The m105 can communicate with other Palm OS handhelds, mobile phones and some Macs using the built in infrared (IrDa) port and software. It uses Palm’s Graffiti text-input software. It also features a NotePad application that lets users write and save short messages directly onto the screen in their own handwriting. A clock completes the unit’s basic range of applications. Other bundled apps include Tetris, Chess, Quickword and StreetFinder. Sadly, many of the bundled applications are demo versions, so expect to see a lot of registration reminder notices while you decide what suite of tools you need. The m105 weighs 125 grams and at 1.8cm is much thicker than its premium-priced siblings. It offers an LCD screen, is backlight and runs on two AAA alkaline batteries. The unit has a removable faceplate, with 19 faceplate designs available for rabid individualists. A serial HotSync cradle comes in the box, though this isn’t such good news for Macintosh users as we also have to buy a £25 Mac Connect kit in order to link the Palm up. The m105 has a much smaller monochrome screen than other Palms (5-x-6.5cm), and applications are visible in only 5-x-5cm of this space. If you’re going to be using the Palm extensively, then it’s probably worth investing in a higher-specification model. However, the m105 represents excellent value for money. Palm’s Mobile Internet Kit is included, and allows access to the Internet, email, Short Message Services (SMS), WAP and Palm’s preferred Web Clipping services. However, you’ll need a compatible mobile phone, computer or clip-on modem module to use the kit. You also need an ISP geared up for mobile phone and handheld browsing. I found the m105 to be a little flimsy – for instance, the faceplate moves slightly in its mounting. This meant one of the buttons kept getting stuck behind the faceplate during a particularly energetic game of Tetris – though if you want something to play games on, why not buy a GameBoy instead? Once I got hold of the Mac Connect Kit, I found that syncing up to my iBook was a breeze. I also exported data from a variety of applications, and found the process fairly straightforward – once I’d disciplined myself to read the instructions.
If you know you’ll be making full and extensive use of your Palm, then I recommend purchasing a higher-end model that offers larger screens, is more durable and smaller. However, for £122, the m105 is excellent value for a first-time Palmer, or for someone who just wants a safe place to keep their data.