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Handspring Visor Platinum Review
By Robert Zach
Up until now I have mostly focused hardware reviews (PDA devices) around the Palm brand. As you probably know Handspring recently released the Visor Edge, in preparation for that review, and to kind of kick off some forthcoming series of Handspring reviews, Handspring has loaned Palm Infocenter a Visor Platinum for review.
The Handspring Visor Platinum is a silver streaking machine. It's an all silver (except for the screen cover and stylus unfortunately) Visor Deluxe on steroids. This upgraded Handspring device is running PalmOS 3.5.2.H on a 33 MHz Dragonball processor.
The items above are essentially the only difference between the Platinum and the Visor Deluxe, but boy do they make for a much nicer user experience.
Handspring claims the Platinum is 50% faster than the Visor Deluxe.
Now with Palm OS 3.5.2H, the Visor comes into the latest OS arena. I'm glad to be away from OS 3.1 - of course if there were Flash ROM this wouldn't be an issue since upgrades would be possible (yes, minor updates are possible - patches, but not major OS versions). The IR HotSyncing is a welcome addition as well as the OS 3.5 task bar items. Of course 8Meg is still standard.
If you upgrade from a Visor Deluxe, and I suggest you do if you still haven't found a use for color, you WILL find a use for the Platinum's added speed. Some applications; however, check that your current applications will run under PalmOS 3.5. Fortunately, thanks to the SpringBoard "standard" most modules should work just fine, although again some modules' software may need upgrading for PalmOS 3.5. And, while you're looking for software updates, get some 4-bit grayscale apps while you're at it; it's not color but sure looks nice.
I ran some tests to check the 50% increased speed assertion. Looks like that claim is pretty darned close! At least this speeding won't get you a ticket ;-)
With the Visor Deluxe down to $199 with a $50 rebate this makes the Visor Platinum now a $100 premium. At a $50 premium the price seemed to make sense, but now there seems quite a price gap. Maybe the release of the Visor Edge will also cause a $50 drop in the Platinum. Oh, and the "Platinum" now also comes in Graphite ;-)
Above are screen grabs of the "Enhanced Datebook" and "Advanced Calculator"
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RE: Why would you pay 100$ for speed?
by loading the very nicely written Afterburner Hack. The Clock Speed of the Dragonball CPU's
is software selectable, thus you can set it for as high as 45 MHz if you really want to.
Afterburner is VERY stable and I've been running a Palm V for the last 6 months at 37 MHz with
no ill effects or crashes. In fact, I run it on my new Visor Edge at 37 MHz. This gives me a
benchmark performance of 270. If you register and pay for Afterburner, you can go as high as
45 MHz. YMMV
I agree with the above post that for most Palm OS programs, clock speed is highly irrelevent.
However, for large databases to load up or certain really big programs (like e-pocrates and QID,
both reall large medical references for the Palm PDA's), the start up time is reduced from around
5 seconds to almost instant. That to me is all the speed I need for now.
RE: Why would you pay 100$ for speed?
- OS 3.5.x adds a few nice features
- 4-bit grayscale support, ie 16 shades of gray
- Faster Processor
i think that warrants the extra cost
Get rid of deluxe!
is it worth it?
RE: Why pay $100
Visor & OmniSky
Also, you may be able to upgrade a Delux from OS3.1 to 3.2. Palm's upgrade runs as an app in RAM, it does not load into flash ROM. Which means you must reinstall it if you have a hard reset.
I use 3.1 in my TRGpro & 3.2 in my Platinum & so far have not noticed any differences.
- I got one -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Don't we have this already? -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -richf
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -dmitrygr
- Palm phone on HDblog -palmato
- Palm PVG100 -hgoldner
- RE: Like Deja Vu -PacManFoo
- Like Deja Vu -T_W
Why would you pay 100$ for speed?