Palm m515 Comparison Pictures

Retail stores around the U.S. and even some in Canada are beginning to jump the gun on Palm and put the m515 on display a few days early. This means it it now possible to compare the screens of the m505 and the m515. The m515's sidelight has three possible settings: High, Low, and Off. On High, the m515's screen is noticeably brighter than the m505's. (See image at left.)

On Low, the two are quite similar. (See image at right.)

With the sidelight off, both appear almost identical. (See image here.) In fact, the screens appear to be just about the same, with the only difference being the brighter sidelight.

As has been said numerous times before, the m515 has 16 MB of RAM and runs Palm OS 4.1. Both the m505 and the m515 get the exact same score on Benchmark 2.0.

The casings are also very similar. There may be a very slight difference in color but this is more likely caused by different production runs than anything planned. Despite some reports that the m515 has a rougher surface than the m505, that wasn't the case.

The m515 doesn't officially go on sale until Monday, when Palm will announce it. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, some stores already have them available. The suggested retail price is $400, the same as the m505.

Sorry the pictures are a bit fuzzy. I've got a new digital camera and I'm still getting used to it. The black band across the pictures is the plastic strip the store uses as theft prevention. -Ed

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Battery Life on High

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:13:50 PM #
I wonder how long batteries will last on "High" vs. "Low". Looks about 50% brighter on high so my guess is proportionate battery life loss. We want it all - bright as a Computer Monitor with 2 Month Battery Life......ain't gonna happen soon. Maybe in 2012.

RE: Battery Life on High
Ronin @ 3/2/2002 3:40:28 PM #
Just got a m515 last night from CompUSA. I also own a m505 so I am able to do a direct comparison.

Just to respond to the anticipated comments. My wife will be using the 505 (moving from my 3 year old Palm V8 which was suffering under her abuse). I got the m515, as opposed to any other Palm OS device, becuase have not intention of buying a whole new set of accessories.

Anyway, the 515 is identical to the 505 is everyway accept for the following: (1) the graffiti area in not backlit; (2) the graffiti area has a little sun icon in the top right corner for brightness control; (3) the screens brightness can be changed from off, to low, to high using the brightness control; (4) the 515 has, actually, 15.7MB of available RAM.

I cannot comment on the software package that came with it because I have not installed any of it yet. The package does include two books (a Jeffrey Deaver novel and a Star Trek S.C.E novel) according to the packing.

My preliminary use since last night seems to indicate the following: (1) the brightness on the low setting is brighter than the 505s and the high setting is much brighter; (2) the casing does not appear to be darker on the 515 (but the 'm515' on the case is bigger than the 'm505' on the 505 casing), the finish seems the same; (3) the screen refresh on the 515 seems to be faster; (4) the battery life seems to be just as good as the 505s, in fact, it may be better.

As to battery life (which I believe was the question), I restored the 515 from my m505s backup on a card, once the restore was complete and I attempted to return to the launcher, the 515 immediately crashed. It took me about 3 and a half hours of troubleshooting to discover that the problem was the PPK driver which was causing the problem whether activated or not (don't know why this was, maybe the backup/restore corrupted it). During this time I kept the screen on the high setting, was using the card regularly, resetting the device every few minutes, moving programs to and from the card, deleting programs and did a full restore. The battery was about half drained after this time. This is much better performance than I got from the 505. The charge time appears to be about the same too, it took a little more than an hour to get a full charge from a state where it would not come on at all (the first rechargeable Palm I have had that did not have some charge out of the box, btw).

RE: Battery Life on High
IanJD @ 3/3/2002 6:09:43 PM #
> It took me about 3 and a half hours of
> troubleshooting to discover that the problem was the
> PPK driver which was causing the problem whether
> activated or not (don't know why this was, maybe the
> backup/restore corrupted it).

Do I infer from this that you managed to get the PPK working eventually? I read elsewhere that someone else had problems using it with the m515.

RE: Battery Life on High
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/3/2002 7:25:27 PM #
been using m515 since friday on high. Still at full charge. don't think battery life is going to be an issue.

