can do) in the first place.

The idea is to carry a nice light cellphone to talk to people and PDA for everything else.

'bye Palm.

RE: Looks cool to me....
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 9:58:06 AM #
Startac...are they still around, it's almost 6 years since I had one of them. Brings back happy memories.

Way to go Palm!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:16:53 AM #
To pack all those goodies in a palm w/that form factor. WOW! Keep up the good work and what a time to be alive!

RE: Way to go Palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 6:49:16 AM #
OK... sounds that you are so exciting about this..will you buy it ? $449 "only" ..

RE: Way to go Palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 1:27:34 PM #
how about color and mp3 might as well have it "all" Anyone know who will have this item next?? I like what the sony
n760c has but no do like the screen - so I'm holding off until.. I can have it all I want to
get rid of my phone too...

RE: Way to go Palm!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:56:45 PM #
Forget MP3 in a PDA, get an iPod for MP3 playback. I think mono screens are just fine. Color ones cost too much money. Maybe in the future.

RE: Way to go Palm!
mikecane @ 1/29/2002 8:57:13 AM #
The T615C has a superior screen to the N760. But I must agree with the above post too -- iPod is best for MP3.

light speed is nothing comparable to ed ;-)

SaxonMan @ 1/28/2002 12:23:16 AM #
pretty darn fast
way to go ed

regards,
SaxonMan

--------------------------------------
may the holy palmostles be with you

RE: light speed is nothing comparable to ed ;-)
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 5:19:15 PM #
I'll agree that Ed is pretty darn quick, but the speed of light isn't all it's cracked up to be. In the last few years, researchers have been able to slow down light to the speed of a bicycle and have actually stopped it on occasion... This work may have relevance to PDAs in the (very) distant future! Let's hope Palm is still in business by then (although I expect a company like Apple to actually come through with this first)

midnight

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:22:17 AM #
and they released it at midnight - go figure

RE: midnight
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:17:49 AM #
could be tax reasons for the midnight release.

Not great, but not bad.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:34:39 AM #
At least it is a substantial form improvement over the Palm VII/VIIx series.

Now for one with an integrated smartphone. Color would be nice, too.

RE: Not great, but not bad.
donpdonp @ 1/28/2002 11:09:54 AM #
How is this different from a Palm VII?

The i705 and VII both use the CDMA standard and run PQA apps. I think making yet another CDMA data device is a mistake - GSM/GPRS is the wireless data standard that will prevail in the US. To be tied to palm.net/cingular is another reason I didnt get a palm VII.

the i705 looks to be a Palm VII in a shiney case. What a waste of R&D efforts! I get the feeling it does not cost palm much at all to pump out new models. In this case, use the M500 internals and add a CDMA radio. They need to be focusing on ARM hardware, bluetooth, and OS 5.

PS. GPRS is available today from Voicestream in my "market" - Portland, OR. Although it tops out at around 56kbit/sec.

RE: Not great, but not bad.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 11:46:42 AM #
As to how this is different from the VII, that's clear - it has an always on, which the VII didn't (forget that it's on the same network).

When you combine that with the email, etc. sw (and the email server that palm will make available) and the dataviz, it is clear that this goes after the corporate market.

Palm seems to have perceived a little while back that they needed a blackberry killer, and this is a step in that direction, albiet coming from the pda side. It's got always on email and IM, supports mutiple email formats, will have its own email server and msexchange interface, etc. And, it has all the great palm stuff that the blackberry will never have.

The form factor is consistent w/ the product line, so I can't fault them there. I personally think the sony's have more user pizzaz, but I don't think that was the intent for this first wireless release (ok second). Whether there's a market for the always on + color/hires remains to be seen. Those would be great machines but depending on the $$ involved....

RE: Not great, but not bad.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 2:18:16 AM #
They're not CDMA devices....Cingular doesn't use the CDMA band. They use GSM in some parts, TDMA in others.

still no e-mail from Palm.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:39:49 AM #
I actually think that this device is really cool. If the casing were non-plastic and if the screen were color (ie, m505-ish), I don't think that I would hesitate to pick one of these up. Of course, I'm still not sure why Palm bothered with all the e-mail hype over the past two weeks. They more-or-less promised to give "the faithful" first dibs on these units. Instead, they started showing up in stores and on the Palm website before we even receive the much-anticipated "guaranteed next-day delivery" e-mail, alerting us to the product release. What gives?

RE: still no e-mail from Palm.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 7:28:36 AM #
Very true! I thought it was a joke that they were sending these Shhh type emails to us while people were buying them at compusa

I would have bought one today if it simply had a color screen. *sigh*

I refuse to buy the i705 when the color Treo is coming down the line or perhaps or something similar.

RE: still no e-mail from Palm.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:19:19 AM #
Hope you don't mind waiting close to a year from now for the color Treo...

Question- can I get wirless

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:38:39 AM #
The University where I go has a wirless network throughout the whole campus...they have these tiny pods in the ceiling creating the wireless network for all the students to use....if I get the i705, can I be connected to the internet wirelessly for free or do I still have to sign up for Palm.net.....if the i705 has a built in modem, can't I just access the network and bypass palm.net....the teacher said something about a laptop with a wireless modem can connect for free....can i do the same with an i705?

RE: Question- can I get wirless
Ed @ 1/28/2002 12:53:51 AM #
Almost certainly the wireless networking your school has is called 802.11b, not what the i705 uses. But all isn't lost. There are several 802.11b options, depending on what handheld you have.

Palm m500 series:
http://intel.com/network/connectivity/products/xirpwe1130.htm

Visor:
http://intel.com/network/connectivity/products/springport_modules.htm

HandEra:
http://www.handera.com/accessories/symbol80211.asp

---
News Editor

RE: Question- can I get wirless
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 12:57:03 AM #
haha, I spelled wireless "wirless"... maybe I should go back to kindergarden...

RE: Question- can I get wirless
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 1:05:25 AM #
thank you so much Ed, you da man...

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