Palm Z22 handheld
Compact size, bright backlighting and auto shutoff
no attached protective cover
The Bottom Line:
I would recommend this for beginners and parents looking for an organizer for their kids.
My oldest son started high school this year and he asked if he could have PDA of his own to help him organize his life. I told him that I would have to do some checking to see if I could find a decent PDA that wasn't a lot of money.
I was shopping at Best Buy a while back and I was looking at PDA's and I saw that Palm upgraded their line of PDA's since I saw them last. Even their entry level PDA's come with color displays. I remember my first Palm PDA, it was a Palm Zire and it wasn't color. The model I picked up for him is the Palm Z22 and at $99.00 I couldn't really complain.
Palm Z22 Handheld
The Palm Z22 is a very compact unit (2.7"W x4.06"H x.6"D) and only weighs 3.4 oz. which fits easily in my son's pocket, which is great because he likes to care everything in his pants pockets. Unfortunately, Palm didn't include a cover to protect the screen, but they did include a couple of clear plastic sleeves that are designed to protect the touch screen from damage. However, that doesn't do anything to protect all of the buttons on the front of the unit.
All things considered the 160 x 160 dpi resolution screen is more that adequate for what you will be able to do with this entry level PDA. It doesn't come with a camera, but it will display pictures very nicely. You can upload pictures from your PC using the synchronizing cable and you will be able to carry your pictures. Unfortunately there isn't a slot to plug a memory card in so you are limited on the amount of storage you will have.
It has 32MB of built-in memory, but only 20MB are user accessible to save data and load small programs that have been designed specifically for Palm PDA's and it's OS. This unit won't win any awards for speed, but it has a 200MHz ARM based processor and it does handle organizing tasks very efficiently. So as long as you realize that it will have limitations you should get quite a lot of uses out of it. Another limitation of this unit is that there isn't any WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, so the only way you can connect to this device is through the synchronizing cable (USB cable).
The Palm Z22 is very easy to operate, with two quick launch buttons (calendar and contacts) and a 5 way navigator button between the quick launch buttons. Along with the quick launch buttons you have a small area on the lower part of the screen that is touch activated and this is where you use the Graffiti 2 to enter numbers and letters using the stylus. The stylus tucks away in a opening at the top edge of the Z22.
Software:Palm put several software programs into the Z22 that makes it really nice as a organizer:
The List above came from Palm's website
The battery life is one of the big pluses of the Palm Z22, it has given my son several days of battery life without having to charge the battery. Part of the reason battery lasts so long is because the PDA shuts off after 2 minutes when not in use. Unfortunately, the only way to charge the Z22 is to use the USB synchronizing/ charging cable which means you have to have a USB port available to charge the battery if it starts running out of battery life.
My Final Thoughts
The Palm Z22 is a very capable entry level PDA and with its color 160 x 160 dpi 3" screen your stored pictures will look great. With its 20MB of storage you will be able to store hundreds of contacts and images. The included programs work just fine and installing new programs is a very easy process; simply download them to your PC and using the HotSync feature to upload it to the Palm Z22 and you will be ready to use the program.
I think a big negative of the Palm PDA is lacks a onscreen keypad, I have never been thrilled with the Graffiti 2 input that has been a staple with the Palm devices. I would much rather use a touch screen keypad like the Windows OS based PDA's. It is a good thing that Palm included a screen protector (it is a one size fits all and you had to trim it down to fit the smaller screen of the Z22), since my son isn't always careful when he is writing with the stylus.
My son told me the other day that he was glad that I got him the Palm Z22 for him, it has made it easier for him to recall friends phone numbers and keep track of homework assignments. He isn't really into taking pictures so he was fine with the fact that this device didn't come with a camera.
My son has tested the durability of the Palm Z22 on a few occasions when he was pulling it out of his pocket and it fell on the floor. He said that all he noticed was a couple of scratches on the outside, but it kept working.
Even with the negative I mentioned, I would still recommend the Palm Z22 with it's $99.99 price tag.