PalmOne Zire 72 Handheld Review
I've owned my fair share of handheld devices I went from a Sony Clie (Grayscale) to a Toshiba Pocket PC back to Sony Clie and now I've purchased the palmOne Zire 72, if your wondering why I've had so many I guess it started with the idea of having a full set of notes at my fingertips. Then I discovered I could play games, which was handy while waiting for my daughter at various activities, began playing a game called Bejeweled and was quite happy (and hooked) until a friend whipped out his palm with the color version (you can guess what happened) I decided it was time to upgrade!
I started looking around and decided to purchase a Pocket PC over a palm for a couple of reasons the main one was the ability to play MP3's (palm did not offer this at the time). After using it for a few weeks I was shocked to discover a cracked LCD screen, must have been a defective screen I thought. Nope turns out the screens are fragile and I must have bumped mine along the way, did I mention it's not covered as it falls under the abuse clause, a cracked screen is from abuse of the user! I was rightly upset and spoke with various levels of support from the store and at Toshiba, no dice! So I called a place that repaired PDA's after getting the quote I calmly placed the Toshiba on the floor and jumped up and down on it until I was relieved of all my frustrations and headed out to the store to purchase a new and hopefully improved PDA
Once again I headed out to the store to purchase a new and hopefully improved PDA this time I was going for the most expensive (within reason) PDA I could find with all the bells and whistles I'd hopefully ever need (well at least until next year) I settled on the Zire 72 for the long list of features listed below.
According to the Zire 72 packaging
''Now you can shoot photos and capture and watch video clips anywhere you go. Or listen to MP3s as you take your tunes wherever life takes you. When it comes to productivity, the Zire 72T handheld means business. Create and edit Word- and Excel-compatible files. Or get wireless e-mail and Internet access with its built-in Bluetooth technology (requires a compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone and an ISP, both sold separately). All on a brilliant color display that keeps your whole life looking good.''
Clearly they did a nice job on the design, the first thing I noticed was the bright blue paint job they had chosen, I was expecting a smooth slippery surface but was surprised to find it felt like a rubberized surface it fits in your hand and feels like it'll never slip out! The rest of the device looks and acts like any another Palm based device, I was initially happy to see a mini-usb connector as I could now use one cable for my 'Zen Micro', Digital camera and the Zire 72 but was upset to learn it did not act as a charger for the battery, you needed to use the supplied wall-wart transformer. They should have included a dock or cradle as connecting a power wire and then a mini-usb cable is a pain, worse with the wires lying around on the desk, if it would have charged from the mini-usb cable (if even 5x slower) it would have been a better arrangement for those of you who want to be able to charge it without lugging the supplied transformer.
1.2 mega-pixel camera
One of the main features is the 1.2 mega-pixel camera built into the rear of the unit, it uses a different sensor than a normal digital camera, it doesn't say it anywhere but it appears to be a CMos sensor (found in webcams) this doesn't mean it takes bad pictures, they can look very good but this camera takes a more 'grainy' photo. have a look at the photos below, one is from my old 1.2 mega-pixel Kodak camera I'm sure you'll be able to figure out which one it is. Click on any photo to enlarge it
If you don't have your regular camera with you it will get the job done. One item that my Clie SJ33 had which I think should be standard is a user replaceable battery, the Zire 72 doesn't have one. Depending on you take this can be very negative, I guess if you don't mind an upgrade when the battery fails, I say upgrade because the cost of the battery replacement not including the effort and time to ship the unit back for servicing will probably cost as much as a new unit with the same or better features.
What does this 'Bluetooth' do for you anyway?
The Zire is trying to be the perfect PDA by offering everything the corporate user would need but adding a slew of features that will attract everyone else! This could be a mistake as any device that attempts to do everything well usually fails at some level leaving one group of users upset, this doesn't appear to be the case with the Zire 72. I use it for work and play and found that it was equally at home for both tasks, productive and non-productive. All of the software I threw at it ran fine regardless of which Plam Os it was written for, The sound produced by the built in speaker was quite good for a PDA, easily outshining the previous PDA's I have used to date, but realistically one should be using headphones anyway.
Based on Price/Features and performance it deserves a 9/10
As always I hope this article has been useful
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