Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palm m515 review

After a week's use, here's my impression of the Palm m515.

At just 11.38 x 7.70 x 1.27cm this PDA is smaller than my wallet and only weighs 139 grams. As such it's probably still one of the smallest PDAs out there. You can put it in your pocket and after a while forget it's even there. The screen is a 160x160 pixel backlit color display and unsurprisingly seems dim compared to modern PDA devices. However, it's viewable indoors as well as outdoors even with the backlight off.

Small yet capable

The Palm m515 comes with Palm OS 4.1 preinstalled which includes all those nifty apps like To-Do List, Calendar, Memos, Address Book etc. For additional software you'll have to search the Net. I suggest you try http://freewarepalm.com/ for starters. So far I only installed Eudora Internet Suite 2.1 which is freeware and it works great with my GPRS enabled phone. Haven't tried the Eudora browser yet but at 160x160 I don't expect it to be of much use with regular web pages.

As far as connectivity goes the Palm m515 only offers IrDA and USB cradle/cable out of the box. For Windows XP I strongly recommend you install Palm Desktop 4.1 which will help you sync with the PC. You will also need it to install software and drivers. While IrDA is OK for syncing, it's unbelievably slow when it comes to installing applications. It took me about 20 minutes to install EIS and this is simply unacceptable. I believe using the cradle to do this would be a much faster option but I haven't tested it yet.

Thankfully the m515 has an SD/MMC slot which accepts memory cards and Palm BT card. It's unknown to me whether or not you can use the Palm WiFi card with this particular model but my guess is no. At the moment the slot in my unit is occupied by a 32 MB Palm SD card. I also ordered a Palm BT card recently so I can pair it with my phone when I need Internet access and don't want to use IrDA. The Palm Portable Keyboard provides a surprisingly comfortable alternative to Grafiti input especially when you need to write longer texts.

Battery and Conclusion
Considering the fact I bought a used unit, I must say I'm quite happy with the battery. When fully charged it lasts about 3 hours on full brightness. The m515 uses minimum power while switched off and it can be left turned off for days without the fear of losing your data. I usually charge mine once or twice a week, depending on how much I use it.

To make a long story short, I'm very happy with what I've got. Built-in Bluetooth would be great but hey, you can't have it all!


Anonymous said...

My dad still uses it. Beautiful palm. Nice design.

Anonymous said...

Heck! even I am still using the m515!
If i remember correctly, this palm is compatible with the wifi card, but you need a browser.

Dante Wijaya said...

Hi, might be obsolete, but can you or somebody send me photographs of Palm 515 box and all inside the box please... thank you...

SOLIDUS said...

I bought a used Palm M515 on eBay here a week or so ago. It's "like new". Needed to upgrade from my Palm VX that I still used.

I'm rather happy with it, nice design, light and very pocket friendly. It's my Nokia e90's best friend.

Thanks for your review.