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The Palm M505 is starting to get a little old now. And many of its functions are well within the range of a new mobile phone (Cellphone). It is, however, a small, reliable entry level P.D.A. which will do almost anything that you need to do. Mainly it will let you find out if you need to spend £500 Plus on a new state of the art P.D.A. in order to get what you want. My plan was to spend £20.00p on ebay and after a few months upgrade to a full spec machine. I have had my M505 for about 5 months now and I don't need anything else.. So I have bought all the toys for it (Carry case, screen protector, battery life extender new stylus et al, and it looks fantastic, works as well as it ever did. and manages to keep track of everything that I need it to.
There are faster more capable machines out there, but we are not all nuclear physisists running our own multi national spy corporations. When I become one, I will need to upgrade. For now.........
I've had various Palms since my first 1000 and would not be without one. Palm have always produced solid products. They annoy you a bit changing connectors and making you buy new peripherals and I'm sure there must be some logic behind altering the diameter of one of the pen holders and making the other one shorter - but that's life. Although OS 4 might still not set the world on fire it's a good system - "if it aint broke don't fix it." I purchased a Palm M505 and a 32Mb SD card and would heartily recommend the machine to anyone who is in the market for a new PDA or an upgrade. Don't be too influenced by the anoraks and sad people who berate the screen unmercifully. It might not be the brightest on the market but the 16 bit colour is really good. Setup and transferring data from my old machine was a breeze and the new native USB connection is very fast. Pictures downloaded from SplashPhoto, providing you use good quality images and take a little care over adjusting contrast and brightness, are very pleasing and have received excellent feedback from colleagues and friends who have seen them. It's really nice to have digital images of your family with you all the time. Especially when you or they are away from home. I upgraded from a Palm 5 as memory was getting tight. The extra 6 Mb of memory plus the 32 on the SD card are already being put to good use. The machine is really fast although retrieving data from the expansion card does slow the system a little but not to any great extent. Colour programs such as City Time and AddressPro 6 are really good and add much pleasure when using the machine. It also fits in the Montblanc case I bought for my palm 5 and looks really good too, which was a great relief. If you are a Palm fan buy an M505, we live in a world full of colour not a monochrome one. Only go for the M500 is funds are really tight. You will not be disappointed with your purchase
I've owned a pda for quite a few years, the past 5 years or so has been my trust Psion 3a. This broke a few months ago & I decide to cross over to the Palm OS despite that fact that I hated the diary system in the Palm. The main thing about a pda must be size - if it wasn't we'd all buy a laptop! The M505 is great for size & can literally fit in your shirt pocket. It's a little heavy for a formal shirt pocket, but size wise it's perfect. Writing with the touch pen is very easy. I was apprehensive of this, but I picked it up very quickly indeed. It's certainly slower than a keyboard (even a Psion) but is great for taking the odd note or entering a contact detail or appointment. I bought the Palm because I realised that there was a wide choice of add-on software. There are 2 or 3 excellent diary replacements for very reasonable prices & I bought one of these straight away. The sync between the desktop & the Palm is excellent. If you use Outlook, the sync is perfect & you can really use either the desktop or the pda as your input source. The screen display has a backlight & this must be used in an office or it's too dim. Outside, the display is perfect & you can also see it in bright sunlight. The battery is rechargable & lasts for about 3 days - but I always put it in it's cradle to sync every night, so it recharges every day. There is some supplied software for reading web pages offline, wp & spreadsheet sync & a little email programme. The email syncs with Outlook well. Generally the sync works like a 3rd generation product & with the USB cradle, it's easy to attach assuming that you have Win98 or higher. It is expensive, but it's small, expandable, has loads of software available & it's in colour.