RE: Battery Life on High
Ronin @ 3/3/2002 7:54:22 PM #
Yes, I got the driver to work properly.

I deleted the driver that was installed from the backup and replaced it with a fresh copy from my hard drive and it worked the way it was supposed too.

RE: Battery Life on High
swinginjonny @ 3/4/2002 2:04:47 PM #
Would someone clarify to me what the PPK driver is? It sounds like the same problem I have with my IIIc but I don't know what a PPK driver is.


RE: Battery Life on High
Synwpn @ 3/4/2002 5:05:57 PM #
I believe it means Palm Portable Keyboard.

annoying black grid

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:14:51 PM #
I saw the m515 and it still has that black grid!!

RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:18:45 PM #
What are you talking about??

RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:21:39 PM #
Of course it does. Nothing has changed from the 505 to the 515 that anyone should get too excited about.

I was fortunate enough to have dumped my 505 yesterday afternoon for only $100 less than I bought it for.

I was at a staples store in Ontario and they do not ahve the 515 out, but still have the 505 with a specail offer for a 16mb card. Can you imagine your anger if you bought a 505 more than 30 days ago and you find out that the 515 is the same price and is what you 505 should have been?

I am curious to see the 515 for interest sake only, but I think I am going to jump over to the sony 615c for now - I have always bought palm, but due to the fact that I felt like I was ripped off now that the 515 is on the shelfs, I can't buy another one right now. I will wait to go back when they improve th hardware.

I never had a big concern about the screen, but I was always looking at the hi-res sonys- they are very nice.

For those in Canada that can't wait for the possibility that sony will get the 615c into the canadian market - checkout - or go directly to They take care of all the duty etc. and on many items it is cheaper or at least the same. This is where I am going to get the 615c from - thye have free shipping till March 8/02 - except you have to wait for up to 2weeks - still might be quicker than waiting for sony.

Does anyone know if sony is going to bring the 615 to canada?

RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:24:39 PM #
the black grid is due to the pixelation in low-resolution color screens.

RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:28:14 PM #
i.e. the space between the pixels

RE: annoying black grid
Altema @ 3/2/2002 2:53:32 PM #
> i.e. the space between the pixels

That's correct, the 505 and 515 will have a more noticable space because the pixel gaps are larger, but they are actually gray instead of black. This is also why they are not as noticable on the Sony... the higher pixel density also has tighter gaps between the pixels. Of course, it is also why the earlier color Sony's turned brownish in direct sunlight, more gridlines! Of course I have not seen the t615 in sunlight yet, and knowing Sony, they probably fixed this.

RE: why the annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 7:48:58 PM #
The grid is present due to the low res... if u dun want the black grid.... get a sony or handera(if u dun need colour).....i dun see any other way out

RE: getting Clie in Canada from
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 8:50:50 PM #
To the fellow canadian who mentioned he/she was going to get the T615 from, I was wondering if you know that on arrival of the unit, if there would be any duties/charges tho? I do understand that eCost guarantee the purchase price, but do they also look after the GST/Duty that is usually due when the unit arrive via Canada post (Unless they use a courier who will just drop the unit off to my house, I suppose my point is moot).


RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 11:09:50 PM #
The black grid is much more obvious because the screen is brighter. So you get a brighter screen that looks terrible due to alot of pixelization. Or better yet you get a Sony and forget about Palm.

RE: annoying black grid
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/3/2002 7:46:42 AM #
For the individual asking about ecost - go check it out and place a dummy order and as you step through it, you will see that all taxes shipping/handling and duties are included.

They are using to "process" and "handle" the orders. I have researched for a couple of weeks now, and have found no reason not to order from them. Read the policies.

Remember that it could take up to 2 weeks to get your order (stay with the free shipping - available to canada till march 8/02 - if you get express its $35).

the price on this unit to your door is less than going to buy a 515 in a canadian retailer. The only problem with this one is product is that you cant compare the price to, becasue it is not availble here yet. However it seems ok.

If you are looking for the N760 - it works out cheaper, except for the wait.

I will order mine later this week.

