Handspring Pro Reviews
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Handspring Pro

41 ratings (25 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Handspring Visor Pro 16MB

Dec 15, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Rechargeable battery, 16MB RAM, Springboard expansion slot.

Cons:Rechargeable battery is not removeable, No DC-in port, Poor screen cover.

The Bottom Line: Go with the Clie PEG-SJ20, it offers more features for less price.


When I first recieved my Visor Pro, I eagerly tore off the packaging, grabbed the Visor... and waited. The battery comes discharged, and when you first open the package, you have to wait for the battery to charge up before you can put it through it's paces. Although this is annoying, there is really no way to do it otherwise, so Handspring is not to blame.
Once the battery was charged, I took the unit off the cradle and fired it up. I was greeted by the ormal palm OS screens for first start up, yaada yaada yaada. The screen was about on par with the Visor Deluxe, quite crisp (MUCH better than my friends Palm M100). The Pro has the standard 160 x 160 resolution, and has 16 shades of gray, supported by Palm OS 4. When compared to my old Visor Deluxe, the 16 shades of gray really did make a difference, especially while playing games. And speaking of games, they run a lot faster with the 33mhz Dragonball processor.
The software bundle consisted of the standard Palm OS software, nothing fancy. Of course, the software certainly gets the job done, and the lack of extras is no big deal, considering the large amount of software avalible on the internet.
Since this Visor had 16MB for my enjoyment, I soon went to work filling the memory with all my favorite software. But, despite my best efforts, I just couldn't fill it up! The 16 mb is MORE than enough for normal usage, unless you are trying to store pictures or movies.
Another big plus of the Visor Pro was it's size: Very small. It was about normal dimensions as far as width and heigh go. But what sets it apart is it's thinness. The unit is EXTREMELY thin, and therefore very light. It fits well in a shirt pocket, and is easy to carry around wherever you go. And even with this reduction in thickness, Handspring managed to keep the springboard slot intact! So your Visor Pro can use all your favorite springboard accessories.
Now we move on to the bad side of the Visor Pro. Oddly enough, some of the Visor Pro's hits were it's biggest misses as well. The first problem is the battery. Although it is very nice to have a rechargeable battery, if it runs out, you are (quite frankly) screwed. Handspring provided no means of removing or swapping the battery from the unit. Another problem with the battery is the lack of a port dedicated to power intake. Because you can't swap the battery out, unless you want to risk loosing all your data, you have to haul along the cradle and charger on trips, adding another two things to get lost or stolen. Another problem is the weak screen cover. Although it does it's job, it just feels fragile, and I am left wishing that visor had beefed up that part a little bit more. Another thing that I wish Handspring hadn't left out is an SD slot. Although the unit does have 16MB of memory, I like to know that, if need be, I can add memory without having to resort to expensive springboard memory expansions.
Probabally the biggest downfall of the Visor Pro is value. Most stores sell the Visor Pro for about $200. However, at Best Buy, you can get a Sony Clie PEG-SJ20 for $179.99. This unit offers the same amount of ram, the same processor, but also has a high resolution (320 x 320) screen, and a white (looks like a color unit with the backlight on) backlight. The Clie also comes bundled with more software. In my eyes, the Clie is just a better value.


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 171.00


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