by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective
The iTeens Review The Color Palm IIIc
by Brandon Drezner
April 13th, 2000
I'm sure that by now, most of you have heard about the new color Palm. Yes it's true, it does exist, and yes it is about $450 US. In fact, I'm lucky to have access to one to do a review. Besides the color screen, there are relatively few outside differences between the Palm IIIc (color) and the other Palm III's. However, the fact that midline consumer PDA's are starting to have color screens is ushering in a whole new era of portable computing.
Let's start with the main factor. The Palm IIIc, has a color display up to 256 colors or 8-bit graphics. The color is nice, but when viewing photos and other real life images, they tend to look slightly "off." If you want to experience 8-bit graphics without buying the Palm IIIc right away, go into your Monitors control panel and set the number of colors to 256. Try some word processing and some internet browsing. You should then see what I mean about having "off" colors. Although the pixels don't seem any larger than those on a standard CRT, they sometimes appear large or pixilated since the screen is so small. Also, most people sit with their faces a couple of feet away from the monitor, but when using a Palm device, it is generally held much closer, making it easier to see the pixels. These complaints only bear any merit if you grade the screen on the "desktop standard," viewing pictures with 100% accuracy for use in PhotoShop. When the Palm IIIc is set against the other PDA's in things like the address book, TealDoc, HandWeb, Breakout, etc., it performs marvelously.
For us teenagers, the color screen also means better games and better games means the less you have to pay attention to the things going on around you. Imagine playing Ancient Red or Ackeron with it's 3D like game environment on your Palm and having the color to bring the game to life. The advent of color will spurn a whole new revolution in Palm gaming.
The body of the Palm IIIc is almost identical to the other Palm III's. The case is made of black plastic and shaped like the other Palm's. The color screen only demanded a slightly larger case. The dimensions are 5.06" long, 3.17" wide, 0.67" thick, and weighs 6.8 oz. This is 0.4" longer than the other Palm III's, and 0.2 oz heavier than the heaviest model, the Palm VII. Of course, when is anyone ever going to complain about 0.2 oz more, but it's nice to know of the change.
What good is a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) if you don't have the juice to run it? The Palm V series & the Palm IIIc are the only organizers that run off of built-in rechargeable lithium ion batteries. For the most part, these batteries don't seem to last quite as long as the traditional AAA ones, but who wants to run down to the store and buy new batteries, just to power your PDA? The Palm IIIc has a two week life span before a charge is needed. In comparison, the Palm V series has a one month life span, and the AAA powered devices go for a whopping two months. For most people though, just placing the Palm in the cradle for several minutes (about as long as a HotSync) should prevent you from ever having to place the Palm in the cradle for the sole reason of charging it. Remember, the Palm IIIc is using batteries at a rate that is roughly equivalent to leaving the backlight on with any other Palm organizer.
All in all, the Palm IIIc gets, no, deserves an excellent rating. For a device that is roughly the same size as your wallet, you certainly get a lot out of it. People that couldn't use PDA's because the couldn't see the "split pea soup screen" (there's a tongue twister!) now have the whole realm of portable computing available to them. It boasts all the features that you've come to expect in a PDA, infrared port, serial port, lots of RAM, upgradeable ROM, and now, a brilliant color screen that puts the old PDA screens to shame.
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Offering computer news with the teen perspectiv, iTeen Online started with a weekly column at theimac.com under the supervision of Robert Aldridge. When they realized that there was a huge demand for teen computer news, iTeen Online was born. iTeen Online posted daily, original content that anyone (including adults) could read. Hits soared and iTeen Online became the number one source for teen computer news.
Now iTeen Online has once again became iTeen. At The Mac Observer the iTeem will produce a weekly article that will air on Thursdays at MacObserver.com. In addition to the weekly article, the iTeem will give you the same reviews and content that you're used to at iTeenol.com.