Palm hope that its entry level PDA - the Palm Zire - will easily allow new users to have an electronic organiser without spending a lot of money, and with a price tag of just £59 it looks like it will certainly be able to do that. PDA’s can be a good idea for some, they allow you to synchronise your contacts and your calendar whilst on the move, but for others they can soon become a five-minute wonder as the draw to paper (no pun intended) is too great. If you’re one of those people, or someone who is not sure whether or not they want something that is going to be all singing all dancing then the Zire is a good place to start.
Fashioned in a white casing similar to the Apple iPod or iMac it’s slim, compact and light (109 grams; 11.2 x 7.4 x 1.6 cm). Powered by a Lithium Ion battery, Palm give an estimate of three to four weeks on battery life depending on what you do with it and there is no inputs sockets other than the hotlink cable and power.
Transferring data or applications across to the device is done with a USB cable although with only 2Mb of onboard memory don’t expect to be able to load up on the application side of the things. This unit isn’t really designed for that, but it will still hold thousands of addresses, to do lists, and calendar appointments.
The unit itself is easy to use and if you’ve ever played with a PalmOS run device then you will be right at home. The mono screen is basic as is the control method, however the Zire does have a touch screen and therefore Graffiti allowing you to handwrite your data on screen.
This is Palm's entry-level device and because of that the options are simple. However that doesn't mean that this isn't a good product. Quite the opposite really, and for those looking to get into using a PDA but don't want to break the bank on the first step then this is as good as way as any. Don't expect the world, but then you won't be paying for it.