Update: 8/9: Before you go crazy over the new Palm's (8/7/00)...
Aug 8, 2000
Update: 8/9/2000, important information on the m100
I quoted the specifications on the Palm m100 incorrectly on one aspect (I guess www.palminfocenter.com was wrong). The Palm m100 does **NOT** have 2MB of Flash RAM. This means that the m100 is not upgradable when future Palm OS's are released, AND that programs like JackFlash (tm) which move programs into Flash RAM would not work (as there is no flash RAM). This basically means that the m100 is EXACTLY the same as the Palm IIIe except for the 2 minor tweaks (clock and stickypad) and that it comes with Palm OS v3.51. Also, something that seems really disgusting, the m100 does not even come with a hotsync cradle. Instead, Palm includes a hotsync CABLE, and then wants you to buy a crade for 39$.
Well Palm officially announced 3 new PDAs to add to their every-growing lineup. As of August 7th, Palm released the new Palm m100, the Palm VIIx and the Palm Vx LE. Two are actually new PDAs, the m100 and the VIIx while the Palm Vx LE is simply the same as the Palm Vx with a new color case. Let me break it down and categorize...
The Palm m100
Wow! Palm actually strayed from their BMW naming style (3,5,7 series) and introduced the m100 (I suppose the 'm' stands for monochrome). The Palm m100 is a small step up from the Palm IIIe which isn't much considering that the Palm IIIe is the current economy model of the entire Palm lineup. The Palm m100 runs Palm OS v3.51, sports 2MB of Flash ROM (so it is OS upgradable, UNLIKE the IIIe), 2MB of RAM (same as the IIIe), runs on the same 16 MHz DragonBall EZ processor and still runs on 2 AAA batteries.
So what's changed? Well the style mainly. The Palm m100 has a rounded bottom (fits a little nicer in your hand) and also ala Nokia has interchangeable face plates (currently--Silver Mist, Green Mist, Pacific Blue, and Ruby Pearl for 19.99$/each). Also the m100 has Flash ROM and still retails for 149$ (the same asking price for the current IIIe). However, since Palm changed the style of their new PDA ALL PALM III devices ARE NOT COMPATIBLE with the m100. This includes modems, hotsync cradles, GPS devices, wireless modems, keyboards, etc. etc. I can't figure out what Palm's problem is. Currently they now have to manufacture 3 different types of each product since the 3, 5 and m100 all are incompatible. This is a joke, clearly a scheme by Palm to try and drum up even more revenue by people who need to now get ALL new hardware accessories.
The m100 is the IIIe with only a few tweaks. (A new clock feature which lets you see the time by pushing a scroll up/down key, and a sticky pad like application where you can type notes in any program). I don't see the reason why Palm decided that it couldn't use the same interface as the Palm III lineup.
If you're really excited about the m100, hold off. And if you really need a PDA soon, I am still recommending the III lineup over the m100 since their are NO devices compatible with the m100 right now. Hopefully Palm can redeem themselves with the m200?? (No rumors have surfaced yet of the next PDA in this line).
This is the Palm VII with 2 improvements. First off the case has been changed from the ugly grey to a nice black. No big whoop. However, the memory has been quadrupled to 8MB (from 2). Finally...now it has some breathing room. The Palm VIIx retails for $449 (what the VII was selling for up until today) and I currently recommend this over anyone interested in Palm's wireless lineup. For people looking to go a more economical route, it is possible to go wireless with a Palm III and a wireless modem. It is also possible to get a GSM cable for your cellular phone (Nokia's 5190/6190 series are most widely supported). Check out www.tdksys.com and www.handgear.com for product information.
Palm Vx LE
This, this is nothing new. Palm took the Palm Vx and then changed the color of its case. The price is still very high (Palm asks $399 on the webpage). It seems Palm is just trying to move some of its slower moving products (the V line is the slowest moving line) by this color gimmick. Sure, the colors are nice, but I don't remember Steve Jobs as the CEO of Palm. I want my Palm to run well, serve my needs, and then least important of all look good. If you already have a Palm, don't even bother with the LE.
Other news from Palm
Palm revamped their webpage, giving it a much needed overhaul. The Palm IIIc has been reduced in price to 399$ along with the outdated (and nearly useless) Palm VII. I think Palm forced retailers to comply with these new prices, as when I visited Costco today I noticed that the Palm IIIc which normally goes for 299.99$ (a real bargain) was changed to 399.99 (a ripoff). Also Palm FINALLY introduced the new PalmModem for the III lineup. The modem now supports speeds up to 33.6 and is only 99.95$ on their webpage...not bad. Now if only they would sell a GSM upgrade kit for all us cellular phone owners who would like to go wireless. (They do sell one for the Palm V).
All in all it was a busy day today for Palm, with the 2 most important news items being the PalmModem for the 3 lineup and the 2 new PDAs.