The Palm's m505 is at the top of the range when it comes to palmtop computers The Palm V revolutionised palmtop computers, making them cool and desirable, as well as portable sources of information. Palm's latest model is the m505, including all the style of a Palm V but with a lot of new features. The biggest change is the colours screen which certainly makes things look much clearer, but beyond that the advantages are hard to find. If cash is an issue but you want what the m505 has to offer, consider its £70 cheaper sibling, the rn500. Apart from a greyscale screen, the two machines are identical. With a massive price difference of £330 The m505 is the first Palm to come with a USB docking station, as well as an expansion slot for MMC cards. This makes life just a bit easier. The latter can be used to boost the m505's 8Mb of memory and extra applications will be sold on them too. The advantage of MMC cards is that they're small and can be copy protected; the downside is their cost - a blank 32Mb MMC card costs around £15 more than a Compact Flash card. Palm has developed a new version of its operating system for it. Palm OS 4 is broadly the same as earlier versions with the same diary, to do list, address book, memo, calculator and alarm . A Note Pad facility lets you draw directly on the screen and there are new views and options in many of the applications. For example, you can now set vibrating and silent alarms if you need to be discreet. It also retains the Graffiti handwriting-recognition system that has you write simplified letters in an area at the bottom of the screen. You also get software for internet connectivity, including a text messaging tool. The m505 is neat, cool and very functional. The m505 is sturdy but sleek, and the software is easy to pick up.
Just a quick further update, and the last, I promise. I have my whole lif in the Palm of my hand! Sorry, couldn't resist. There is almost a feeling of trepidation about all the info stored in there. But I am infinitely more organised and never miss appointments. I am happy that the money was a worthwhile investment. What more can I say. Still dont think it is worth getting the colour version though. --------------------------------------------------- I thought I woud do an update after just over a week with my new palm m505. My original full review follows this update. So.....am I still using it? Should I have bought something else? Would I have bought one at all? Well in short I am still very pleased with my purchase. In my pocket my whole life sits, in a slimline silver case. This is pretty daunting I can tell you. No loose bits of paper. No searching around for my diary...It's all still there. I have put all my research records in there, all my addresses, I have downloaded medical software from the net and for fun there's a restaurant, film, and nightlife guides that I regularly update from the web. Also I am thinking of buying a road map and expanding the memory by 16MB. Not bad for a relative amateur! Would I still buy it again. Yes and no. I was lucky that I managed to get the colour version quite cheaply but if I couldn't I would probably go for the black and white version which is cheaper. There's the Sony PDA which is supposed to be quite nifty as well as Handspring models which use the same operating system, I don't really think the colour is worth the money. I would certainly buy a PDA again. I find more and more use for it literally each day. The only big rpoblem is you are effectively putting all your eggs in one basket. I am not worried about it crashing, because all the data is on my pc too, but if I lost it or it was stolen that would really mess things up for me. If you can live with on
e little machine holding all your life's information then I would recommend getting a PDA especially if you are disorganised like me.(or like I was!), but I don't reckon you need to go with the colour option. Feel free to read my full review following this update.... ----------------------------------------------- I am totally new to handheld computers and I thought a review from a technophobe might be beneficial to others just like me. <br>I plead for forgiveness from all the computer experts who I am sure will be able to appreciate and explain the subtelties of these devices, but this review is from a relative ignoramus, and reflects the value of the palm m505 to people like me. I have divided my review into: i)FIRST IMPRESSIONS ii) EASE OF MASTERY iii) WEB SUPPORT iv) FINAL VERDICT My first impressions were good. The Palm m505 is a cute machine, slimline which pleased me, and came in simple packaging without a huge manual to wade through. I was disappointed with a flimsy leather flap that was provided as protection and the lack of in depth explanation of the functions. Otherwise I was generally pleased with what I saw. Ease of mastery. There's a graffiti language to learn which is quite straightforward. There is very little in terms of a physical manual to read regarding the functions of the machine. There is web support and text manuals on the Palm m505, but I couldn't help feeling that I was learning by trial and error for some of the time. One real joy is the 'sync' function which allows you to share info with your desktop pc via a cable that plugs into the USB port on the bacl of your computer. This is simply fantastic. In about 30 seconds to a minute you have your email, all your appointments and any web sites you have chosen downloaded onto your palm. This is a terrific function allowing you to 'sync' before you go to work and reading the results at your leisu
