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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my Zire a few days ago, and really like it..so here's my review....

I've never purchased a PDA before, so this was my first venture into the market. The primary reason that I haven't bought one before is the price. Looking at the Staples flyers, I've watched the sales, but they are still pretty expensive.

Read the rumours of the upcoming Zire, Palm finally announced it on their web site, so I ordered it.

It comes in a small bubblepack of hard plastic. You get a Zire, stylus, ac-adapter, USB cable, documentation, CD (with Palm Desktop and reading material) and a plastic cover. The cover itself is pretty flimsy, which I didn't like at first because it springs back on you, and you have to hold it back, but it's good at what it does..to protect the screen (which is plastic, not glass this time around).

Only 2MB of ram in this little device, which may not be enough for some users, especially since there are no means to increase this or expand it's capabilities. It's definitely aimed at the entry market, which a lot of previous Palm users seem to scoff at, however for first time Palm users like me...this is great! It comes at a nice price approx $160, and it's one of the lightest Palms yet. I'm not looking for oodles of features, just a Address Book and good Day Timer. This is what the Zire is for. I have my work schedule all planned on the Palm, and you can even set alarms (various beep noises) to warn you of an upcoming appointment. The Palm doesn't even have to be turned on for the alarm to go off, which is great on the battery. The Zire doesn't have backlighting which is a hindrance in low light/night conditions, but for office/home use, I haven't really had any problems. On a plus side, no backlight means longer battery life, and so far I've been using this Palm quite a bit for the past few days and have yet to need to charge it yet. You can also use the Palm as a travel alarm clock with three levels of beep to wake you. Pretty nifty.

The Zire itself is an excellent PDA, but as far as the Palm goes for an Apple user…it needs some improvement. Connectivity is a snap. Plus the mini-usb connector in to the Palm, and the normal USB cable into the Mac. There are a few steps to configure iCal, but connectivity with Palm Desktop really isn’t a problem. Being a Macaddict, I prefer to use iCal (but really wish Apple didn’t sell Claris Organizer to Palm, but rather integrated it into iCal) and iSync. It took a few steps to configure Palm Desktop to load and sync with iCal instead of Palm desktop, but it only took a few minutes. So now you plug in your Palm, tap the HotSync button on the Zire, which then loads the Palm HotSync program, which in turn loads iSync. It seemed odd at first, but iSync is only a beta, so hopefully in the full release you won’t have to install any Palm software. iSync then goes it’s marry way and updates your Mac and your Palm (and your .Mac account if you so desire as well as a handy backup or to publish to your .Mac webpage). The first Sync takes a long time, but each subsequent time it only takes a minute or so, as your Zire beeps to let you know when it’s started and finished. All your to-do’s and appointments show up in iCal and all your addresses show up in Address Book.

My only complaints (and sent to Apple via feedback) were that the little notes that I scrawled on my Zire don’t get imported on to your Mac…perhaps Stickies would be a good place for them to go? Also, my To-do’s weren’t always appearing on my to-do list in iCal. Sometimes it took two syncs to get them to appear. My other complaint is that OS X’s Address Book doesn’t allow you categorize your Address cards. You can on the Zire.. say group your Family separate from your work numbers.. but back on your Mac, it’s just one long list.

All in all, it’s $160 well spent, and now I can throw out the hundreds of sticky notes covering my desk and on my computer. I’m sure Apple will fine-tune Address Book, iCal and iSync soon enough, and in the mean time, now I have to start finding more clothes with pockets so I have a place to store my Palm…I wonder where I’ll carry it in the hot sun next summer? Anyway, hope you enjoyed my review. Feel free to post any comments or questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes connectivity is a breeze, however you might want to stick with Palm Desktop for now until the next revision of iCal and iSync.
 

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i just bought my Zire today! it's fantastic! excellent for a beginner like me.

but i can't sync with ical/isync yet. i'm following directions in Help, but it'd doesn't seem to be working yet. we'll see.

but other than that, i like it alot. i'm even making palm m*** users drool. "it's so light!" "wow!" and a guy i work with beamed me tetris and hardball. :D

anyway, i'm gonna try to fix my prob, but if anyone has any info, it's much appreciated.

so, the zire gets 4 out of 5 stars.


Phil
 

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One thing I thought I'd throw in here is that you do not have to install the full Palm Desktop in order to sync. All you need under X is Hot Sync Manager. If you click "Custom Install" while running the Palm Desktop 4.0 Installer, you can shoose to install HSM only.

I found that I had to do much less configuring (i.e. turning off defaults directed to PDt) when I simply ran HSM along with iSync.

I'm using a Clie T615 and haven't had any trouble at all with syncing once I had that setup running and also follwed the instructions in the iSync Help file.

As to the other point about Apple not requiring PDt in the future, I think that it would be difficult for Apple to replace the function of HSM simply b/c just about any other appp that syncs with the Palm OS runs through HSM. iSync is just another connduit for a 3rd party app (iCal + Address Book in this case) as far as HSM is concerned.

I completely agree about the lack of a Notes sync btw. Definitely needs to be addressed by Apple (although I don't think that Stickies would be the most useful app to sync to, esp. if you've got dozens of notes in different categories that you want to manage).
 

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Addressbook does allow you to create groups. Go to File -> New Group and assign membership by dragging entries into the new group.

However, I'm not sure whether iSync imports group clustering info from other devices or whether it is able to retain group info when exporting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Posting in response to used to be jwoodget, yes you can group address cards in groups, which is quite handy, however when syncing between Palm and Address Book...Address Book doesn't seem to notice any groupings and vice-versa. Apparently it too will be something that Apple is working on.

That's also true about doing a custom install for HSM, and you're probably right, Apple won't make their own, however it sure would make things a bit easier for first time Palm owners (eg. no extra config, one application opening to Sync instead of two).

If you are still having troubles emceepj to get iSync running, just post your troubles here and we'll help you out.
 

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I joined the club. I replaced my palm personal with the zire yesterday.

To most geeks, the zire is underpowered but to me it blows away what I had...

Only 2mb of memory? Bah! I had 512kb...

It is tiny, practicaly weightless and is usb. I love it.

This is the closest thing to me having an iPod that I can afford!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
that's fantastic iMatvei, that you got a Zire, hope you love it as much as I have with mine.

Confirmed today that the USB cable does infact charge the battery, just not as fast as the AC-adapter (where's firewire when you need it eh?).
 

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Ok

I have an iBook. Is there really a reason to buy a PIM? Other than to look geeky and cool?
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Britnell:

I have an iBook. Is there really a reason to buy a PIM? Other than to look geeky and cool?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I find that the version of Bejeweled for Palm is far superior to the versions available for any other platform, including OS X. With a Palm, that can be hours of good solid, discreet, entertainment. Great for those times when you are at work late at night and there are no customers but you can't play games on the net because there is a supervisor nearby and you could be written up and no one wants to be ...written...up....do ...they...heh heh, I am rambling aren't I?
Sorry about that.
;)

--PB
 

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I love having all my phone numbers and my date book with me (no more scraps of paper that I have no idea refer to what), and the ability to make little lists of things (books to read, movies to see, cds to buy, etc) is really neat.

And, to answer your question, I will not bring my ibook everywhere... do you?

mat
 
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