Sunday, April 17, 2005

Why the Life Drive cannot be a "Zire"

The Zire series logoWe all read Ed Hardy's editorial on why the Zire 73 will never hit the market. He beleives that the Life Drive will not land in the Tungsten, but rather in the Zire line. He has a few arguments that seem pretty plausible-but I still think that he forgot a variable in his equasion.
Ed goes into great detail about how the new model will support native multimedia files and streaming. In his oppinion, multimedia and streaming is something that designates a Zire series handheld. When you continue thinking this way, you get to the following fact: A Tungsten is not a multi-media handheld. Actually, this is wrong. The T5 comes with loads of multimedia programs, and so did my T3. A top-of-the-line model usually is expected to be able to do (almost) everything the models below it can-and this is where his no1 argument busts!
The internal hard drive is something that needs to debut in the Tungsten line IMHO. WLAN debuted in a Tungsten, and so did WLAN and NVFS. Color was introduced with the IIIc which also was a flagship model. Same story with SD/MMC(m5xx series came first).
Some of you may now ask what a business man needs a 4g hard drive for. The answer is simple:company files! A teacher/friend of mine is manager in a chemical firm. We talked about his needs with organizers recently. The number one thing that he wanted was: storage-the more the better! His notebook contains over a gig of MS word files. He needs most of them very often. Programs like Docs 6 allow the maintaining of a file structure on the SD card. But SD cards currently are limited to 1GB-the Life Drive would be the PDA that he would buy immediately. It would replace his external hdd, floppy disks, notebook, etc and would allow him to work on the files on the go.
Also, the rumoured 32 MB of RAM make perfect sense in a business handheld. Business programs like web browsers and email clients usually make little trouble when having to store data on a external storage(e.G. SnapperMail enterprise). The main troublemakers are games.....
Concludingly, there is little reason for the Life Drive to be a Zire line handheld. It has all the features that a business man needs and wants. It is by far better than the Tungsten T5. Releasing it at the same price as the T5 would kill T5 sales-T5 components could easily be recycled as a Zire 73(think of this, dudes). I don't want to know if the TE and the T2 don't share the same screen and other components....
So, lets end it for today. What do you think? Is Ed right? Will the Life Drive kill the Zire line? Or will it be a Tungsten?


Blogger Ron said...

Nope. Ed's way off base for 2 reasons:

1. The LifeDrive has already been (more or less) officially renamed the Tungsten X.
2. The Zire line is the lower end line of Palms. The Tungsten line is the high end. The Tungsten X is, without a doubt, a high end Palm.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Ron, your second point reminds us of another reason that there will not be a Zire 73. If it did come out, it would likely be better than most of the Tungsten line, just from the new technology. We cant have that, can we? I was also going to say, Sony lover that I am, that I believe most of the "debuts" of tech did come from the Sony line, such as first hires+ pda, NVFS on the UX series, maybe color (im not sure on that one), but Tams right, the models that these did debut on in the Sony line were flagship PDAs. Almost all of the hires+ pdas are flagship, w/ the exception of a couple Sony PDAs that had graduated lines, since Sony had innovation coming out their ears at the time. TX is looking to be a somewhat innovating PDA, but as for the microdrive storage, Sony did that too by providing a CF slot on one of their PDAs. Thats about all I have to say, except, thansk for commenting ron.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

color was indeed introduced by Palm(One) in the IIIc. It was the first Palm handheld ever to have a color screen, altough it was only 8bit, brightness and saturation are incredible(even today)-when you are not in the sun.
16bit color was introduced with the Visor Prism. It ran a HS-modifed version of OS 3.5. the first reflective display was interduced by Palm(One) with the m505-but brioghtness and saturation werre terrible. The m515 fixed just that....
Best regards and thanks for talking back
Tam Hanna

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Emil J. said...

I read in Brighthand the Tungsten X will have 64 megs of RAM, with 57 usable. As for Zire at the lower end of the palms, Tungsten at the high end, where do the Treos fit?

4:13 AM  
Anonymous AJ said...

Just for the record, Sony never intended for the CLIEs' CF slot to support a microdrive, and of course, no CLIE ever shipped with one. The first mass market PDA to ship with a microdrive appears to be the Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000.

10:57 AM  
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