Palm m505

  • Editors' rating
    7.8 Very good
  • $349.00


  • Slim and light
  • reflective colour screen
  • SD/MMC expansion slot
  • USB docking connectivity.


  • New Universal Connector requires more force than previous designs
  • no microphone or audio playback facilities.

There's little doubt that the m505 (£399 inc. VAT, or £339.57 ex. VAT) provides Palm with another winner. The new device combines a superior colour display with the compact size and weight of the very popular Palm Vx. Stand-out features include a 16-bit, 65,536-colour, reflective side-lit display (the first Palm screen that's truly usable in daylight), Palm's Universal Connector for plugging the device into its cradle or into add-on devices, and a Secure Digital (SD) slot for additional memory and, in the future, hardware expansion. A second new model, the m500 (£329 inc. VAT, or £280 ex. VAT) has a 16-greyscale display but is otherwise very similar.

The m505 uses a side-lit reflective display similar to the Compaq iPAQ H3650's, but the Palm device's brightness is not adjustable. Indoors, the iPAQ and the Palm IIIc are slightly brighter than the m505. In a dark room, the IIIc is the brightest, followed by the iPAQ, and then the m505. The greatest variation in quality occurs in sunlight, where the Palm IIIc's non-reflective display is almost useless but the m505 and the iPAQ are equally viewable. As with all existing Palm OS devices, the m505's display has a resolution of 160 by 160 pixels.

Expansion is the m505's key new feature. On the top edge there's a dual-purpose slot that accommodates SD (Secure Digital) or MMC (MultiMedia Card) modules, which are about the size of a postage stamp. The m505 also features Palm's new Universal Connector, which is located on the unit's bottom edge. The new connector and accompanying USB HotSync cradle will be common across all new Palm models. Although this is a welcome development, we did have more difficulty undocking the m505 from its cradle than with earlier models. Tiny hooks that secure the device to the cradle or to peripherals require you to use more force than with earlier designs.

The m505 (and the monochrome m500) ship with Palm OS version 4.0, the latest release. Also new are a vibrating alarm mode, Palm's Mobile Internet Kit software (you'll still need a wired or wireless modem or compatible mobile phone connection), and a rich selection of bundled software. Unfortunately, Palm -- once again -- has failed to include an integrated microphone or audio playback capabilities.

As far as the device's other vital statistics are concerned, little has changed. The m505 uses Motorola's 33MHz Dragonball VZ processor and has 8MB of static RAM. Flash ROM, however, has doubled to 4MB. The m505 sports the sleek look of its Palm Vx predecessor, but weighs just a bit more -- 139g compared with the Vx's 114g -- and measures 11.4cm by 7.9cm by 1cm. The m505 isn't a perfect pocket computer, but is easily the best Palm device yet.


Type LCD display
Technology TFT active matrix
LCD Technology reflective
Output Type color
Color Support 65K Colors
Native Resolution 160 x 160
Included Handheld Accessories stylus
Built-in Devices Display
Clock Speed 33 MHz
Type MC68VZ328
Manufacturer Motorola
Type none
Wireless Connectivity IrDA
Input Device
Type touchscreen
Type handheld battery
Technology lithium polymer
Brand Palm
Product Line Palm
Model m505
Localization English
Country Kits United States
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Expansion and Connectivity
Expansion Slots 1 x SD Memory Card
Interfaces 1
Platform Other
Handheld Type handheld
System Requirements for PC Connection
Min Hard Drive Space 30 MB
Expansion / Connectivity
Device Type docking cradle
Free 1
Free Qty 1
Included Expansion Base(s) docking cradle
Installed Size 4 MB
Installed Size 8 MB
Card Reader
Supported Flash Memory Cards SD Memory Card
Audio Input
Type none
Expansion Slots
Type SD Memory Card
Total Qty 1
Interface Provided
Qty 1
OS Provided
Type Palm OS 4.0
PDA Software
Type AOL for Palm OS, Address Book, AvantGo, Calculator, Clock, DataViz Documents To Go 3.0, Date Book, MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition, Mail, Memo Pad, MultiMail SE, Note Pad, Palm Desktop Software, Palm Mobile Connectivity Software, Palm Reader, Pocket Mirror 3.0, To Do List, powerOne Calculator
Power Device
Type power adapter
Nominal Voltage AC 120 V
Frequency Required 60 Hz
System Requirements
OS Required Apple MacOS 8.5.1 or later, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Service & Support
Type 1 year warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Location carry-in
Full Contract Period 1 year
Dimensions & Weight
Width 3.1 in
Depth 0.5 in
Height 4.5 in
Weight 4.9 oz

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