re later on. I was very impressed. Web Support. This is what tipped me in favour of the Palm. The vast majority of web software for handhelds is for the Palm. This is where I have found the machine to come into its own. As a doctor I have downloaded tons of useful stuff from patient log software to textbooks, to drug listings and log book software. Also there are some handy devices such as a going-out piece of software. This provided me with listings and reviews of restaurants, clubs, bars and cinema listings and I can even search from my present location and find the nearest ones to me. Even better, each day I synchronise with my computer, this is updated via the interet. Extremely useful. But whatever walk of life, you will be able to find software useful to you. So, my message is, when you consider how much a handheld is going to cost you, take into account that out of the box, there's some basic functions, but not much else. You will need to spend some money downloading software from the net that is really going to bring your handheld into its own. FINAL CONCLUSION. The truth is, you do not need this machine. However, it will definitely streamline your life and save you time. No longer will you have to carry bits of paper, diaries or filofaxes around. You can get all the functions of this machine elsewhere but the Palm m505 brings it all together into one place. The other point to mention is potential. There is so much you could do with this machine. A friend of mine has textbooks, medical calculator, restaurant guides, regular receives film reviews, games and even digital pictures of his wife and child on his. Also you can expand the memory and add on different devices in a card form. The potential is the real selling point in my view. So would I recommend one? Yes. I am a disorganized person who constantly forgets appointments and is always carrying loose bits of paper which I invariably lose. Now everytime I have an appointment
or something to remember I can put it onto my Palm. A final point, if you already have a Palm Vx, the general consensus is that it is not worth buying this one, as several friends of mine have said. The colour screen is cute but I would probably say not worth the extra money. It would also have been nice if a decent case had been included. Minor quibbles aside, I am very pleased with my accusition and would recommend it if you are thinking of buying a handheld.
After owning a Palm Vx for the last 18 months, i was very pleased to find out about the launch of the new generation of Palm Pilots. I did not initally expect the new M505 model to be that different. After spending the first few hours playing around with it, i started to realise that the M505 was much more functional than its predecessors. I was keen to see whether the colour screen matched my expectations (after reading a number of mixed opinions about it)! Overall, i found the screen to be very good especially using the backlight. With every Palm i have used,with no exceptions, (starting with the Palm Professional) i have found all the screens to have difficult climates i.e. points where the lighting does not allow the screen to be seen clearly. Therefore i found this to be no different - good in most lighting situations, with some exceptions. The new SD slot i.e. memory card slot. I have been using a 32mb card exapnding the memory hugely - which enabled me to add on a number of programs i.e. photo suites, video clip suites (obviously with photos and video clips). The new slot will clearly be used in the future for additional hardware i.e. digital cameras, bluetooth, naviagtion units. It is a very simple and good way to incorporate other pieces of hardware. Software wise the Palm has improved generally - including more security measures i.e. automatically locking after an assigned period of time. Also the new notepad - letting you scribble on the screen itself. The processor seems much more responsive i.e. managing to play video clips easily! Overall the colour screen and the SD Slot (which will obviously become more useful with time - new hardware, greatly increasing memory) are two very strong reasons to buy the PDA, the added bonus of improved software is simply a bonus! Definitely worth the money !!
