Picture courtesy of PalmOne
I have a soft spot for Palm devices, I have owned a Palm of one sort or another for the past six years. I bought a Palm with my first bonus, back when the PR agency that I worked with was awash with telecoms and dot.com fees. Soon after buying my first Palm I got put on the Palm account. Despite having had Palm as a client, which means that you get to see the belly of the beast I am still happy (most of the time) to use their devices. I was curious to see the latest product concept.
The Life Drive is a portable hard drive and PDA with additional multimedia functions. The screen is clear, crisp and bright,easy-to-read and the look and feel is familiar to Palm users. The product design on the device resembles Sony's Clie range in a positive way, but the case is a bit thicker. The voice memo recording facility that was on the Tungsten T3 makes a welcome comeback.
Will I be spending my cash on getting one? Probably not, for 77GBP I can buy a 1GB SD card to move data around with, and go for a cheaper PalmOne model or a Treo instead.
In contrast the 4GB hard drive on the Life Device will look positively mean in 12 months. Flash memory is more conducive to a long battery life and allows you to pack a lot of data in a package truly svelte enough to to fit in a shirt pocket like my old Palm Vx of yore. With its pretensions towards multimedia a la the iPod, and being a portable storage device the LiveDrive is a world away from the 'Zen of Palm' and a technological jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.
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