Having traveled one full circle in sealing its corporate identity as Palm yet again, the first task of the day following the conclusion of the confusing merger with palmOne having acquired PalmSource is the introduction of the brand new Palm Z22. In conjunction with a 'fresh' start for Palm, a new modeling scheme has been put into place and it functions in an easy to remember process of simply retaining the first alphabet of the old Zire series and discarding the remaining alphabets. The new scheme is also applicable to Palm's Tungsten series, but hasn't affected its Treo lineup of smartphones just yet (to be advised at a later time).
Budget But Not Bare
Built for first time owners, students, housewives and ladies in search of a lightweight but highly functional PDA in mind, the entry-level Palm Z22 brings to the table a good balance of useful features and organizational capabilities but at a surprisingly lightweight frame that weighs a mere 96g. If by now you’re already bowled over by its light weight, you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that the Palm Z22 also has price as one of its trump cards. At US$136, the Palm Z22 organizer is the most affordable handheld to come with a color display from Palm yet, and it's not as if functionality and quality were overlooked to achieve this low price point either.
It's Properly Fast
Powered by Palm OS Garnet 5.4, the petite and cute looking Palm Z22 is laden with a nifty list of mainstay applications such as the Calendar, Calculator, Expense, Memos, Notepad and Tasks to assist you in sorting out your hectic schedules easily. These applications are practically found in all Palm devices and it's good to know the Z22 gets the full treatment too.
What's more, with the color LCD, the Palm Z22 is able to perform color-coding of business and personal appointments to facilitate quicker understanding of your schedules at one glance. There's even a free game thrown in to perk you up should you need a timeout from work occasionally. Regrettably, the visual quality of the screen is rather disappointing as the resolution is only a low (and rather coarse) 160 x 160 pixels with apparent 'ghosting' that users would have to contend with. Stretching our disappointment further was the occasional slow response of the touch screen, which really was not doing justice to the 200MHz processor driving the Palm Z22.
Easy To Use
Like all good Palm PDAs, the interface of the Palm Z22 is presented in an easy to navigate iconic layout, which is tied down to two shortcut keys (appointments and contacts), a 5-way navikey, a power button and a reset pin that's located at the back of the unit. 32MB of memory is standard with each Palm Z22, of which 20MB is available to the user for storing appointments, contacts, programs, multimedia files and more. Although the Palm Z22 can be used to view photos, the lack of an earphone jack means owners are out of luck in listening to music with the device.
Granted there isn't a lot of battery sapping frills such as Bluetooth, WiFi, a large LCD display or audio components, the simplified Palm Z22 is really one focused PDA with enough juice to see us comfortably through a week of light usage. On that basis and with its low asking price, the Palm Z22 could well win over the hearts of Palm's targeted user group.