Acer Announces First Chinese Palm (Updated)

Acer has unveiled a Palm OS handheld for the Chinese market. The Acer s10 has a monochrome 160 by 160 screen, 16 MB of RAM, and runs a Chinese version of Palm OS 4.1. It also includes MP3 playback and has a built-in voice recorder. Acer is a Memory Stick licensee so it includes a Memory Stick slot. The price is NT$12,900 or about US$375.

It is 4.7 by 3 by .5 inches and weighs 4.9 ounces. The s10 runs the Motorola Dragonball VZ CPU at 33 MHz. It has 8 MB of flash ROM, probably because the Chinese version of the OS requires much more space than other versions.

Pictures of the device seem to show that it has Palm's Universal Connector and so could use all the peripherals that have been designed to clip onto the m500 series.

Update: The s10 should be available in the middle of November. It will have a Chinese handwriting recognition system. When fully charged, the s10 will be able to record sounds for up to seven hours and do playback for nine hours. It will come with a 30 thousand word English-to-Chinese dictionary with an optional 80-word version and an e-book reader. A color version will be available in the second quarter of 2002. The company showed off a prototype color model in June.

Acer licenced the Palm OS in May of this year. It is a Taiwanese computer manufacturer and it plans to tap the market for handheld computers in Asia. Acer intends to make and sell in Taiwan and China.

Thanks to inou for the tip and wilco and the anonymous person who did the translation for the update. -Ed

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Memory Stick

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:22:15 AM #
It's nice to see the Memory Stick moving into non Sony brand named products.

RE: Memory Stick
Ed @ 10/18/2001 11:03:13 AM #
Samsung has also licenced the Memory Stick and said it will use it on future handhelds and other electronics.

News Editor

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:03:29 AM #
I don't see what is nice about a proprietary standard adding another platform. I suppose if you work for Sony or own Sony stock it is nice. It is a loss for consumers.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:35:49 AM #
How do you define proprietary?

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:39:23 AM #
Well...If I remembered correctly....SanDisk and Samsung will also sell and manufacture MS themselves very we still call a widely accepted platform "proprietary"? Maybe, it's quite true in the past, but I don't think if it would be the case in the future...

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:50:17 AM #
Proprietary as in owned by Sony. Proprietary as in you pay licensing fees to Sony every time you buy a 3rd party MemoryStick or a 3rd party device that accepts them.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:57:43 AM #
Memory Stick is no more proprietary than the CD, which Sony (and Philips) get a royalty off of when one is sold; or SD cards or Compact Flash, which SanDisk and many others who provided the IP collect royalties off of, when one is sold. You are confusing a team of companies working together to develop a standard (say, compact flash) to one company developing a standard. And, frankly, history has shown that "standards", developed by one company (two max) and cheaply licensed, succeed over standards run by committees.

RE: Memory Stick
Ed @ 10/18/2001 12:22:27 PM #
Both Fujitsu and Lexar Media have licenses to make Memory Sticks. They had to pay for a licencing fee but don't have to pay royalties.

News Editor
RE: Memory Stick
Token @ 10/18/2001 12:26:16 PM #
Memory Stick is proprietary just like PalmOS is proprietary. To use either you need to licence the technology. What is the difference? Oh yeah, Memory Stick is not an OPEN standard developed by a consortium like the MMC/SD. Its design/spec is controlled by a single company that can direct its development. BFD.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 12:39:44 PM #
in term of speed and functionality, how do SD card and MS compare!?

currently SD prevail in term of speed, is that true?? can someone provide more specs and info on these!?


RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 12:51:39 PM #
I really do not understand why some people are so paranoid to see MS succeeds. At the moment MS are sold more than SD cards and seeing more manufactures for MS and non-Sony MS devices should be good for consumers. Sony has changed their 'proprietory' attitude towards MS. Now Sony only licenses it, it does not collect royalties any more. When something is widely accepted, it will become a standard. MMC/SD fans fear not, both MS and SD will co-exist.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 1:46:32 PM #
I noticed that after palm owners have decided, after careful research, on what palm OS device (with expansion memory) to buy, the tendency is to defend their units' memory module type thru thick and thin.

Well, As long as you are happy with your units, why bother putting up negative comments?

