A hard drive in your palm

PalmOne's LifeDrive has put almost everything you'd want from a notebook - document editing, e-mail access, and plenty of storage - into a package not much larger than a typical early MP3 player.

At its heart, the LifeDrive is a PalmOS 5.4 PDA offering the same controls, expansion slots, and basic applications you'd expect from a Tungsten or Treo. The downside: it's too big to fit easily into a pocket, and too small storage wise to qualify as a substitute for a video or MP3 player.

The "Drive" in the LifeDrive is a built-in 4GB Microdrive from Hitachi, which can hold a full slate of contacts, documents, photos, videos and music.

Software includes Exchange ActiveSync, for checking Outlook e-mail, and Documents To Go, for document editing. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a beautiful 320x480-pixel colour display, round out the package.

With that crisp, colourful screen, the LifeDrive should excel as a video player. However, while the clips I watched looked decent, playback was not completely smooth.

As an MP3 player, music sounded quite good, though the headphone jack is awkwardly located on the bottom of the device. An app called PTunes lets you organise and play MP3s.

Camera Companion is where the LifeDrive really shines. This program turns the device into a storage repository for your digital photos, one that's much lighter than a laptop.

Verdict That's the LifeDrive's most useful role: filling in for your laptop in a pinch, even though it's not equipped with a finger keyboard or built-in phone... for now at least.

Palmone Lifedrive

Price: $899 Vendor: palmOne Phone: 1800 350 535 URL: www.palmone.com/au Specifications: 4GB hard drive; 320X480 65K colour display (portrait and landscape orientation): Bluetooth: 802.11b Wi-Fi: 416Mhz Xscale processor: 16MB ROM; built in microphone and voice recorder button: 3.5mm headphone jack; SD/SDIO/MMC expansion cards and peripherals via multi-connector support; 192.8g; 12.1X7.3X1.9cm

Preproduction model, not rated.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Dahl

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?