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Palm rolls out wireless i705

Palm's latest handheld computer, the wireless-ready Palm i705, went on sale in New York shops on Thursday (24 January).

The new i705 is Palm's most expensive offering, priced at $450 (£320) at CompUSA. Palm's current high-end model, the m505, costs $399 (£283) on the company's Web site. The new model features the standard backlight display, a USB HotSync cradle with battery recharger and Palm's universal connector, which allows users to connect devices including a keyboard or camera to the bottom of the device.

The i705 weighs 165.2 grams and features a slot for Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard (MMC) cards, which are also available in the m500 series and in Palm's m125. The i705 has 8Mbytes of RAM and 4Mbytes of flash ROM.

One notable difference between the i705 and its wireless predecessor, the Palm VIIx, is that Palm has dropped the flip-up antenna in favour of a smaller antenna built into the top of the unit. Palm's VIIx is currently priced at $99, after mail-in discount, on the company's Web site.

Palm has also changed the icon on two buttons - on the new version the "to do" button has been replaced by an image of a globe, while the "memo" button has been replaced by an e-mail icon. Neither button appears to have any difference in functions. The i705 will use Palm's Palm.net wireless service, a CompUSA salesman said.

While Palm has not officially announced the device yet, one user who purchased it on Friday morning was impressed. "I've been waiting for this forever," said Blandon Belushin, a New York-based photographer. Belushin, who had been waiting for i705 since he first heard rumours of it, purchased the i705 to replace his Palm VII, which recently died, he said.

A Palm spokeswoman would not comment on the product.

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