As for me, reuseability is the key. Sony has integrated the memory stick in their products, quality products which I don't mind owning. If other companies decide to use the MS, so much the better -- more choices. If not, I'm satisfied anyway.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 2:58:51 PM #
Tests SD is faster than MS. However, I wonder why it hasnt taken off like MS has?? I own a a newly modified N710C (760 ROM) and have been completely satisfied with MS. I haven't heard too much about SD in the past few months.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 5:40:40 AM #
We should tell the PDA manufacturers build to Palm PDAs to accept both SD and MS. This applies to Palm, Acer, Handspring, Handera, Sony, Samsung, IBM, to name a few. This is good for corporates as well as consumers. SD is used by Palm and Compaq PDAs. MS is used by Acer, Sony products(like Clie, laptops, digital camcorder, etc) and HP printers.
Using this strategy, Palm OS PDAs will increase, as well as, and dominate the PDA market.

RE: Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 5:50:01 AM #
Both MS & SD should be pushed a standard to replace the old 3.5" floppy disks. In this way, there will be a demand to push the prices of these media down for the masses.
Just my 2 cents worth of thought.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 10:21:45 AM #
Don't know how realistic it is but I like the idea of a Palm with both a SD/MMC slot *and* a Memory Stick slot. You could buy whichever is cheaper. Or use a Bluetooth SD card and a Memory Stick for storage. Whatever combo works for you.


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:21:03 AM #
If I remembered correctly, when Acer announced it was going to make Palm OS devices everyone ( well .. the people on this and similar boards anyway) was laughing at them.

MP3 playback and built in voice recording. Can you imagine the cool software you could build for this device? SpeechToText applications. I have GOT to get me one of these! ( And take a crash course in chinese )

Not laughing anymore, just smiling big. =)

RE: Whooow!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:31:39 AM #
Double memory stick slots and built in voice recorder and bluetooth are the things I am missing hardware wise on my CLIE 770.

Maybe Acer will beat them to it.

Who would have thought.

RE: Whooow!!
Ronin @ 10/18/2001 7:42:16 PM #
Yet another Palm licensee marketing to a segment of the market that Palm cannot or will not market too.

I think that this is evidence that Palm's OS licensing strategy is actually viable. From many of the posts that I have read on this site and others, the general perception is that Palm is losing market share and dropping the ball in comparison to its licensees. I think that Palm has a different perspective and the perspective is a viable one. Palm is a comparatively small technology company with a excellent product and alot of name recognition. However, they do not have the capital or the scope to compete with Microsoft toe to toe, as Microsoft has virtually unlimited capital for R&D, etc. In order to survive and not be crushed under foot or become a niche product like so many other companies once Microsoft has set their eyes on that business (i.e. Stack, Netscape, WordPerfect), Palm has effectively found a way to share the cost of R&D and marketing a product worldwide thru its licensees. Thus away to survive and compete against Microsoft. In many ways this approach has been effective as Palm continues to dominate the consumer space despite some of Microsoft's best efforts and this failure may be a large part of why Microsoft is targeting the enterprise, a market segment where Palm is rather vulnerable.

Maybe Palm needs another partner aside from IBM and SAP that actually has experience with the manufacture of technology to the enterprise that can market a Palm device directly to the enterprise.

RE: Whooow!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 12:30:31 AM #
Ronin's point is a good one. But M$ is not exactly the giant everyone thinks they are. Yes they are huge and they do have large cash resources. They have their fingers in a lot of pies too. And, just like any other company, their resources need to be allocated between their various projects and possible new ventures. Like any good business, M$ will devote resources to a project only if they perceive that there is a good prospect of making money. PocketPC seems to be doing better than WinCE, but not as well as their spin doctors say. (I don't think that M$ is stupid enough to believe their own publicity.) Unless there is a substantial improvement in PocketPC's market penetration soon, M$ may need to make some hard decisions as to its viability.

RE: Whooow!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 2:02:18 AM #
M$ is in it for the long and I mean long haul.
at PPC2002 launch they showed 3 form factors: phone, pda, Tablet with the glue being .Net The form factor may change but the code is pervasive. As for Palm, I thought they were slipping because of the 150 mill burn left but I hear some very interesting things are coming down the pike. This Acer development is a giant step with more localization, Palm can really globalize. They just need market help in Europe.

Go Palm! Go!

RE: Whooow!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 6:09:37 AM #
Not so sure about Microsoft's commitment to handhelds. You mention Tablets - take a look at the recent issue of Pen Computing Magazine for the history of their involvement. About 10 years ago they were hot to trot; then, suddenly, they dropped the Tablet form factor completely. Now they say that it is The Future, again (but for how long?). I don't doubt their sincerity; it's just that they seem to change their minds pretty quickly if the $ don't stack up. This of course hurts the platform manufacturers, and with the current state of the PC market maybe the manufacturers don't want to burn too much cash just off the back of Microsoft's fickle dreams.

