SmartPad2 Coming Soon

Seiko Instruments is developing the next version of its SmartPad. The original SmartPad is a carrying case for the Palm with a built-in digitizer pad larger than a Palm's screen that allowed notes and drawings to be entered into the the Palm via infrared. A regular sheet of paper rests on top of the digitizer and a drawing can be put on the paper and in the Palm at the same time.

The SmartPad2 adds a keyboard to the digitizer pad to make typing easier. It also has a movable infrared port which allows it to be used with handhelds that don't have their IR ports at the top. It will cost $200, though the company hasn't released a date yet.

Earle Roddy, senior marketing communications manager at Seiko Instruments, said the keyboard on the SmartPad2's digitizer is more than twice as big as the keyboard on the Palm screen. "It bothered us that when you wanted to get information into a Palm, you were using that itty-bitty tap touch field," he said.

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Original SmartPad not a Palm Platinum Member

MadMax @ 5/11/2001 7:54:13 AM #
When I examined the SmartPad packaging, I could hear the orchestra playing as the Angles hovered over my head. It was Palm Utopia. Unfortunately, after I bought The original SmartPad I discovered it lacked a few very important features:
No Full synchronization (2 way). Once you hot synced, you couldn't bring back the memo.
No Templates: Basic sketches are many times a starting point necessity. Couldn't do it.
No Save As: Got 5 similar drawings? Too bad. Draw 'em all. Gee, since I'm drawing them all on paper, why should I carry this extra brick around.
Very bad power management; the AA batteries would last about 2 days. It would also drain the Palm's battery by constantly communicating w/ the device via the infrared port.
I hope the new SmartPad2 has addressed these issues. The OSP looked cool but, couldn't pass the Road Warrior test.


Coyote67 @ 5/11/2001 11:15:15 AM #
Ok, wow. Why am I just finding out that there was a Smartpad 1!?! I gotta say, this thing looks great. Perfect for taking notes in meetings. Did I mention wow? One thing concerns me though..battery life. If this thing uses IR constantly, its gonna eat up battery life on itself and my VDX pretty fast. Maybe it should have a sync button, so you don't have to constantly update the handheld, like whenever your done, you sync. Would save a LOT of battery life.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.

Problems with original SmartPad

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2001 1:47:56 PM #
The original SmartPad does not work with the new Palm m500 and m505. According the Seiko's tech support, they do not know if it is a mechanical problem or a problem with the new palm OS. They assured me work is being done to resolve the problem.

yeah, this sucks!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2001 4:47:19 PM #
i know, this is a pain in the a**!!!! I got the m500 series handhelds (both of them) and was excited that one of my peripherals would carry over. i was soon disappointed when this wasn't the case!!!! D****it! i loved this accesorie and will miss it dearly, i'm also not about to shell out another $200 for a new one that may or may not work! BA-HUM-BUG!!


RE: Problems with original SmartPad
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2001 8:35:29 PM #
I agree with MadMax - power management was terrible. Your Palm could go into a sleep mode whereby the screen goes off however communication is still on going and you have to remember to go into the system and shut it down.

It's a brick - and if someone wants one I've got one that I'd take next to nothing for it.


Seiko Instruments not honest

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/10/2002 6:04:40 AM #
Be careful when dealing with this company. I purchased a SmartPad2 for my m505 and found it to be useless as one critical point was missing - the pad can't display 4x resolution on the Palm and thus you can't read what you have written on paper! Apparently only monochrome Palms like the Vx will display 4x resolution (ie. approx. lifesize) and ALL COLOR Palm and compatibles will only show up to 2x (half lifesize). At 2x, my written text is too small to read.

On contacting Seiko Instruments, the replied that they have no intention of developing the Pad software any further for Palm and only Pocket PC versions will work due to "inherent limitations of the OS". What nonsense!

The web site hides this fact very well and it's not easy to figure out that SmartPad products just can't work practically with colour Palms and compatibles.



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