Summary: The model produced ambiguous impression. The key innovation is the built-in HDD capacious of 4 GB and integrated Wi-Fi. There are other changes of less importance - better control, a voice recorder, extra programs in the sales package. However the HDD affected dimensions and weight, and decreased battery life.
Conclusion: Unfortunately, our out-of-the-box experience with the synchronization process was not the best: When we installed the PC software and plugged in the provided USB 2.0 cable, our PC's Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse froze, requiring a reboot. We tried uninstalling and reinstalling the LifeDrive software and plugging the sync cable into different USB ports, but we could only get the mouse and LifeDrive working at the same time, without the keyboard.
Conclusion: The LifeDrive mobile manager from palmOne has an estimated U.S. street price of $499. Limited quantities are available now from the palmOne online store and select retail stores worldwide. Volume availability is expected by early June. You can also search for the lowest price on our PriceGrabber service .
Excerpt: PalmOne's LifeDrive is aimed at the top end of the PDA market, and its design reflects this. It looks very expensive, with a brushed metal front and back and large solid metal short cut buttons under the screen. The LifeDrive is part of palmOne's Mobile Manager range, and is the first PDA to use a Hitachi Microdrive for storage rather than flash memory; it has 4GB of storage. This is a media player as well as a device for storing contact and calendar information.
Excerpt: We've often complained about PalmOne's apparent reluctance to produce a PDA that features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but at last it has done it with the PalmOne LifeDrive. And it's even better than we'd hoped. So why did we want Bluetooth and Wi-Fi? Simple: you can use your wireless network at home or at the office, but also connect to a compatible mobile phone using Bluetooth when you're out and about.
Conclusion: Business users will appreciate the extra storage space and PIM capabilities, but it all comes at a cost. Bulky design, mediocre speeds and average multimedia features leave us unconvinced that the palmOne LifeDrive has created a new category of PDA.