Make no mistake, beancounters run Microsoft, not innovators.

Ed, sorry about all this stuff off topic - it's an interesting thread, though out of place.

Cheers, V

Price of s10

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:47:18 AM #
Price should be around NTD12900 ~ USD370 ~ HKD2900 as stated in the article.

RE: Price of s10
Ed @ 10/18/2001 11:01:42 AM #
Thanks, I shouldn't have missed that.

News Editor
RE: Price of s10
wilco @ 10/18/2001 11:32:35 AM #
The unit is out middle of November. Can play Mp3 continuosly for 7 hours on a single charge, 9 hours intermittently. Color screen unit available 2nd Quarter 2002. Include 80,000 character English-Chinese Dictionary.

RE: Price of s10
wilco @ 10/18/2001 11:35:44 AM #
OOOps, same info as what's posted below - "Additional information". Slower by 1 minute. The info below is more comprehensive. Credit should go to him -Anonymous.


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:50:18 AM #
Chinese characters at 160x160. Ugh. Here's where a hi-res screen would really come in handy.

RE: Resolution
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 10:55:50 AM #
Just to note that most chinese PDA (excluding Pocket PC), like Besta PDA, etc, are all using 160x160 resolution.

RE: Just say no to 160x160
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 3:13:39 PM #
160x160 sucks! I'm tire of staring at the same blocky pixelated display. When is Palm going to boost the res?

RE: Resolution
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 2:19:57 AM #
"Just to note that most chinese PDA (excluding Pocket PC), like Besta PDA, etc, are all using 160x160 resolution."

There's a reason the Sony Clie has been the top selling PDA in Japan since it was released. And all indications would seem to point to the fact that it's because Kanji/Chinese characters don't come out as a garbled mess like they do on 160x160 screens.

I honestly don't see much of a market left for a Chinese character PDA with only a 160x160 display but we'll see I suppose......

RE: Resolution
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 3:26:47 AM #
I'm using a Palm IIIxe with Palm Dragon Chinese OS. Yes, at 160x160 resolution, some of the more complex characters are simply a mess. But in order to take advantage of a high res screen, you've got to "re-draw" each character individually, not just the basic ASCI set like in English (6,000-10,000 characters). I'm looking forward to getting such a unit in the not too distant future (I hope).

Actually, handhelds are even more easily used for a language like Chinese than English. Since typing in Chinese is cumbersome at best, a Chinese Palm OS with handwriting recognition is ideal.

RE: Resolution
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 4:00:29 AM #
Do you think Acer would actually go through all the trouble of making a chinese Palm and make the characters unreadable? Please people!!

RE: Resolution
martopiggus @ 10/19/2001 9:34:07 AM #
I think if you guys had played with Chinese OSes under 160x160 and 320x320, you wouldn't be saying 160 is acceptable. Different from English, Chinese characters are much more complex and the bigger resolution definitely put more detail in each character. See


to note the difference (they are different Chinese OSes)

I will never go back to 160x160... just can't stand it...


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:12:43 AM #
If only it was color and had wireless access. Looking for some advice, I'm been waiting for Palm 705 but am running out of time. What is the best unit or combination of units for wireless if I was to buy something today.

RE: Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 11:15:18 AM #
CLIE 760/770C +

Bluetooth Module +

Ericsson T39 or T68 +

Blazer web browser +

Comviq GSM in Sweden GPRS service. Gives you always on wireless at only $5 a month and UNLIMITED FREE download for the next 9 months.

That is if you live in Sweden.
That is the configuration I will have next week.

RE: Wireless
blind505user @ 10/18/2001 12:27:11 PM #
Minstrel 500
CDPD all you can eat for 24.00

RE: Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 12:34:49 PM #
>Minstrel 500
>CDPD all you can eat for 24.00

That's a great deal. Is it actually available or is it just what you are hoping for? If it's real, who's the provider?

RE: Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 1:15:13 PM #
Verizon Provides it, unlimited local for $24.99. It's awesome, yo.


RE: Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/18/2001 2:16:53 PM #
Do you actually buy the modem from Verizon?
How is the screen on the 505?
Does Novatel make a modem for the Clie?

Thanks, appreciate the help.

RE: Wireless
etrrapi @ 10/19/2001 3:30:32 AM #

Where did you bought Palm 770C and Bluetooth module for it in Sweden. I'm from Romania but I'll visit Sweden next week so I would appreciate a quick answer to this one, because I could by one for myself.



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