PalmOne Zire 21: test and review

The first Zire was not much for him: monochrome, no backlight, it offered only 2 MB of memory and a processor category snails, clocked at 16 MHz. And yet he had great commercial success. This new version of the entry level, the Zire 21 should be placed as well on the market: it is largely identical to its predecessor, but offers four times more RAM: 8 MB instead of 2 MB, has a faster processor and runs the latest operating system, Palm OS 5.2. Too bad it lacks backlighting.

Like the first model, the Zire 108 grams for a size of 11,2×7,4×1,5 cm offers an elegant and sturdy design looks. It has a monochrome screen and a flap foldable plastic protection, which tends to fall too. The screen is readable, provided you do not find in the dark.

All standard functions of Palm PDAs are present: calendar, notepad, calculator and tasks … The manufacturer has also added two card games and more robust application of tracking expenses, dubbed PDA Money. World clock and Palm Reader (for eBooks) are integrated with Palm OS 5.2. However, the Zire includes older versions of the application “Calendar” and “Address Book” that were on the original version instead of the new more comprehensive programs “Agenda” and “addresses” that fit the latest Palm Tungsten models.

The most notable improvements include faster processor Texas Instruments OMAP 126 MHz, which considerably increases the reactivity of the unit, and the swollen memory 8MB While it may pale compared to the Palm of the moment, but is not here a media assistant. In addition, 7.2 MB of storage space available give space to add more applications and store thousands of contacts. In terms of accessories, included AC adapter to recharge the internal lithium-ion battery, and a USB cable and the Palm Desktop Software to synchronize the Zire with your Mac or PC.

The Zire 21 is still a bargain for buyers on a budget looking for a basic and stylish electronic organizer, which offers several weeks of autonomy.