We're a style-conscious lot, according to 3Com's Palm Computing. That's why Australia, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific, is the test-bed for a new look Palm that aims to tap into the mostly untouched handheld market for the young and hip, yet cost-conscious consumer.
At $449, the IIIe, released yesterday, is now the cheapest Palm available (the IIIx, aimed at professionals, is $799). And if you like the current translucent fad, it sports the trendiest design yet. (Look out for accessories like brightly-coloured translucent flip covers and "neoprene" (wetsuit material) cases, which are being offered as extras.)Its main difference to the pricier Palm IIIx and V models: no room to expand or upgrade, and 2MB of memory (the IIIx has 4MB). Though according to 3Com, 2MB is enough to satisfy the average user, providing room to store up to 6000 addresses or 1500 memos, for example.
The basic Palm software apps and version 3.1 of the Palm OS ship with the IIIe, and like the IIIx, it has a cradle for synchronising with a PC and an infrared port for beaming and receiving data from other devices.
3Com says the IIIe's LCD is new and "sharp", and in my opinion delivers just that, clear and sharp text in almost any light - from sunlight through to a pitch black room (the screen can be back-lit).
This model offers great value for money plus the simplicity and beauty of the Palm OS. If you're looking to get organised, the Palm IIIe represents an affordable entry into the world of Palm Computing.
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