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10 most memorable Palm PDAs

Does the Palm Pre mark the start of a new era?

Will the Pre be the last in Palm's line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for company? Here's a quick look at the devices Palm has created over the years.

The first wireless Palm: Palm VII

At roughly the same time that the Palm V appeared - and before the first colour Palm appeared - Palm also shipped the Palm VII, its first PDA with built-in wireless capability.

Equipped with a flip-up antenna, the Palm VII ultimately flopped. Its Palm.net service relied on Bell South's Mobitext network, which at best could move data at 8kbps - slower than most conventional dial-up hookups.

At that speed, browsing standard web pages was out of the question, so Palm devised a scheme that involved accessing specially packaged web content using so-called web clipping applications from high-profile partners such as Travelocity and Yahoo.

The cost of Palm.net escalated, depending on usage. But Palm's tech-savvy customer base - by now accustomed to easy all-you-can-eat desktop access to a web that was growing by leaps and bounds - never took to the notion of limited, packaged content and metered pricing.

Photo: Courtesy of Palm

Palms get colourful: Palm IIIc

While the Palm V and the Palm VII were luring high-end customers, new iterations of the less expensive Palm III remained the company's bread-and-butter PDA - even after 3Com spun off its Palm Computing subsidiary in early 2000. Shortly thereafter, the newly independent Palm shipped its first colour model, the Palm IIIc.

Regrettably, at a time when devices running Microsoft's rival Windows CE were already appearing with dazzling 65,000-colour screens, the IIIc's disappointing colour display supported only 256 colors. The display also looked washed out and all but unreadable in sunlight.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.com

NEXT PAGE: The Tungsten and Zire

  1. Does the Pre mark the start of a new era for Palm?
  2. Enter the Palm III
  3. The first wireless Palm
  4. The Tungsten and Zire
  5. The Treo takes off
  6. The Centro
  7. Finally, the Pre

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