Post your email if you want and Iwill let you know whn I order and how long it takes,

I am in ontario.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/3/2002 7:55:32 AM #
Forgot to mention that you should wait to order this unit until the price drops to about 347 - it shows up in thier countdown bargain section from time to time - just hope the blue one sows up before the 8th again.

eCost buying T615
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/3/2002 7:48:39 PM #
To the fellow canadian replying to my questions, Thank you so much for you help. I would love to know how your order went as I am very interested in getting one myself from eCost as well. Please email me at , Thanks!

Then only worry i have is they do have a no return/exchange policy, which I suppose is.."reasonable" given they do charge less especially for shipping to canada. My only other worry is going for the 2 week shipment.. which likely would be Canada Postal Services?


elMajor @ 3/2/2002 12:18:31 PM #
i think that this is just a waste of money, like sure it has a better screen, and more room, but if u have the 505, why but the 515? sure a bit brighter but u can live with 505 screen. and u can just buy a memmory card. no big imporovement, i hope for palms sake that his model does not suffer from SUDS, if it does, u know somthings wrong with them.

RE: Mehhh
dmoody @ 3/2/2002 10:19:13 PM #
I, for one, bought my 505 (ah, Cranberry) on Jan 28 and returned it this week 8-( knowing I'll only miss the color of the shell UNLESS THEY ISSUE COLORED 515s (hint!).

The extra 8MB of RAM for the same price with the extra backlight setting is enough for me.

I have made an annual purchase for hardware the last few from the III, e, xe, 505 and now the 515.

My big question is whether or not I should forgo color and buy the i705...

Nah... I'll just finish my 802.11b netowkr at home and buy a matching sled!

Ed, Any info on m130 screen?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:22:08 PM #
Is it really transflective like the Clie 615? And if so, are the colors vivid or does it have a problem with "reds" like the Clie.

Havn't seen any real pictures of the m130 screen on the web yet so I'm very curious.


RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:29:10 PM #
As I understand it, the m130 screen is the same as the m515 but just smaller.

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:32:49 PM #
There's many conflicting reports on the m130 screen which is why I'd like Ed to give some info. Some say iy's reflective like the 505, some say it's transmissive like the IIIc, while others say it's transflective (backlit reflective) like the Clie 615.

Just looking for clarification and hopefully screenshots.

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
Ed @ 3/2/2002 12:38:30 PM #
I still haven't seen an m130 so I can't give you an authoritative answer. However, I have talked to someone I trust who has seen one and he says it isn't the same type as the m515's. It has a backlight, rather than sidelight. It has a contrast control, which the m515 lacks. The m130 also doesn't look as good outdoors as it does in, whereas the m515 actually looks better in direct sunlight.

I suspect that the m130's screen is a transflective one rather than the reflective screens on the m505 and m515. But that's just an educated guess.

News Editor

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:49:44 PM #
Thanks for the response Ed.

Now I'm just wondering about the color accuracy since the Clie 615 which also uses a transflective screen has porblems with certain colors.

I'm using a m505 right now but since I mainly use this indoors I'm considering a switch.

Where are the m130 owners with Digi-cams?

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
Majestic @ 3/2/2002 4:17:33 PM #
You all may visit the Forums and read my post regarding screen evaluations at CompUSA. They are more thorough than what the author of this site is offering....and rightly so, as he hasn't seen the m130, and doesn't know me from Ronald McDonald.

Having said that, I can tell you that I an "arrest worthy" comparison between all the models after I got out of work yesterday.

The m130 is transflective/backlit. It is the BEST screen ever offered by Palm. It is even a *shade* brighter than the m515.

More importantly, its colors are lord, the Red coloring on the HotSync icon is truly RED again!! Not blood-red, not maroon, but RED RED RED.

Too bad it's only available on the mid-range model.

I'm not going to bash Palm, as it doesn't take a Master Degree in Production to tell that it made more sense to move the sidelight upwards from the bottom of the unit (on the m505) to the actual bottom of the screen (on the m515), crank the voltage a bit, and call it a day.

Profit wise, that made the most sense.

I look forward to their future models that will have the m130's awesome screen. I can only imagine how sweet it would be to have a high-res screen (like the Clie's) with the color accuracy of the m130s.


