Palm LifeDrive

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Palm LifeDrive
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth, large screen and memory

Cons

  • Expensive, slightly large

Bottom Line

While expensive, the LifeDrive is an excellent PDA packed full of features, and it would surely satisfy even the most demanding of business users.

Would you buy this?

Palm's LifeDrive mobile manager is a sleek, silver device that not only looks good, but is packed full of features, including a 4GB hard drive, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

The LifeDrive's sturdy silver casing looks professional. Unlike the Palm Tungsten E2, the stylus input area is built into the screen, which is significantly larger than most other models. Below the screen is an easy-on-the-fingers, five-way navigational button as well as four convenient customisable shortcut buttons for Home, Files, Media and PocketTunes. The LifeDrive does not include a keyboard, but it's an optional accessory.

The LifeDrive has a large 320 x 480 TFT touch screen with support for 65,000 colours. It looks good in both low-light and daytime conditions and its colour and brightness are very impressive. A handy feature of the LifeDrive is its rotating screen, which changes to portrait or landscape orientation when you press a button on the side of the PDA. This is particularly useful for viewing and working with Microsoft Office documents.

The LifeDrive is powered by Intel's 416MHz XScale processor and contains 16MB of ROM. It has a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a memory card slot at the top which supports SD, SDIO and MMC cards. The LifeDrive battery (non-removable) can be recharged by an AC adapter.

Running Palm OS 5.4, the LifeDrive comes with the usual Palm applications, plus DataViz's Documents To Go for viewing and editing Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and converted PDF files. It also includes calendar, contacts and task management applications, and can synchronise email with Microsoft Outlook.

The LifeDrive comes with a photo viewer and a voice recorder. The large, vibrant screen was great for viewing photos, while the voice recorder was clear and the sound quality good for a unit this size. This PDA can also be used as an MP3 player, with sound provided by a standard set of stereo headphones (not included), or the PDA's speaker. While the speaker does its job, the sound quality wasn't great for audio files.

Measuring 12.1 x 7.3 x 1.9cm and weighing 192.8 grams, the LifeDrive is slightly heavier and larger than most of its PDA contemporaries, but it still fits nicely in your hand.

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