Palm Inc. calls the new Zire 71 PDA its first Zire handheld with multimedia capabilities. The new PDA can play MP3s with the use of a separate kit, plays digital audio and video, and takes digital photos using a built-in camera, and sports a high-resolution color screen and a new sliding design.
The Zire 71 features amenities like a faster ARM processor and a new joystick-style button that provides five-way navigation. A 320 x 320 pixel LCD display supports more than 65,000 colors.
Snapshots taken with digital camera — revealed and activated by moving a slider — can be saved onto the Zire’s internal memory (16MB in total) or onto expansion cards that provide up to 256MB of additional storage. Images can be transferred to the Mac’s desktop for cropping or rotation, according to Palm, then synced back up for a portable photo album using the “Send to Handheld” icon.
The Zire 71 also ships with RealOne Mobile Player and Kinoma Player and Producer, to play back digital audio. Although RealOne Mobile Player works as MP3 playback software, it requires a separate expansion card to do so. You can also download a QuickTime application to use Kinoma Player and Producer to display video clips on the device, download movie trailers, and more. And the visual appearance of your Palm content can be customized with more than 30 color-themed options through Palm OS 5.2.1.
Forthcoming accessories for the Zire 71 include the US$99.95 MP3 Audio Kit, which includes an expansion card, SD card/MMC reader and writer, and stereo headphones; and the Power to Go kit, a battery-recharging sled priced at $99.95. Both peripherals are anticipated for a May release.
System requirements call for a USB-equipped Mac running Mac OS 9.1 or higher, 5MB free RAM and 30MB free hard disk space. The
Zire 71 is available now for $299.