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PalmOne’s Loaded LifeDrive

John Stith
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-18

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PalmOne introduced their newest entry into the PDA market called the LifeDrive. The LifeDrive has a 4Gb hard drive, Bluetooth and WiFi technology built into the little device.

The Lifedrive will offer all the traditional features of the PDA but then go much further. PalmOne said they've built this device to allow users to integrate all the functions they really want in one device or as PalmOne put it, "digital everything".

"LifeDrive mobile manager comes at an inflection point in the market, when people are ready for more advanced devices that meet their growing mobile-computing needs," said Ken Wirt, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for palmOne. "LifeDrive is versatile. For the business executive, it's a personal mobile briefcase; for the photo enthusiast, it's a camera companion."

The little computer contains an Intel 416 XScale processor and a 320 by 480 color display. It has a 4Gb Microdrive from Hitachi. The device will handle music and video files. It will handle email and documents from various office suite programs. It has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities and it will have an SD expansion slot.

By connecting to any of the more than 80,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots in popular hotels, cafes and airports around the world, LifeDrive mobile manager users can do the following:

* access POP, IMAP and Exchange email accounts;

* download the latest calendar appointments from the office;

* retrieve documents from the desktop computer with the WiFile software; and

* surf the web with the included web browser, which has been optimized for mobile surfing.

PalmOne is working with T-Mobile to ensure a good hotspot experience for LifeDrive customers to access the world's largest public Wi-Fi network. T-Mobile is providing a free 30-day trial offer for LifeDrive owners.

The device's built-in Bluetooth can be used to connect to compatible Bluetooth devices nearby, allowing for wireless syncing with a Bluetooth laptop, wireless sending a document to a Bluetooth printer or hands-free dialing to a Bluetooth phone.

The Lifedrive will contain the Garnet OS instead of its own traditional OS. The price for this little handheld computer is $499 and is available from some retail outlets and PalmOne's website and should be widely available in June.

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About the Author:
John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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