Girls’ own Christmas toy

Nice Christmas present, but not a long-term investement

Just in time for Christmas comes the Palm Z22 — it’s cute, stylish and aimed firmly at women. Its marketing makes it clear the company has mums-on-the-move in mind with its talk of keeping on top of kids’ appointments, entertaining tots with games at the doctor’s surgery and storing favourite family photos. The question is: does Palm fulfil its promise?

The Z22 has quite a few things going for it, but there are some minuses. On the plus side, it is quite a neat device, with a white front, small, but still reasonable, size screen (roughly 45mm × 45mm).

The Z22 is about the size of a large pack of playing cards and weighs in at around 100gms; it is a lot easier to carry around than the Filofax, with which it competes. It is also quite easy to use. The basics of keeping contacts and to-do lists up to date, and using the diary for appointment scheduling, are quite straightforward. A navigator button features on the front of the PDA and allows for quick scrolling through applications.

Bundled-in applications include Photos and a game called Crazy Daisy. The latter really would be nice for entertaining a young child at, say, the doctor’s surgery, as the marketing bumpf suggests. There are more games available once boredom sets in.

The Z22’s screen does fall a bit short here though as it is low resolution and so is a bit too small for displaying photos well.

Again on the minus side, there’s the battery life — it’s rather short. Mine ran down in the couple of hours I was playing with the PDA for the purposes of this review.

However, on the whole, the Palm Z22 stacks up nicely. It would make a great Christmas pressie for the right person and the $200 price tag is not unreasonable. But, given the trend is towards bundling PDAs and mobile phones together, this type of product has a limited lifespan.

Palm Z22

Palm, www.palm.com/nz

Cost: $199 including GST

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