Hey ladies, want to see my palm pilot?
Small, lightweight, easy to use, syncs easily w/Mac, inexpensive
Everything has to look like an iPod now? Also cases, screen protectors
The Bottom Line:
This is the perfect PDA for users needing easy of use and basic functions with an inexpensive price. Great for Mac users because of easy syncing.
When I went shopping and ultimately purchased the Palm z22, I was replacing a Handspring Visor Neo that I had had since 2001. It was definitely time for an upgrade. But I did not need a lot of features -- I didn't need to access the Internet, I didn't need to check my email -- but I did need an address book, a calendar, a calculator and memo features, I needed it to be small, inexpensive, and most importantly, I needed an easy interface with my Mac. The Palm z22 was a perfect choice.
First, here is what your computer will need in order to sync (interface) with the Palm z22:
-Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Mac OS 10.2.8 through 10.4
-An available USB port (to connect the Palm to your computer, cable included with Palm)
-CD-ROM drive (to install included software)
-Administrator rights (if your computer requires and administrator password to install new software)
Here are the specs of the Palm z22:
-Palm OS Garnet 5.4 operation system
-200 MHz processor
-160x160 color touchscreen display
-Rechargeable battery which charges when connected to your computer via USB or when plugged into independent AC adapter
-Weight 3.4 oz
Here is what comes in the box:
-Palm z22 device
-miniUSB to USB cable for connecting to your computer
-Detailed instruction manual and basic getting started instructions
-Stickers for graffiti tutorial (graffiti is the name for the shorthand writing that the device recognizes, which is not difficult to pick up at all)
Here is the software that comes loaded on the Palm z22:
-Contacts (address book)
-Games called Crazy Daisy
-Note Pad (you can write with the stylus on the screen and it stores it as an image, as opposed to memos which are entered through its Graffiti text recognition capabilities)
-World Clock (you can set this feature to automatically show you your time zone and two others, which is very helpful for me because I do business with the West Coast although I am on the East Coast, so I have a quick reminder of what time it is where my colleagues are)
-A bonus software catalog from a company called Addit with Chess, Carb Counter, Solitaire, 1st Aid and CheckSplit
Now that we've covered all the technical details, let me tell you how it is to use this device.
First of all, when it arrived I could not believe how small and lightweight it was. This is a tremendous advantage over other devices.
The buttons are well located for ease of use, and have images on them that make their use intuitive. (For example, a picture of a calendar is on the shortcut button to your calendar, a picture of a business card is on the shortcut button to your address book.)
The infrared area it on the top of the device, making it easy to transfer data to or from another device, unlike my Handspring which had the infrared area on the side so I was always twisting the device around to send or receive a signal from someone else.
The miniUSB input is also on the top of the device, which makes it easy for you to read the screen while it is hooked up to your computer.
The color screen is easy to read in a variety of conditions, although it is pixelated so it is not ideal of image viewing. This pixelation is worsened if you put on a screen protector.
The stylus is lightweight and slips easily in and out of its slot on the right side of the device.
The Palm z22 syncs with my Mac easily. Those of you with OS 10.4 will not need to install anything additional beyond the Palm software on the included CD in order for your z22 to sync with iCal and Address Book via iSync (included with your system software). For those of you using OS 10.3 like I am, you can download a patch from the Apple website that allows the Palm software and iSync to talk to one another. The download is free, quick, and easy.
I highly recommend using screen protectors, because scratches on the screen are the number one reasons PDAs have to be replaced. However, I did not like the protectors that were included with the device because they were extremely sticky and not easy to place. I recommend the Fellowes brand instead, though you will have to cut them to fit your z22 because it is brand new and they haven't designed a size for it yet.
Palm sells two different cases for the z22, a hard case and a flexible case in the gummy style of the iPod cases. (In fact, the device itself was clearly designed to look like an iPod, with its white plastic shell.) The hard case offers all-over protection, whereas the flexible case is designed to be kept on during use so the screen and buttons are exposed. Neither of these is ideal and I am waiting for a third-party company to release a wallet-style case like they have for all of the other Palms. In the meantime, mine fits perfectly in a woman's small ankle sock. I know that sounds silly, and it does look a little ridiculous, but it keeps it well protected and easy to access for a price of about $.99 until someone comes out with a case I prefer. A colleague saw me keeping mine in a sock and did the same thing with hers!
The bottom line is that this is the perfect Palm Pilot for someone looking for an inexpensive, basic function, easy to use device. It is perfect for me. You can check it out in more detail on the Palm website at: