After announcing two weeks ago plans to launch its new
of PDAs, Palm today took the wraps off the first
Zire model. It’s the first Palm PDA to debut at US$99.
The new Zire PDA is designed as an entry-level PDA for students, families and individuals. It features an Infrared interface for beaming content, and includes a USB cable for HotSyncing data to a PC or Mac. Like other recent Palm releases, it’s compatible with Mac OS X.
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The streamlined design weighs only about 3.8 ounces and sports a polished white face and silver back that carries a passing resemblance to Apple’s iPod and iBook — two other devices aimed at the consumer market. A removable flip lid protects a 160 x 160 pixel monochrome LCD display, and the face sports a two-button design that provides instant access to the Address Book and Date Book applications. Of course, the Zire uses Graffiti as its main input method.
In addition to Address Book and Date Book, Note Pad and To Do’s applications are built in as well, along with Calculator and a few games, including Mine Hunt, Puzzle, Giraffe and Hardball. The Zire sports 2MB of memory, so it can be expanded with other third party applications as you see fit. Unlike other recent offerings from Palm and its competitor Handspring, the Zire does not feature additional expansion capabilities through flash media cards.
In addition to the flip cover, stylus and USB HotSync cable, the Zire comes equipped with a charging cable, manual and software. Look for it on store shelves now.