This is my fourth Palm computer. The first was a "Pilot 1000", the original Palm, with one meg of data space, no infra-red, and only a few applications. Haven't things changed since? WHAT THIS LITTLE THING DOES --------------------------- It's tiny, first of all. It's very slim indeed; far slimmer than a IPAQ or equivalent, which is why I like it. It uses Graffiti, a handwriting recognition system which works pretty well and is pretty fast. But the main point about any Palm is the connectivity. The m505, in common with its monochrome m500 cousin, connects to your PC via a USB cradle, to share data and even share your internet connection. (Serial versions of the USB cradle are a further £40). Users of a Palm V beware: it's not the same connection, so you need a brand new cradle, I'm afraid. I found the new cradle rather better built, but rather worrying - the Palm kind of 'snaps' in, and needs to be pulled off in a very different way than the original Palm V. In addition, Palm computers talk via infra-red to any infrared-capable phone (with the notable exception of some of the cheaper Nokias). "Talk" means everything from connecting to the internet through your mobile, to SMS messaging with selected phones, and even swapping phone numbers between your phone's and your Palm's address books. All recent Palms do this - including the m100, incidentally - so this isn't unusual to the m505. What is unusal about the m505 is that this is the first Palm 5-series (V, Vx, m500) which is in colour. Full colour, too, mind - not the low colour depth of the Palm IIIc: this is 65k colour depth. Impressive, though the resolution, unchanged from the standard Palm resolution of (I think) 180x180, isn't high and doesn't make photographs anything like photo-realistic. The screen has been rather battered by the press. It's not the same as an IPAQ or laptop
screen - a screen that relies on backlighting to work, and totally unusable in bright light like sunshine. The Palm m505 screen is rather different, and quite unlike any colour screen you'll have seen before. The backlight is for low-light conditions, not the office, and the screen itself is rather more dull than the previous Palm V screen. It is on a par to the m100 screen, though, and I certainly don't find it too bad at all. It certainly comes into its own when using the unit outside, or in bright light conditions; and the backlight is restrained enough to use in a dark room without acting as a new form of ambient lighting. Try before you buy, if you possibly can: it's an acquired taste, and might not be to yours. The m500 series also accept standard SDRAM memory cards, so if you really want to add up to 64Meg to your machine, then you can do this. Frankly, there's little point, but I presume that if you're a company putting your entire sales database onto a Palm, you might find this quite useful. It's one of the reasons I upgraded. Incidentally, if you've got a Palm m505 but you keep your V, you'll find both can co-exist on the same machine without having to change the HotSync properties every time. Which is marvellous. INSTALLATION ------------ Installation should be just a case of plugging the USB port into the PC, the mains adaptor into the USB connection, and then loading and running the software. When it worked for me, it was very simple: far simpler than other Palm's I've owned. For me, though, installation was rather less than simple the first time around: the USB cradle seemed to knock my computer's entire USB ports out, and they're still refusing to run. I'm using an additional USB addon card, which I just happened to have. Now, I'm not sure what the fault was, nor who's fault it was, but I'm left with a PC without a proper functioning
on-board USB. In the event, this doesn't matter too much (I'm not a heavy USB user), but I record it here just in case anyone else has the same problem. Palm tech support are hepful in the US (big tip: type in their phone number when it asks you for a phone number!) but the UK version of Palm tech support, based in fact in Dublin I think, were moderately unhelpful and typically only open between 9am and 5.30pm - just when I'm at work and not at home fiddling with my Palm V. Don't think much of their UK support, frankly; for a consumer product, they ought to be open when their consumers are using it. SOFTWARE -------- The m505 uses Palm OS4, a slightly updated version of the Palm OS3 that most of the Palm family use. Changes I've noticed are clickable menus (click in the title bar to see the menu appear); auto-fill (where if you start entering something that the Palm unit recognises, it appears to fill it in for you), a command-line bar that only works with the built-in software, and a few small changes to a few preferences. I've not noticed much else. Supplied software is similar to a cross between the old Palm V and the new m100; you get a NotePad function replacing the MemoPad (scribbling notes instead of Graffiti), though the MemoPad survives intact too. You also get a diary, phone book, and to-do list - coming with full synch software to Microsoft Outlook. You also get the e-mail application first seen in the Palm Pilot Professional, which talks to Outlook but doesn't talk to POP mailboxes itself. And you get the wholly pointless 'Clock' program; pointless because there's no little window in the case to make this useful. Also available for installation installed is an old version of AvantGo (v3.3) which takes web-pages and puts them onto your machine for later reading (download v4 from their website instead); some document program which enables you to edit Word document
