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Palm Zire PDA targets consumer market

Palm has set its sights on first-time buyers with the Zire, a $99, no-frills personal digital assistant that is the first in a...

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Palm has set its sights on first-time buyers with the Zire, a $99, no-frills personal digital assistant that is the first in a product line for consumers.

The Zire, which has a white front and silver back, weighs 108 grams and is the lightest Palm handheld available today, Palm of Milpitas, California, said in a statement. The price is the same as the existing low-end model, the m105, according to Palm's Web site.

The Zire runs Palm OS 4.1, has a 160 by 160 pixel monochrome display, a Motorola Dragonball 16MHz processor and 2Mbytes of memory. The device lacks an expansion slot but comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery.

A cable for synchronising with a PC or Mac over USB is included with the Zire; wireless sharing of information and files with other Palm PDAs is also possible with infrared.

The device has the classic Palm applications: date book, address book, note pad and to dos, and can store about 3,000 appointments and 6,000 addresses.

Higher-end PDAs on the market today typically boast a colour screen, at least 16Mbytes of memory, broad expansion options and faster processors.

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