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Palm releases latest low-end model

The handheld giant introduces the m105 with 8MB of memory, essentially a blending of the m100 and the retired Palm IIIxe.

    Completing the transition of its low-end products, Palm on Tuesday introduced the $199 Palm m105.

    As previously reported, the m105 comes with 8MB of memory, compared with the 2MB available with the entry level m100. The new model also has a serial cradle for syncing with a PC, rather than the cable that came with the m100. Like the $149 m100, the operating system on the m105 is not upgradable.

    The m105 also comes with Palm's mobile Internet kit, which allows the Palm to access information wirelessly by using a cell phone as a modem. Palms can either beam data to a cell phone's infrared port or attach through a cable if the phone does not have an infrared port.

    The new model essentially replaces the Palm IIIxe, which Palm stopped making and recently stopped selling on its Web site. The Palm IIIxe most recently sold for $199.

    The m100 replaced the Palm IIIe in August.

    Although the III series offers a larger screen and the operating system can be upgraded, the m100 series has proved popular with its sleek, rounded design and interchangeable snap-on covers. The covers come in colors and designs such as orange, purple, bubble gum and leopard.

    Palm's launch of the m105 starts what is expected to be a full year of new products. In the spring, Palm plans to debut its first models with a postage stamp-size expansion slot. The products, at least one of which is expected to be called the m505, are slated to come in both color and black-and-white versions and use an advanced lithium-polymer battery.

    However, Palm's rivals are not standing still.

    This week, Handspring launched a $50 rebate on its 8MB Visor Deluxe, bringing its price to $199. The company also is said to be preparing a slimmer, high-end handheld dubbed the Handspring Visor Edge.

    Handspring registered the Visoredge.com domain name in December. Staples.com has been listing accessories for the Edge on its Web site, although no details about the product itself are given. A Handspring representative declined to comment on the Edge.