PalmOne Unveils LifeDrive Mobile Manager

PalmOne on Wednesday officially unveiled its new LifeDrive mobile manager, a Palm OS-based portable device that features a 4GB hard drive, a 320 x 480 resolution color display and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Storage can be increased with an SD, MMC or SDIO flash card, and its flash memory secures data even when its rechargeable battery runs out of juice.

The LifeDrive also includes support for native Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader files, with a management system that can automatically sync files between it and a computer as well as enable drag-and-drop file transfer and keep the structure of transferred folders intact. Data can be secured with 128-bit encryption, with optional password protection for the entire device and the ability to mark specific files private. Users can also turn on Intrusion Protection, which wipes the LifeDrive and restores its factory settings after a specified number of failed log-in attempts.

A browser is included for mobile Web surfing, and LifeDrive supports access to POP, IMAP and Exchange e-mail accounts. The device can also connect to the Internet through a compatible Bluetooth cell phone. Video and pictures can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode and the LifeDrive includes a 30-day trial to Real Networksi Windows-only Rhapsody music service, with support for Rhapsody To Go to be added in the coming months. Regular MP3 tracks can also be played on the device.

PalmOne said that the LifeDrive is shipping now in limited quantities, with full availability to come in June. Pricing is US$499. Mac OS X v10.2.6 or higher is required.

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