Released by Palm in April of 2001, the m500 PDA was designed to be the next step up from the Palm V line. It is similar to the Palm m505 in form factor and technical specifications, though it has a greyscale LCD screen instead of an active-matrix color display.
Major improvements introduced by the m50x series are support for SD/MMC storage cards, a "Universal Connector" expansion slot, USB synchonrization, and Palm OS 4.0, the latest iteration of the popular handheld operating system. The Universal Connector is similar to Handspring's Springboard, as it allows for add-ons such as wireless modems, GPS receivers, and digital cameras. The native USB HotSync cradle speeds up data transfer by a factor of four over Palm's previous serial cradle. In addition, the cradle has a charger for the m500's lithium-polymer battery. The battery can last for approximately 3 weeks on one full charge, depending on usage; heavy gaming or use of the backlight drain the battery more rapidly.
Full Specs and Features
- Backlit 160 x 160 display (3.8-inch diagonal size), with high-resolution black and white
- 16-shade greyscale
- Protective leather flap cover
- 8 MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash ROM
- 33 MHz Dragonball VZ CPU
- Dual alarm modes (audible and vibrate)
- Touchscreen input, with included stylus
- Graffiti handwriting recognition software
- Infrared port
- Bundled applications: Address Book, Date Book, Clock, To Do List, Memo Pad, Note Pad, Mail, and Calculator, plus Documents To Go v3.0 by DataViz, Inc., MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition, AvantGo, Pocket Mirror 3.0, Palm Reader, MultiMail SE and Palm Mobile Connectivity Software, AOL for Palm OS and powerOne Calculator by Infinity Softworks
The 4.0-ounce Palm m505 measures 4.5" high, 3.1" wide, and 0.4" thick, making it one of the smallest Palm OS devices available. It currently retails for $399 USD.