Palm, or palmOne to be precise, have just come out with the new Mini Cradle, “perfect for holiday gift-giving”. So what’s different about the Mini Cradle and your normal cradle?
It has, according to the press release, “a unique, modern design complete with built-in lighting and a silver metallic base. The illumination provides users with positive confirmation that all cables are connected and the handheld is properly attached.” It sell for $50, and should be in shops in the next few days.
It recharges and synchronizes data through the USB port of a PC or Mac. It is compatible with any palmOne handheld with the Universal Connector, or specifically: the Tungsten C, Tungsten T series, Tungsten W, Zire 71, i705, m500 series and m130 handhelds. And no, it’s not to be confused with the Prenatal Mini Cradle, which is a single orthotic band for abdominal support and easing of back pain during pregnancy, and therefore completely different:
Amazingly, Palm are releasing another batch of Tungstens
. It seems only yesterday they were doing the same thing. (Actually it was two months ago
.) Anyway, The Register
got a scoop by scanning local stores’ websites, which mistakenly posted details of the products before their October 1 release date.
In short, we have two models, the Tungsten T3 and E: the E is a 32MB device containing a “fast” ARM processor. The accompanying photo reveals a Tungsten T-style metal case without that model’s familiar slide mechanism. The T3 contains a 400MHz Intel XScale CPU, 64MB of RAM, Palm OS 5.2.1, Bluetooth and the kind of software bundle you’d expect from such a PDA. It does have a slider mechanism, to cover the Graffiti area, but with this Tungsten T, the applications buttons are curved around the central, oval navigator button. Prices? About $550 for the T3 and the E for about $280, in the UK at least.
The site doesn’t mention the Zire 21, the third PDA Palm is expected to launch next week. It’s possible the company’s UK wing is not releasing the 21 just yet, preferring to focus instead on the enterprise/executive-oriented products. Certainly details of next week’s local product announcement suggest such a high-end focus.
I know this is awful of me, but I can’t get excited about all this new stuff. I’m happy with my Tungsten T, and I can’t understand the need to sell new models every couple of months. Or am I missing something? Certainly the Pocket PC seems to be overshadowed by all this publicity. Perhaps that’s the point. Push out new models all the time so anyone who is thinking of swapping out their PDA has a brand new, just off the designer’s couch unit to go for. Are we that fickle? Probably.