PalmOne’s New PDAs

PalmOne has released two new handhelds in their Zire range – the Zire 32 and 72.

The Zire 31, US$149 (€125) has a faster CPU than its predecessor and runs Palm OS 5.2. The PDA has a new-style controller on the front panel – allowing better navigation through documents, but also better for control whilst playing the growing range of Java games available. This controller, coupled with the new headphone jack and the mandatory expansion slot will ensure that buyers use the machine for playing media on the move.

Palm have included Bluetooth in their new Zire 72, US$299 (€251), allowing users to use an appropriate mobile phone to send messages on the move. The 72 is a somewhat striking Yves Klein blue colour – we can’t help but get the feeling that other colours might be in the pipeline.

The 64mb 72 also features a better digital camera than its 71 predecessor, sporting 1.2m pixels, backing that up with 2x digital zoom and 320 x 240 video capture. The camera has better integration with Palm applications than has been seen before – photographs can be attached to contacts and used as backdrops within programs.

But what about an update to the T3? Surely the Tungsten T4 (and Palm OS6) can’t be that far off?

The Palm 72

The Palm 31

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?