Pros Near perfect Internet browsing with 802.11b, great Word/Excel/Powerpoint support, alot of memory
Cons Very poor speaker, very poor game control support, hotsync cradle NOT included?, poor system performance (due to hard drive)
Summary UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS USER REVIEWS, I ACTUALLY OWNED THIS DEVICE. I am also an official Palm OS software programmer and developer. In one sentence, I can describe LifeDrive: "BAD for play, OK for work". If you are going to be playing music MP3s and playing games (especially emulators) then DO NOT purchase this device (would recommend Tungsten|T3). System performance felt sluggish with 1 second pauses while accessing the hard drive. Device does not come with a hostsync cradle, which should have been included with the $500 price. Internet access through 802.11b was near perfect, with web pages looking great in landscape screen mode. Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files opened and could be edited flawlessly too on this device. Battery life (w/ all services on) was about average (3-4 hours). I use my Palm mostly for play (MP3s and games), which is why the low score. Device would have been a perfect 10 if the speaker was much better and if the 5-way navigator and application hard buttons worked properly in games and emulators. Nice and interesting effort by Palm, but device has critical flaws. WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO YOU TO PASS ON LIFEDRIVE AND PURCHASE THE TUNGSTEN|T3 (A DEVICE I OWN AND CURRENT BEST PDA ON THE MARKET). Hopefully Palm reads these reviews, and will design something better in the near future.
Pros All in one package
Cons None for me...
Summary I am going to say as well, don't review a product if you've never used one.
This is a great package and does everything I need it to do.
Wireless: I travel a lot for work and firing this up in the airport lounge and connecting to the wifi network for a quick check of emails is great. Same at home - easy to get emails while out on the deck without having to drag the laptop around.
Bluetooth: I HATE big phones and go through phones quickly. With a small bluetooth phone in my pocket, I can pair with the Lifedrive and surf the web, check emails, make calls. I can synch the phone directory with my lifedrive directory so even though I have two places where this info is, it's very easy tokeep them in sync.
Palm OS: Great. I hate Windows products but am forced to use them at work. I have a mac at home and know Unix like the back of my hand so I needed a device compatible with Mac OS and I also like the Palm OS.
Weight: Who the hell thinks this is heavy? Do people kick sand in your face when you go to the beach?
Storage capacity: Ok, we all know a DVD is larger than 4gb but who said on this forum that you couldn't load a whole DVD to this device? Well, who would want to. Do you really need the best video quality, 7.1 channel surround and subtitles in 10 languages on a tiny handheld device - duh... Palm software automatically converts a whole 2 hr DVD movie to less than a gig for use on this device.
Size: Sure it's big. Sure it doesn't have a phone in it. Have you ever seen those people with the Qtek (Imate, whatever it's branded) with one of those up to their ear? Unless they switch ears a lot, they get lopsided suntans. I don't need my handheld anywhere near as much as I need my phone. So, when I need a larger device, I have it - I don't want it with a 1x2 cm screen - that's useless to me - and yes, I have perfect vision. When I need a phone and PDA, I pair them with bluetooth. When I need just a phone, I have that as well at a fraction of the size. Plus, when the phone gets old, much cheaper and easier to replace.
Battery Life: I am a moibile road warrior and have never had an issue with this device.
Cost: How is this expensive. Someone else on here added up the cost to get the features of this device on cheaper devices and the overall price is compatible.
Overall, this is a great device that is perfect for what I need. If it doesn't suit you or your lifestyle, don't buy it! Check the features before you say it doesn't have a phone built in - it's not supposed to!
[Edited by: admin]
"High hopes... unmet"on by drbmg
Pros Georgeous Screen, wifi setup & signal strength, Doc to Go software, overall software installation went smoothly
Cons MP3 sounds scratchy, can't see screen outdoors, battery % way too tiny to see, no vibration mode, Live Drive must be off to use Palm apps, on/off switch awkward to use, too heavy and bulky for a Palm
Summary So beautiful! So warm and heavy! That pretty much sums up my past 6 days using the Life Drive, which I'll be returning. I was attracted to its large screen, thinking I could type in landscape mode using Docs to Go 7. Unfortunately, I can't really make the screen size large enough, without increasing the font size, to make this practical (suggest looking at the AlphaSmart Dana for real typing on a Palm). The Life Drive feels like a nicely shaped bar of soap, and therein lies a huge problem. You can't just put it in your pocket and, by the time you put it in a case, it's huge! The weight of this unit is almost too much for the Palm Universal Keyboard. I kept thinking it was going to slip out, although it didn't. Also, by having a built in hard drive, this unit is apparently more fragile than previous Palms.
I found the system responsiveness too slow, even when turning it off. On the plus side, the screen is bright and clear, and voice recorder feaure worked well. Wish I could say the same for the MP3 player. Songs which play just fine on my other units sounded scratchy and there was an annoying buzz in between songs. Battery life looks like it may be a problem. It went down by half in a day. Finally, don't plan to access anything else while the Life Drive mode (like a USB drive) is going. I tried to add an appointment while transferring my MP3s. Sorry, it's one way or the other. So, back it goes... I'm going to try out the E2, although I swear, the T3 and T5 are looking like interesting possibilities. For my money, spending an extra $250 just to get a few GIGs of space isn't worth it.
"Great Product"on by 48 express
Pros WiFi,4GBHD,Bluetooth Great battery life Great screen
Cons None at this time
Summary This is palms best pda ever. It does everything you need and does it great.I can't believe the cry babies out there that all they do is trash every device on the market and most never even buy the product. I have 10 music cds stored several books and tons of pictures and I have tons of room left. The screen is outstanding and the color is as well. If you use a pda for business you will love this jem.
"Took it back"on by Aledo
Pros 4GB HD, WiFi and BlueTooth, SD slot still included
Cons Extraordinarily unstable and slow
Summary I bought it, unwrapped it and it froze up right after charging it. I have been using Palm since the original Pilot 1000 and have owned 5 Palm devices. Unfortunately, Palm is not giving me an alternative to PocketPC any longer.
LifeDrive is sloooow! It requires multiple soft and hard resets which are slow (3-30mins respectively).
I've been using Palm, for medical applications for years but I can't even get Epocrates to run smoothly on the LifeDrive. Whats more is that I installed the Palm Desktop on a new PC (only running windows OS and Office suite) and LifeDrive wouldn't Hotsync without causing a soft reset.
I called Palm twice. They said that they weren't aware of any issues with the LifeDrive but when I spoke to 3rd party software companies...they were replete with problems involving this model.
Whats needed is simple. Look at the iPod Nano...it has 4GB flash memory.
Palm needs to stop dancing around the memory/HD/battery issue. They could easily do: 1. At least 2GB user accessible RAM 2. User Replaceable batteries 3. Beta test their product BEFORE they release it onto the public.
I'm disappointed that CNET rated this so device so highly. I looked up the CNET rating before I purchased it and theirs is just not an accurate evaluation of this product. It really is an underwhelming and frustrating machine.