Thread: Cheap Old Palms
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:20 PM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The Philippines
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Old monochrome Palms are still good e-readers

Originally Posted by ischeriad
From my own experience with Palm powered devices (IIIxe, m500, Clié SL-10) I would recommend a monochrome device (I never had a color one, avoided them till now ), they have a good battery life (I get about 8-12 hours reading time, depending on the battery set) and are quite cheap at eBay. If the device uses replaceble batteries, you can put in a spare set of rechargeables (or alkalines) and extend the runtime on the road, but there is a small chance of memory loss...
The backlight is ok to read in the dark.
I agree. The monochrome Palms have a big advantage over the newer power-sucking color Palms. The older ones use two AAA batteries that can be purchased anywhere in the world. My batteries usually lasted a month. Just try charging your color Palm while you are on a train in China!

Screen size is an issue you might be concerned with. The older Palms with the original screen size were very usable. I think the line length using a normal font was 40 characters. Of course you can use a larger font if you need to. I didn't need to unless the lighting was poor. Some of the newer Palms have a slightly smaller screen. I have a TRGpro with the larger screen. The Palm III and others of that era had the same size screen. I also have a M125. That class of Palm has a smaller screen. If you are going to get an older Palm you would do well to consider this.

The first Palms had good backlighting. Then they changed the backlighting to a reversed scheme. I didn't like it. I never use it. There is a hack that will reverse it again. I haven't tried it but others report success with it.

The ideal would be to get a Palm that has the larger mono screen and also takes some sort of memory card. The TRGpro uses Compact Flash. That way you can just connect a card reader to your Mac and put ebooks on it through the card. It is faster anyway.

Here is a table that will show you what to look for. It indicates screen size and connection method and memory expansion type for all of the older Palm models. I hope you find something you can enjoy.
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