Palm Releases m515 and m130
As has been rumored since January, Palm has just officially announced two new color models, the high-end m515 and mid-range m130. The m515 is the replacement for the m505 and is quite similar, adding a brighter sidelight and more memory. The m130 is a color version of the m125. Both run Palm OS 4.1 and have 16-bit color screens.
The official announcement of the two models went out at midnight. Though the announcement was only a few minutes ago, these models have been available for several days from a few retailers around the country who either were unaware that they weren't supposed to begin selling them until today or just didn't care.
It has the same general shape as the m125 and uses Palm's Universal Connector, which means there's a wide variety of peripherals already available for it, like keyboards, modems, and more. It can also use the clip-on face-plates from the m100 series.
According to Palm, it will last for a week on its lithium-ion battery, with "normal" use. It doesn't have flash ROM, which means the operating system can't be updated, though patches can be applied.
"We've created the Palm m130 handheld to bring color and rechargeable batteries to a broader market, giving value-conscious consumers a fun and easy way to organize their lives; share photos and video clips; and view, edit and create documents,'' said Todd Bradley, CEO of Palm's Solutions Group, the part of the company that creates hardware.
It sells for $280, which makes it the least expensive color PalmOS handheld available.
Interestingly, the official pictures of the m515 lack the small "sun" icon in the Graffiti area that, when tapped on, open the brightness control. The sidelight has three possible settings: High, Low, and Off. High is much brighter than an m505, while Low is comparable or possibly a little brighter. Unlike the m505, the m515's Graffiti area is not illuminated by the sidelight.
It runs on an internal lithium-polymer battery and, according to Palm, can last for two weeks with "normal" use.
Like its predecessor, the m515 has an SD/MMC slot and a vibrating alarm.
"With 16MB of memory, the handheld lets businesspeople more easily carry their corporate databases, important applications, and Word, Excel and PowerPoint files anywhere for instant productivity," said Mr. Bradley.
The m515 sells for $400.
Both models ship with DataViz' Documents To Go 4.0 Professional Edition, which lets users read and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents on their handhelds, and view Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, too.
They also come with Chapura's PocketMirror 3.0, which lets Windows users synchronize calendar, contacts, tasks and notes with Microsoft Outlook for Windows.
In addition, they are bundled with MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition v2.23 for viewing pictures, the powerOne Personal calculator, and the Palm Mobile Connectivity software, which lets the handheld use a mobile phone as a modem. Both come with other software, as well.
As part of the roll-out of these two models, two older ones have been discontinued. Both the m505 and m100 are now listed on Palm's Handheld Hall of Fame, which is where the company lists handhelds that are no longer in production.
The m505 is no longer necessary as it has been replaced by the m515, which has more memory and lacks the notorious bug that causes the m505 to have problems HotSyncing via USB.
The decision to discontinue the m100 is a bit more controversial as many people believe Palm ought to have a very low-end device that sells for $100 or less. Without the m100, the cheapest model Palm has is the m105 at $150.
The m505 is still available from the Palm Store for $400, though it's almost certain it will be marked down in the near future. The m100 is no longer available from the Palm Store.
Palm has not discontinued the m500, which it is now selling for $300.
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