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Palm i705
reviewed by Lisa Gade, editor in Chief, Jan. 2002
Note: PalmOne has discontinued data-only PDAs in favor of the Treo 600 and Treo 650 Palm OS Smartphones.


It's finally here, after months of rumors and delays: Palm's new wireless PDA and it is cool! This unit replaces the Palm VIIx and sports a totally redesigned case, a non-moveable (read non-breakable) antenna and always-on email. The design, while noteably different that other current Palm models, is sleek, slim and light.

Palm 705


i705 with Palm mini keyboard

Palm mini-keyboard attached to the i705 (not included with i705)

The i705 shares the same technological advancements as latest Palm models: it has an SD slot for expansion, the new universal connector for peripherals such as keyboards, Palm's fastest processor (Dragonball VZ 33 MHz), vibrating and LED alarms, and runs Palm OS 4.1.

The 705 uses the same Cingular Mobitex wireless network as did the Palm VII and VIIx. New to the Palm.net wireless experience is the ability to have always on service-- no need to raise the antenna to connect to the Net. This means that if you wish, you can notification of incoming email via LED, sound or vibration.

The unit has an SD slot for expansion capability. It comes with a USB sync cradle (you can purchase a serial cradle separately if you need one). Similar to other new Palm units, there's a Universal Connector at the bottom of the unit. You can plug in such things as Palm's new thumb keyboard (shown at the right) to make this the ultimate "Blackberry killer" as a Palm exec once said :-)

Service plans from Palm.net come in 3 flavors,and are available only in the US (updated Jan. 2003 to reflect new pricing):
Mobile Plan, which costs $19.99/month and gives you 100K of downloads (equal to ~60 screens). This is a good plan for light users. Each additional Kilobyte of data over your plan's limit is charged at .20 per K.
Mobile Plus Plan, which costs $39.99/month and gives you 1 meg of data transfer per month. Each additional Kilobyte of data over your plan's limit is charged at .10 per K.
Mobile Annual Plan: which costs $34.99/month and gives you 1 meg of data transfer per month. You save $60 per year using this plan. Great if you know you love the service and plan to stick with it for a year. Each additional Kilobyte of data over your plan's limit is charged at .08 per K.
There is an activation fee of $9.99 for all plans. You can check your usage, billing info, and change service plans on the my.palm.com site.

Conclusion

Pro: One of our all time favorite PDAs. Wireless Internet access from most major metro cities in the US. Always-on access, no need to pop up an antenna and initiate a connection. Slim, professional and modern looking case design. Optional thumb or regular full-size folding keyboard available. SD slot for expansion. Con: We only wish there was a color unit available now for sale. The new pricing plan introduced for 2003 no longer offers an unlimited plan, so it's no longer a cheap alternative to cellular data services.

 

 

 

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Specs:

Display: Transreflective Monochrome LCD with Backlight.

Performance: 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor. 8 megs of RAM, 4 megs non-flash upgradeable ROM for OS.

Size: 4.7" x 3.1" x .61", 5.9 oz.

Ports: SD (Secure Digital) expansion card slot, IR port for beaming, Universal Connector at the bottom for devices such as keyboards.

Audio: Built in speaker for alarms. Can also vibrate for alarms and incoming email.

Battery: Rechargeable battery. Charges while in the docking cradle. 1 hour to charge when totally drained, trickle charges in minutes during normal use.

Software: Palm OS 4.1 and the usual suite of Palm applications, including Address Book, Date Book, Clock, To Do List, Memo Pad Calculator Calculator. In addition, you get some nice 3rd party applications like Documents to Go (handles Word and Excel docs on your Palm, including import/export and editing features), MGI PhotoSuite, AvantoGo, Chapura PocketMirror 3 (syncs to Outlook) and MultiMail Deluxe.

Modem: Integrated wireless modem. Always on email notification feature. Uses Cingular's Mobitex network covering 260 metropolitan regions in the US.

 

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