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Palm to offer m130 refunds

The handheld maker will offer refunds to customers who bought its m130 device and are upset that it doesn't display as many colors as the company advertised it would.

    Reversing course, handheld maker Palm said Wednesday that it would offer refunds to customers who bought its m130 device and are upset that it does not display as many colors as the company advertised it would.

    Last month, Palm admitted that the unit was not capable of displaying the 65,000-plus colors that the company claimed in advertisements. Instead, each pixel is capable of displaying roughly 4,000 shades, although the company says that some 58,000 "color combinations" are possible using a variety of techniques--including turning pixels on and off and combining nearby pixels.

    At the time of its admission, Palm apologized for the mistake but said it did not plan to offer any refunds. On Wednesday, the company posted a note on its Web site saying it would offer a full refund, or for owners who want to keep their device, a free download of the "SimCity" game.

    "We want to do the right thing," the company said in the note. Palm already faces a class-action lawsuit over the matter.

    The m130 initially sold for $279, but a price cut in July reduced it to $249. Hewlett-Packard had a similar issue a few years back with one of its early Jornada handheld models. In this instance, HP offered refunds to customers.

    A Palm representative said late Wednesday that the company was sending information via e-mail about the refund option, to all registered m130 owners.