Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Palmary WLAN-the feast goes on

Wireless LAN(called WLAN or Wi-Fi) for PalmOne handhelds is a topic-or rather its absence in handheld units. While most PocketPCs ship with WLAN and Bluetooth and sometimes even have both, Palm powered handhelds are usually not very communicative when Wireless LAN networks are concerned. Most users accept the lack of this data transmission as god-given and unchangeable, Investing about 150€ can get any PalmONE handheld back into business. However, many options aren't known enough. Thus, I created the list below. It contains at least one option for every handheld introduced after/with the m500-only the Zire, Zire 21, Zire 31 and some of the Treos are excluded.

Enfora WLAN sleds


Concerns: Palm m125, m130, m5xx, Tungsten W, T, T2, T3, Zire 71, Tungsten E Zire 72
All of these Enfora Sleds are externally mounted to the handheld and then allow it to connect to a WLAN network. They may be bulkier, but leave the memory card slot free for expansions! There are a few varietys available online from Enfora, here is a link to their whole product palette:
https://www.enfora.com/shop/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=3
Price:About 140$

Sandisk WLAN card

Concerns: Tungsten C, Zire 71
Sandisk has been in discussion for almost two years now-will they ever deliver a WLAN Card working with a PalmOne Handheld. SanDisks cards are known to work with many PocketPC's-the company blamed PalmOne to have made changes with the slot driver on certain models to prevent the creation of a WLAN card. In June, SanDisk released a special version of their card(low power consumption) with drivers, working in a Zire 71 and a Tungsten C only. Since you can purchase this article all over the net, I have not attached any link to a particular store here.
Price:About 100$

PalmOne WLAN card

Concerns: Tungsten T3, T5, Zire 72, maybe Treo 650
This Card is PalmOnes official solution-of course also taking up a SD slot. It has only recently been equipped with drivers for the T5 and shall soon be usable with a Treo 650 too. You can also find this accessoire all over the net cheaper then on PalmDirect-so no special mention here neither.
Price: Over 100$

As you see, the only handheld series not mentioned here is the Handspring-developed Treo series . I don't know any extension possibilities for these. My personal oppinion is that Handspring didn't want to integrate an alternative connection possibility to bind end users to the wireless networks of providers. This can of course be only an assumption, but I think that it is a possible reason anyway. Mobile handsets sell best when providers sponsor them-and providers only sponsor stuff that generates them income.

If I forgot something, please leave me a comment. I am also-as always-looking forward to comments!

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot find a driver for the T5 for the PalmOne WLAN card. Can you tell us where to download it from?

Thanks.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
the drivers for the WLAN ard can be obtained directly from PalmOne at:
http://www.palmone.com/us/support/downloads/wifi_card.html
Hope that this helps!
Tam Hanna

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