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Do You Desire a Zire from Palm?

Palm Monday announced the availability of its Zire handheld, the first in a line of newly designed and priced handhelds targeted towards the consumer market.

It has an estimated street price of $99, making it particularly marketable towards the "first-time" PDA buyer. It is also the lightest handheld in the Palm product line, weighing in at 3.8 ounces. It features 2MB RAM, a Motorola Dragonball EZ 16MHz Processor, and Palm OS Software v4.1.

The Palm Zire has a white front, black back, and a removable flip lid designed to protect the screen. The screen is the standard 160x160 monochrome display. User interface has been intentionally simplified for the target market, and features a two-button design to access the Address Book and the Date Book. It measures 4.4 x 2.9 x 0.6 inches. It has a rechargeable lithium ion battery. "Handhelds are not new technology. We know they work, we know they keep your information safe, and we know they've helped millions of people be more organized," said Palm Solutions president and CEO Todd Bradley. "Palm is a trusted choice with a comprehensive family of products. As your needs grow and change, you'll always be able to find a Palm handheld to keep track of what matters to you."

It comes with desktop software for synching to a PC or Mac, and the requisite cables. That includes a standard Mini USB Connector/HotSync Cable. Chapura's PocketMirror synch software ships with the package, and synchs with MS Outlook's calendar, to-do list, tasks, contacts, notes, address book, and memo pad. Multiple handhelds can use that software to synch to the same Outlook profile, making it useful for groups to maintain current data. PocketMirror also supports synchronizing to the same Exchange Server folders from any PC connected to the server.

Input on the Zire is acheived either by using the Grafffiti handwriting system or the on-screen keyboard, or of course by synchronization. The handheld has an infrared port for beaming informaton to other Palm OS handhelds.

The Palm Zire handheld is immediately.

Editors note: Peretz writes for allnetdevices.com, an internet.com site.