*** Additionally, for future color Treo enthusiasts that are worried about the potentially smaller screen (the Treo is actually smaller than an m505), if this screen is any indication that a bright backlight and more pure colors make the difference, then you should be set. Seriously.

I could actually READ everything on the m130, unlike the m100, which I personally find completely useless (I have better than 20/20 vision)

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 4:35:04 PM #
The m130 screen is a refreshing break from all the crappy screens I've seen coem out in the past year. I don't have the typical eye-strain headache I normally get from more than 1 or 2 hours of usage on the other color screens available. Good model for a good price. ;)

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 4:36:25 PM #
When you say "contrast" and "color" in the same line, you're probably talking about a PASSIVE matrix screen. Useless in sunlight.

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 7:51:12 PM #
Pictures have of the M130 have just been posted at Brighthand.

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
dmoody @ 3/3/2002 7:27:50 PM #
Saw the m130 this afternoon (Sunday) at CompUSA in Seattle/Shoreline. Apparently they've been selling the pair since Friday but only if someone walked a nd asked. No phone confirmations.

The m130 screen certainly leaves much to be desired - blurry scrolling on images, washed out reds - when compaired side by side with the m515.

Apparently CompUSA staff can only let you see one unit at a time unless it's mounted. So ask a staff person to hold the other and check for yourself.

I'll be ordering the m515 as soon as our friends in Utah process my returned m505.

I hope it won't be long as the m105 I purchased as an interim is a form factor that's a bit too small...

RE: Ed, Any info on m130 screen?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/4/2002 2:21:04 AM #
According to Palm, the m515 has an active-matrix transflective screen, and the m130 has a passive-matrix transflective screen.

One Last Picture

Ed @ 3/2/2002 12:35:19 PM #
Here's one more picture. It's very out of focus, which is why it isn't in the article, but the brightness difference between the m515 on High and the m505 really shows up.

News Editor

RE: One Last Picture
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:37:37 PM #
Ed...did you have a few too many coffees this morning? Shakey, but your the man on the scene, bring us the straight goods!

Nice work.

RE: One Last Picture
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 12:56:22 PM #
wow - that picture is so shakey that it almost induces vomitting if you look at it too long. Thanks for the effort though.

RE: One Last Picture
Solo @ 3/2/2002 1:01:16 PM #

Forget pixelisation or Hi-Res... bring back your cam to the store. You're more in need of a good cam than a PDA !!! *g*


P.S.: I just cannot imagine a shot of your wallpaper with your cam, could put your website in danger...

RE: One Last Picture
Ed @ 3/2/2002 1:59:03 PM #
The camera is fine; I'm just trying to take a picture inside its minimal focal distance. Keep in mind, I'm like 6 inches from the handhelds when I took some of these. I just got the camera recently and the manual stinks. It doesn't even mention that the camera has a Macro mode, though it does. So I'm learning by trial and error.

Though there could have been some shaking. I was taking these as quickly as I could off in a corner of a Staples trying to not call attention to myself. I suspect they'd have thrown me out if they caught me taking pictures as the store manager knew he wasn't supposed to have this on display.

Like I said, sorry these are a bit fuzzy but they do show the only difference between the m505 and m515's screen: the brightness. There is no other change.

News Editor

RE: One Last Picture
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/2/2002 3:04:01 PM #

The plastic cover you have on your m505 looks cool, can you tell me where I can find one?

by the way, always enjoy your work, thanks so much!

RE: One Last Picture
aardvarko @ 3/2/2002 6:17:49 PM #
For what it's worth, the picture *is* in focus; however, the camera was moved while the shutter was open. If it's a 'prosumer' grade camera, try checking for an ISO setting in the camera's menu; if one exists, set the ISO sensitivity as high as you can. It'll produce grainier images, but they'll require much shorter exposures - meaning it's proportionally less likely that you'll move the camera.

webmaster at aardvarko dot com
RE: One Last Picture
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/3/2002 11:35:29 AM #
The plastic cover is from Parallel Design. Try .

I have two of the covers and like them a lot.

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