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Palm marks LifeDrive 'end of life'

By Simon Aughton

Posted on 30 Jan 2007 at 11:34

Palm has called time on its LifeDrive PDA, the first, and so far only, of its handhelds with hard drive rather than flash memory storage.

The device has been tagged 'end of line' on the company's US store. Also references to the Mobile Manager product category have been removed from several places on the Palm website, suggesting that there will be no replacement for the LifeDrive, the only Mobile Manager that the company has released in the less than two years since the new category of devices was introduced in May 2005.

The device has already disappeared from UK retailers, having fallen foul of EU regulations on the use of hazardous materials. It seems that anyone waiting for a compliant LifeDrive will now be disappointed, despite the fact that the company has maintained a LifeDrive page on its UK website.

Initial reactions to the LifeDrive were mixed. While reviewers welcomed its support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, enlarged storage capacity compared to other PDAs and its low price, they were less impressed with the battery life and audio quality. And the device was dogged by reports of sluggish performance, caused by the hard drive having to spin up when required.

Palm's product range now comprises three PDAs and three Treo smartphones. The company announced yesterday that it has added support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync push email technology to the Treo 680 and 700p.

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