Better late than never is an axiom that certainly applies to the Palm m515, the model that replaces the flawed m505. This handheld has the screen that everyone was looking for in its predecessor, adds more memory, keeps the same sleek design, and maintains an identical price. That's all good, and so is the m515. The only problem is that the competition has raised its game in the six months that it took Palm to release this model. Palm lovers once fantasized about what their perfect PDA would be like: a Palm V with a color screen and a slot for adding more memory. The m515 is just that; it looks a lot like the Palm V and shares similar buttons and a comparable layout, though it's a tad heftier at 4.9 ounces. Some newer Palm-OS based devices have scroll wheels and built-in keyboards, but this model keeps things simple. Say what you will about the m515, but its classic, metallic finish makes it one of the slicker PDAs around.
|Good deal: The Palm is a full deck.||Slim is in. The m515 is thinner than a pack of cards.|
In terms of accessories, you get a detachable, leather flip cover that's reminiscent of the Palm V's. Palm also includes a power adapter as well as a USB docking cradle for recharging the device and connecting it to your PC or your Mac--no complaints here.
|Fully loaded: The m515 includes all the extras.||The m515 has the same universal connector as the m130.|
Ready to deliver: Add extras via an MMC or an SD card.
In addition to the signature applications--such as Address Book, Calendar, and Expense--Palm throws in some bonuses. You get Palm Mobile Connectivity software for connecting your handheld to your cell phone in order to access the Internet; DataViz Documents To Go Professional Edition for viewing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files; MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition; Palm Reader; and AvantGo Mobile Internet Service. Palm Desktop 4.0.1 (version 2.6.3 for Mac) and conduit software to sync with Microsoft Outlook are also included.
|Make a go of it: Get business done on the road with the Professional Edition of Documents To Go.||Ports of call: Connect your cell phone for dial-up access to the Internet.|
Good view: The m515's screen is brighter than the m505's.
As one might expect, the brighter display comes at a cost: battery life. Palm says that you can get about one week of power before having to recharge the built-in lithium-ion battery. However, the company doesn't specify whether that's with the low or high brightness setting. With normal use--40 minutes per day--on the brightest setting, we had to recharge at the end of the fourth day.