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Christmas Gift Guide

Palm Pilot

Palm III

Palm V

Palm VIIx

Palm m505

Handspring Treo 180

Palm Treo 650

Palm Centro

Palm Foleo

Palm Pre

Palm Pixi

Following news Wednesday that PC maker Hewlett-Packard is buying PDA and smartphone pioneer Palm, CNET decided to take a look back at how Palm's products have evolved.

It all began with the PalmPilot 1000 and 5000, made by what was then 3Com's Palm Computing division. The PalmPilot debuted in 1996 with 128K of memory, a 16MHz DragonBall processor, the Palm OS 1.0, and a display with a resolution of 160 pixels by 160 pixels.

Palm shipped 1 million Palm Pilots within 18 months, but the "Pilot" moniker was eventually dropped from the device's name for legal reasons after complaints from the Pilot pen company.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
The PalmPilot PDA was replaced the Palm III in 1998. It was the first Palm handheld to support infrared file transfer, or "beaming" and was priced at $399.
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The Palm V was released in February 1999. Its design was sleek by those days' standards, and the company aimed the new device at the high-end market. The Palm V added basically no new features over the Palm III but was about half as thick.
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The Palm VII was the company's first move into the wireless space. It didn't really browse the Web but could run wireless applications that grabbed Web content. It ran over a comparatively slow pager network but showed the possibility for bringing wireless connections to a handheld.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
Announced in early 2001, the Palm m500 and m505 (shown here) replaced Palm V and Vx, respectively. The big advance was the addition of a memory card slot, a feature that had been popularized by Handspring's Visor, though Palm bet on the SD slot that was to become a standard in consumer electronics.

The Palm m505 came with a color screen, while the cheaper m500 was a monochrome device. Because Palm announced the m500 and m505 well before the devices were available, demand for older units slowed and made worse an existing inventory problem.

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Although there had been Palm OS-based phones before the Treo, from Qualcomm, Kyocera, and others, the Treo was the first such converged device to not be described using the term brick. Its existence was first reported by CNET months before its planned debut after being discovered in an FCC filing.
Caption by / Photo by Palm
Handspring, eventually bought by Palm, debuted its first Treo smart phones in October 2001. The next generation, the Treo 600 and then the later Treo 650 moved from a flip phone to candy bar style and became popular for many business users.
Caption by / Photo by Palm
After ceding a lot of ground in the consumer arena, the low-cost Centro, which debuted in late 2007, was an attempt to take the aging Treo concept and give it more mass-market appeal.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
Jeff Hawkins told CNET that the Foleo was the best idea he'd ever had when he unveiled it in June 2007 at D: All Things Digital. The device, which was sort of like a netbook, relied on a Treo for its processing power and connectivity but was scrapped by Palm and never reached the market.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
Palm's attempt to remake itself after years of stagnation, the Pre was based on an all-new WebOS. The Pre featured a touch screen and keyboard as well as the kind of multi-touch gestures made popular by the iPhone.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
A low-end sibling of the Pre, the Pixi is a candy bar WebOS-based phone that debuted in November 2009.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
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