I have to admit I don’t write a lot about Palm PDAs which is more a function of not using them than thinking there is anything wrong with the Palm OS. I used a Palm XV years ago and it was a solid performing PDA and I quite enjoyed it. Having been firmly in the Windows Mobile camp for some time now I usually write about those since I am more familiar with them. The recently released PalmOne LifeDrive could change all that since it ushers in a new era for PDAs with the inclusion of an internal hard drive. The Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 was the first hard drive enabled PDA to appear but only in Japan so the LifeDrive brings the functionality to users elsewhere.
The LifeDrive is an impressive looking device and is an attempt to provide a rich customer experience that adds multimedia capabilities to a solid PDA base. The LifeDrive weighs only 6.8 ounces yet has a good feature set that should satisfy any user. The basic specs- 416MHz XScale processor; 65MB of RAM; 4GB hard drive; 480 x 320-pixel, 3.9-inch TFT; SD slot; 802.11b; Bluetooth; plays MPEG and AVI video; plays MP3 audio; Palm OS 5.4.
The PalmOne LifeDrive has a retail price of $499 which puts it firmly in the category of high-end PDAs but with all the features packed in the little device it may very well prove to be a big seller.