s on the go; a program to allow you to put pictures and short movies onto the Palm (which is AWFUL); and in a further CD, you get an SMS application, MultiMail (a POP3/SMTP e-mail client); and Web Clipping. Web Clipping deserves a mention. First seen on the Palm VII in the USA only, this seems to offer a set of applications which connect to small specially written websites - including Multimap, ITN, and the RAC. Pretty neat, and certainly much faster than surfing websites with AvantGo: this is the first time I've seen this technology and I'm impressed. Something that ought to be pointed out is the huge amount of shareware, freeware and commercial software for these things on the web - much more than for CE machines. Whatever you want the Palm to do, it'll do it. SPEED ----- This is hugely faster than my Palm V. The Vx used a faster processor, but I believe it's even faster than that. The data sheet helpfully doesn't say how fast the new processor is, but I've no doubt that the new OS has had a good effect on its speed too. The phonebook snaps into place, AvantGo pages load almost instantly, and the software to let you see videos is pretty impressive to see. While the Palm V's speed never slowed me down, the subjective speed increase is impressive. IS THE COLOUR WORTH IT? ----------------------- Put simply, no. Now, don't get me wrong: I love colour, and the extra addition of colour in my home-made AvantGo channels really makes them shine. Colour games (I resurrected my copy of SimCity) really look smart. Yes, it's nice to have. But you don't NEED colour for anything on the Palm, much like you don't need colour in your paper notebook. It doesn't make it do anything you can't do in black and white (excepting maps, possibly). TO UPGRADE OR NOT TO UPGRADE? ----------------------------- This is a definite upgrade
from an m100 or IIIc. The sexier look and feel of the m505, instead of the plasticy feel of the cheaper models, makes it an aesthetically pleasing upgrade; the inbuilt rechargeable battery, better and larger screen, and much increased memory makes it a must. Whether you want to upgrade from the Palm V or Vx is up to you. The thing looks the same, though the cradle has changed and even the styluses are different sizes. The screen isn't as good as the Palm V (albeit in colour); and the initial memory space is the same as the Vx. I upgraded because my Palm V's screen was worn out, and I wanted the extra memory. You might not need the extra space, nor have worn your machine out to quite the same extent. Frankly, you probably won't want to upgrade if you've a Palm Vx; heavy users might want to upgrade from a Palm V. Oh. And buy a screen protector. Take it from me, alright? Hope all that helped. Any questions? Drop a comment here.
It was so exciting waiting for the new arrival of my third Palm Pilot in four years. I may be "Mr Gadget" to my wife and friends, but while this is a cool tool, it's also a serious piece of hardware. My last Palm V was useful - the first to include a rechargable battery cell that got away from the monthly mortgage-style bills for the traditional bronze-topped power supply. However, the release of the M500 and M505 versions of this best selling PDA (monochrome and colour respectively) on 17 May 2001 in the UK was a turning point for me. Not only does the new machine allow colour in a super slim design, it includes an easy to use web interface (on the move with certain infra-red Nokia and Motorola mobiles) but with the optional fold out travelling keyboard gives something almost as powerful as the new ultra slim notebooks for a fraction of the size. The Palm M505 includes the now standard links to Microsoft's Outlook (or Express) so personal data of most types is easily "hot sync'd" with your pc in just a few seconds. In addition, the easy links with both Word and Excel are a welcome addition to earlier less sophistacted software. The new software for e-books and short video clips plus POP and Hotmail/Yahoo dial-up mail make this such an easy machine to work with. The plethora of available shareware and freeware downloads plus useful accessories will keep your interest for a long time. But the really clever addition is the "SecureDigital" expansion slots that will allow potentially endless additions to the Palm. Ideal for travellers, both international and local. Ideal for those in business as they become more popular. Forget traditional business cards, beam your details. Easy to use and with either the on-screen keyboard or easy to use Grafitti recognition, you can quickly get to grips with this new PDA. Buy now while stocks last!