Review of the i-mate JasJar / HTC Universal

If you are looking for a great, light-weight, and easily pocketable phone to toss into your shirt pocket - stop reading now. The i-mate JasJar is not that device, believe me. While it is indeed a triband GSM phone that also supports the 2100Mhz UMTS 3G band, the Windows Mobile 5.0 powered JasJar is simply too big and heavy to be considered a regular phone. That's not what it was meant to be.

AOpen box inspired by Mac Mini

Taiwanese computer maker AOpen is scheduled to release (reload url if it doesn't work for you) two versions of its Pandora desktop just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company said Thursday. A Linux-based version of the mini tower is expected to sell at retail for $399, while the Windows XP-based box will go for $499.

So long and thanks for all the Go Fish

I purchased the first of 16 Palm OS devices, the Palm III, in 1998, and until the T5 experience, I championed the platform. Prior to the T5, I enjoyed the PalmOS experience, particularly the ease of use, stability, and plethora of available third party apps.

Preview PDA Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX N520

Mobile-Review received an engineer sample of FS Pocket LOOX N520 for their tests. Many functions do not work (the sample is very early), but still some conclusions can be made even now. So, now they publish a preliminary review and will renew it later when having a final sample of the device.

Missteps forced Palm's hand

When Palm ruled the handheld computing market, few thought it would ever have to partner with Microsoft. Palm CEO Ed Colligan spent several days in Cannes in February 2004 talking up the Treo handheld computing device over its Windows-based competitors. But that same week, away from the massive 3GSM trade show, he was secretly meeting with the enemy.

OQO 01+ pocketable PC ramps up specifications

Double the RAM, USB 2.0 and a 30 GB hard drive; the brand new OQO 01+ improves on its predecessor in several ways whilst maintaining its über-portable form factor.

HP iPAQ hx2790, rx1950 do Windows Mobile 5.0

Among Hewlett-Packard's first handhelds to run Windows Mobile 5.0 are the hx2790, a powerful workhorse; and the lightweight rx1950, which pays hommage to designs of the past.

Palm, Microsoft Announce Windows Mobile Treo

Palm CEO Ed Colligan and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates have officially unveiled a Treo running Windows Mobile 5.0.

Minimo Developer Asks Microsoft/Dell Help

Doug Turner, the main developer of Minimo (mobile Mozilla), bumped into a problem with the most powerful PDA today, the Dell x50v, resulting Minimo to not run in these devices. He is running out of ideas of how to fix the problem, and he is asking for any help from other developers including Microsoft or Dell engineers.

EDITORIAL: The $99 Color PDA?

Just yesterday it was made known that Palm will be releasing the Z22 PalmOS PDA, the first under the $99 price barrier, with a color screen. PDAs were originally business items-only, but times are changing. How could a PocketPC manufacturer reply to this Palm move?

First let's see what the Palm Z22 is offering: a 200 Mhz processor, 32 MB of RAM (20 MB usable), a 160x160 color CSTN with 4096 colors, non-removable battery, no feature connector, no IrDA, no SD slot, no microphone, no headphone jack and it is not clear if it even has a built-in speaker (instead of just a buzzer like on the old Palm devices). It is also not clear if it has a power cable or if it only charges via USB.

I would not buy this PDA because of the lack of IrDA, SD slot, headphone jack and possibly a normal speaker. Yes, this is supposed to be the cheapest PDA it can be, but cutting out features that don't really cost more than a few dollars, it downgrades the value of the PDA a lot. Adding these 3-4 small hardware features should not be costing Palm more than $10 overall. And if the price is not the "magic" $99.99, well, that's ok. Or, Palm should learn to live with smaller margins. I just find it shameful that a company like Palm, which made us used to quality products, could release such a PDA that leaves lots to be desired.

I am really looking forward for a Windows Mobile OEM to release a $99 or even a $119 PDA product to compete with the Z22 by adding some needed features:

* 200 Mhz Samsung CPU
* 32 MB RAM (~6 MBs for storage)
* 32 MB ROM (6 MB free, the rest holds the OS)
* SD or CF slot (CF is preffered because WiFi/BT CF cards are cheaper than SD ones)
* 3.5" QVGA CSTN 65k or 4k colors (whichever is cheaper and saves more battery)
* joystick+4 game buttons (joystick on the left, and the 4 buttons in a "cross pattern" to help gaming usability)
* on/off button
* speaker
* headphone jack
* microphone
* IrDA
* 850 mAh non-removable battery
* stylus
* thin bezel around the screen (don't create monster big PDAs)
* PPC2003SE (no MS Office, WM5 can not run on this machine because of the small size ROM used)
* usb feature-connector, charging port
* CD, manual, power/usb cables

-- Expected price: $99 up to $119, depending on the manufacturer

It seems to me that companies like ViewSonic, Acer or an Asian company would be best suited to deliver such a product. Let's see if anyone's listening.

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