Palm Zire 72

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Palm Zire 72
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Wide variety of applications easy voice recording, excellent Speaker sound, reliable Bluetooth, quality photos via camera

Cons

  • Slow shutter speed on camera

Bottom Line

Considering the many features packed into its diminutive chassis and its snappy performance, the Zire 72 is a bargain.

Would you buy this?

Palm's Zire 72 was obviously the brainchild of a committee in which everybody got what they suggested. The slim, royal blue-and-silver device is so jam-packed with hardware and software features that it's the PDA for all reasons. For business, there are the usual Palm organizing apps, plus DataViz's Documents to Go for viewing and editing Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets, Adobe Acrobat viewer for Palm, and other apps for recording voice memos and accessing the Web and email. For leisure pursuits, there's a built-in camera that takes photos and videos with sound, plus a RealOne MP3 player and stereo headphone jack.

The Zire 72 feels lightning-fast: Tasks like syncing and downloading apps took just a few seconds, and screens refreshed snappily, without the noticeable pause we've experienced with other Palm models. The rechargeable lithium polymer battery lasts for about a week's worth of use on one charge--even when the Bluetooth receiver is left on. Palm promises about five hours of uninterrupted MP3 music playback per charge. Of course, taking photos and video will consume battery life faster--as will viewing your creations on the Zire's bright, dazzling color screen.

Voice memos are easy to record and play back on the Zire's monaural speaker, which sounds more like FM radio than AM--we didn't hear any static from it. You could play MP3s through the speaker, but they sound much better coming through a pair of stereo headphones plugged into the Zire 72 (a port for that purpose is on top of the unit). You'll have to supply your own headphones, though; they're not included.

The Zire 72's Bluetooth port instantly recognized my Canon i80 printer, but would not connect until we supplied a security passkey. Only by digging into the Zire 72's manual on the software CD could I find the passkey. (Tip: The default Bluetooth device pass code is 0000.) That done, wirelessly printing from the Palm via Bluetooth was a snap, as was data syncing without the USB cable.

The Palm's 1.2 megapixel camera has a 2X digital zoom, and its lens is mounted on the back of the unit. It takes fairly sharp photos as large as 1280 by 960 pixels. Alas, its shutter lag time is one to two seconds. It's off-putting at first, but once you learn to compensate for the slowness (by holding the PDA still until you hear and see that the shot's been taken) you can get fine pictures. Without a cover, the camera lens would seem to be unprotected, but it's recessed to prevent abrasion, and unlike with many other Palms, a case is included in the package.

The RealOne MP3 player has a dedicated button on the front panel, which is new in this hardware design. Using the player was simple, but you can't use the music player at all without an SD memory card (you also need one to take photos and videos).

Considering the many features packed into its diminutive chassis and its snappy performance, the Zire 72 is a bargain.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?