I’ve been a big fan and Palm user since the first Palm Pilot was introduced back in 1996.  I’m hooked on the little organizer and can’t imagine daily life without my Palm.

 Why more of you aren’t similarly hooked is beyond me!  They’re so easy to use and convenient.  I haven’t used paper for such things as contact manager and simple address book, expense manager, notes on the go, appointments and scheduling, and so many other tasks of daily existence in a long, long time.

There are many different models from which to choose, but my favorite for all around fun and functionality is the Palm VIIx Connected Organizer (currently list priced at $199 with $100 credit toward one year of wireless coverage – but I found it for $179.92 at Best Buy!).  It’s what I carry with me almost everywhere.  I’ll tell YOU where to buy one for yourself or as a gift at the end of the article.

 

With a generous 8 MB of internal memory and compelling, fun and functional wireless access BUILT IN, it’s a tough deal to beat.  The Palm VIIx is much more than the basic, classic functionality of Date Book, Address Book, To Do List and Memo Pad, plus the infrared capability for “beaming” info and business cards to other Palm-powered devices.  I even like playing many of the games that are available for the Palm platform.  To learn more about these classic functions, including how text is entered on a Palm OS-based device, click HERE.

It’s the wireless connected part that got me hooked on the VIIx. I can do so much:

Send and receive e-mail on the go from almost anywhere (including in the air at 35,000 feet – I had to try!), get driving directions with maps, stock quotes, restaurant and local movie information and reviews, read news and information from sources worldwide on any topic, find golf courses, check weather, sports, and so much more you’d hate me for listing it all.  It even seems to know where I am when locating certain fast food places. It tells me rather accurately, even down to how many hundreds of feet away is a local fast food restaurant. It even seems to know where I am when I look up local info about movies, for example. It’s that good!

I can’t imagine traveling without my Palm VIIX.  In the airport, I can spend my time with fun and productivity, but mostly having fun with my Palm VIIx.  I like to send and receive little E-mail messages with friends and family.  I even like to send quick text messages right to Mrs. Gadget’s wireless phone just to say hi and to clue her in on what’s fun and interesting that might be going on that instant during my travels.  I love getting everyone’s responses on my Palm VIIx.  It’s what helps me to keep informed and entertained while I’m traveling to visit all the TV stations on which I regularly appear.  My children accuse me of having way too much fun with this gadget!

Battery life is surprisingly good, depending upon wireless usage.  With moderate use, I can go about three weeks on a pair of AAA alkaline cells.  With heavy, heavy use, I can kill a set in two to three days.  This is MUCH better than with any Pocket PCs running Windows CE.  Those devices can’t compare to the ease of use and overall functionality of any of the Palm-based devices, but that’s another story.

With the new, lower price of this product, more of you need to check it out and see just how it can enrich your life, and don’t forget about how a Palm VIIx can enhance the fun side of life. That’s very important, I think, and that’s why I like this device so much.  It’s just so darn fun and amazing.

This Palm, like the others, is fully Mac and Windows-PC compatible, too.  Another plus.  An optional cable is required for USB  connectivity.  It’s easy to synchronize all your important contact information and to back up the data on the Palm to your computer.  The Palm Desktop software that comes with the device is a full-featured application, and it is fully compatible with Microsoft Outlook and with other E-mail programs and contact managers, so the information can be easily synchronized.  I use the new Microsoft Entourage E-mail client that comes with Office 2001 for the Mac and it all works beautifully an seamlessly.

The Palm platform, or operating system, referred to as the Palm OS, is a mature and stable OS, and really easy to use.  It is highly intuitive and much like the ease of use metaphor of what makes Mac uses so loyally devoted to their platform.  Tapping the screen is the preferred navigational and keystroke entry method, though there are keyboards that can be attached that work quite well.  I have the Palm Portable Keyboard, $99, and use it when I’m in meetings or on an airplane and I need to do a lot of writing.  It folds to compact shirt-pocket size and opens to the size of a full keyboard.  (See the keyboard HERE.)

And speaking of accessories, another must have, in my opinion, is the line of Pilot Pentopia products from Pilot Pen.  The Pentopia 2 + 1 Chameleon Stylus (under $20) is a replacement stylus that includes a pen, stylus and reset tool all in one.  The stylus end is spring loaded for added comfort.  It’s a wonderful little product!  I also like the Pilot 2 + 1 Pentopia Multifunction Stylus (under $30) for the pocket.  It’s a .5mm pencil, a stylus for the Palm and a pen all in one.  I recommend both!

I haven’t even touched on the other accessories that can be added for even greater functionality.  Wait until you see these!  See them all HERE.

The screen, though not as sexy as the newer color screens, is easy to read in most lighting conditions, but the backlighting takes some getting used to and works best if it’s really dark. That murky, in-between lighting condition somewhere between good lighting and no lights at all makes the screen difficult to read.  Luckily, I do not regularly encounter those conditions.

The wireless service, sold separately, is very good and much better than I expected. Frankly, I can often use my Palm VIIx to communicate when my wireless phone has no signal in many areas across the country that I travel.  Figure that one out!

Wireless palm.net service is available in more than 260 cities (check coverage HERE.)  Monthly service plans start at just $9.99 and range to $44.99 for all you can eat service (the plan I prefer).  Chances are, wherever you go if it’s a decent-sized city, the service will work. (Check service plans HERE.) When the flip-up antenna is raised, the Palm is ready for wireless work and fun.

One of the most interesting and curious capabilities is Internet surfing. The Palm uses something called Web Clipping.  When visiting Websites, especially if visiting via the mypalm.com portal (through their service when connected through the Palm device), the web content is reconfigured for best display INCLUDING GRAPHICS on your handheld device.  It’s unreal.  I can visit my own Website, for example, and see the graphics right there, albeit in gray scale, on my Palm display.  Plus, there are loads of Websites already optimized for visitors on a Palm handheld.  There is a seemingly endless supply of free and nearly free applications developed by thousands of devoted fans and supporters.  It’s a prolific community of software developers.

Is it fast on the Internet?  Well, no, but it IS very acceptable, considering the useful nature of what it is that’s being accomplished.  Think about it.  Most of the usefulness of having a laptop in the palm of your hand!  Now, that’s incredible and I have to continue to remind myself how really great it all is to be using my Palm VIIx.  I wouldn’t want to become blasé about it!

My Palm VIIx Connected Organizer keeps me organized, informed and entertained.  I recommend one for  anyone who would like to harness that power and who can benefit from all it has to offer.  All things considered, it really is the best little device I never knew I needed.  It’s a great gift idea, too!

For more information about the incredible Palm VIIx Connected Organizer, go HERE.

The Palm VIIx Connected Organizer is as close as your nearest Best Buy store right now.  I found it there with a great price of $179.92!  That’s $20 off list price!  You can also visit them at bestbuy.com.

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