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This curvy little entry-level palm easily sits in a pocket and does the usual basic Palm PDA functions of managing contacts and appointments. It's all plastic including the screen which means it's light. Unfortunately the display is absolutely useless in normal daylight and you will be walking into shadow int order to be able to use it. The colour screen is a good thing but unlike it's earlier entry level siblings (the m125 or m110) it takes a factory fitted battery which means you have to crack the case with a spudger to put a new battery in. Though these are now fairly cheap. The older entry level Pam PDA just took some AAA batteries and you didn't need to crack the case. To read ebooks on them I recommend plucker from plkr.org, as it can convert html and txt files and is completely free. The USB connection makes it easy to back-up and sync with your computer data.
The palm m130 is a great gadget. Infact I could barely live without it! Its great value for money at just over 200.00 with a colour screen I might add! I did have a problem with the screen as it became misaligned I needed to send it away to palm's factory for repair, the process was simple and fast. I sent the pda way and was returned within in 1 week fully repaired. Thanks to palms Hot Sync all my data was fully restored! Since then I have had no further problems whatsoever. I really commend palms excellent support services. The m130 supports SD cards and thanks to its universal connector it can be connected to a modem and an external keyboard (which I?m using right now to type up this review!). The m130's battery life is good but not when partnered with graphical colour games. The Hot sync function is reliable but recently I have found it very difficult to hot sync due to some problems with the cradle. Overall I am pleased with my palm m130 pda and found palms level of support exceptional. In hindsight I would buy this product again it is excellent value for money.
Being a spendthift I rarely buy the most expensive solutions to problems. I had a Psion 5MX that was a gift, and was doing ok, but it died. So then I got a palm m105. Was impressed! So impressed I upgraded to an m130. All the functional palm apps are there. You can get by quite happily with just the address book and calendar, thought the palm to-do list is one of the best I've found on PDA's. As with other palms, this is a stylus only beast. No keyboard supplied. You can "type" fairly fast with the on screen keyboard rather than curse your memory on how to write "x" on the handwriting pad. In the field it's fine for entering meeting dates and taking short notes. The freehand sketchpad is fine for quick (short) notes. It's really an information retrival tool. 90% of the data goes in on the PC's at home and work. The fact it syncs to PC's so nicely is a godsend. I use it at work with it's own Palm Desktop software, and at home with Outlook. It quite happily retains all the data I add at each end on either application. Never gripes a bit. (I had to buy a sync / charger cable for work for £17). The vast range of Palm apps on the internet keep it useful with good (free) utilites. The bundle of software I got on the CD was great! Docs to Go (syncs with Word and Excel), Photosuite (so now I have always got a pic of the wife :), SMS software, WAP browser and more as well! As a comparison, the m105 had a monochrome unlit display with few expansion options. This has an SD slot, M5xx compatible slot at the base and 65k backlit display. The m105 gained in battery life thanks to the lack of backlight. The backlight issue is a tough one. Without it (m105), was fine except in dull / dark conditions. With it (m130) is great except for bright sunlight. It does have a "turn the backlight down" option (hold the power button), which helps a bit. Invaluable tool. I ca
n forget work at the weekend and ask the Palm on Sunday night.
I have never been a fan of electronic diaires, and if I'm honest I still use a conventional diary, but then I did not buy my Palm m130 for the diary capabilities. I have had this for several months now, and I wouldn't be without it. You can use the PC software provided, or you can do as I do and synchronise it to your Mocrosoft Outlook settings - this means you can synchronise between your PC and Palm to keep your contacts, diary, notes and to-do lists current. But there is so much more to do! I don't yet use half the features since I don't link it to an internet connection, but this is what I do use my Palm for: - addresses and phone numbers - birthday reminders - calculator - transporting Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents - writing lists of stuff to remember for later - to-do lists - carrying digital photographs - scribbling post-it notes - playing games - reading ebooks - tv guide (download from Radio Times site) Particularly in the last three cases I find it invaluable when travelling - there is ample battery life to play a variety of games or read an ebook during train journeys or when there is time to kill. There are loads of free downloadable games - try the Palm website, or tucows for masses of choice. Here you will also find plenty of useful freebie downloadable applications. The shape of the device means that it is really comfy to hold, the synchronisation is a breeze, the add-ons are tempting (changeable covers, slot-in cards to increase memory or add applications). Purist would complain that the resolution on the screen isn't great, but I find it is no problem. The backlighting is very good, but is hopeless in bright outdoor conditions. Overall, even though I choose not to use every feature I feel that it has been more than worth the money I paid, and I look forward to getting to grips with the internet capabilities! Jan 20