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Palm Battles Competition With Two New Models

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, February 25, 1999

Three years after the launch of the first Palm Pilot, Palm is still on top, but faces some tough competition. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. 3Com's Palm Computing division has launched not one, but two new models of the popular handheld organizer. What a dilemma for Palm fanatics! One of the new models, the Palm IIIx, has more muscle, with twice the memory of the existing Palm III. The other, the Palm V, has a thin sexy look with an anodized aluminum finish and an embossed leather cover. Product manager David Christopher says besides 4 megabytes of memory, the IIIx can take more of a beating ...

"It has a more rugged internal design. So if a customer drops a unit it's not ... we're hopefully going to eliminate some of the service calls that we got with the Palm III."

The IIIx and the V have sharper screens and have upgraded software with built in compatibility with Microsoft Outlook as well as Lotus cc:Mail and Eudora Pro, the most popular email programs around. Palm is facing increasing competition from handhelds running Windows CE. New models with color screens are due out soon. But the ease of use that has made it so popular is still there, and that Palm V... .

"When you see the product, it really has a wow factor. It features, it has rechargeable lithium ion batteries, so that with normal operation, just standard hot synching, hot synching meaning dropping the device into a cradle which exchanges the data between the device and your PC, so that everything is backed up... so just with standard hot synching, the device will stay charged."

The Palm IIIx sells for 369 dollars, the Palm V, 449 dollars. The price of the Palm III has been dropped to 299. You can find more information on the web at palm.com.