Palm m100

palm120x133.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    Not yet rated
  • $99.00

Pros

  • Well made and neatly designed, with obvious consumer appeal.

Cons

  • Lacks a docking cradle as standard
  • no email client.

The m100 is Palm's new entry-level, consumer-friendly pocket computer. Although it's hardly exciting, it's likely to prove a successful addition to the range.

Palm is the company that single-handedly revived a moribund market still smarting from the failure of Apple's Newton, and to date has seen off the baleful attention of competitors as muscular as Microsoft.

But success breeds its own problems: although Palm Computing has done the decent thing and licensed its technology, the competitors so spawned are doing a little better than the company might like. Handspring's Visor, for example, has nabbed a significant chunk of the market by combining low cost and expandability--and Christmas is a great time for shifting low-cost units, hence the m100.

In all practical respects, the m100 does the same job as the existing Palm IIIe, but it looks decidedly different. The chubbiest of Palm OS machines, it nonetheless has a physically smaller screen, comes with a cable instead of a cradle for synchronising with a desktop, has a user-replaceable cover for co-ordination with your personal taste in colour, and comes with a couple of new applets.

Most noticeably, the m100 has a Clock applet that can be read through a window in the m100's flippable lid. The other innovation is a Notepad applet that lets you scribble freehand drawings. Nothing to write home about--which is just as well as there's no email client.

The specs are unremarkable: you get 2Mb of RAM, a Dragonball processor running at 16MHz, an infrared port, and power courtesy of two AAA batteries. You can upgrade the RAM to 8MB, but only if you have a micro-Torx screwdriver and a very steady soldering hand. However, if you use a fast memory chip, then the various speed-up hacks for PalmOS are reputed to work well up to 28MHz. Although the edge connector used for synching is the same as with the III series, the m100's case won't fit old cradles.

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The m100 runs all Palm applications, of course. The new screen is sharp and easy to read, and the new plastic screen plate should be more robust than the old glass one. Backlighting isn't so good, though, as it makes the pixels themselves glow instead of the background, giving everything the look of a photographic negative. This is fine in pitch darkness, but gets washed out in crepuscular conditions. The speaker is louder than all previous Palms, but still not loud enough to raise the sounder sleeper.

To old Palm hands, the m100 might seem unexciting. However, it's tough, curvy, black and capable, and deserves to be handed out by Santa in huge numbers. A worthwhile addition to the range.

Specifications

Display
Type LCD display
Output Type monochrome
Native Resolution 160 x 160
General
Built-in Devices Display
Miscellaneous
Localization English
Included Handheld Accessories stylus
Processor
Type MC68EZ328
Manufacturer Motorola
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Audio
Type none
Memory
Max Supported Size 2 MB
ROM 2 MB - ROM
Networking
Wireless Connectivity IrDA
Input Device
Type touchscreen
Battery
Installed Qty 2
Run Time (Up To) 2 month(s)
Type standard battery
Form Factor AAA type
Technology alkaline
Power
Voltage Provided 1.5 V
Header
Brand Palm
Product Line Palm
Model m100
Localization English
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
System
Platform Other
Handheld Type handheld
Expansion and Connectivity
Interfaces 1 x serial RS-232
1
1 x serial RS-232
Expansion / Connectivity
Device Type docking cradle
Free 1
System Requirements for PC Connection
Min RAM Size 64 MB
Min Hard Drive Space 30 MB
ROM
Installed Size 2 MB
RAM
Installed Size 2 MB
Audio Input
Type none
Expansion Slots
Type none
Interface Provided
Interface serial RS-232
Qty 1
OS Provided
Type Palm OS 3.5
Cable Details
Type serial adapter, serial cable
PDA Software
Type Address Book, AvantGo Web Channel Manager, Palm Desktop Software, Security, To Do List, Calculator, Chapura Pocket Mirror, Clock, Date Book, Games, HotSync, Memo Pad, Note Pad
Power Device
Type none
Supported Battery
Max Supported Qty 2
System Requirements
OS Required Apple MacOS 7.5.3 or later, Microsoft Windows 2000 / NT4.0, Microsoft Windows 95/98
Service & Support
Type 1 year warranty
Dimensions & Weight
Width 3.1 in
Depth 0.7 in
Height 4.6 in
Weight 4.41 oz
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Location carry-in
Full Contract Period 1 year

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