I had gotten a Palm Zire 31 on the cheap for taking notes and remembering things this year, and I've used it for about two weeks, so here's my review.
The standard Zire 31 package comes with the device (blue and white plastic cased), a screen protector (already installed), a stylus (also packed away inside its slot), a USB cord, a wall charger, and a flip-cover thing attached to the device, made of rubber that keeps the screen from getting poked while its in your bag. The package also includes a CD-ROM with the PalmOne Desktop and Hotsync software for PC. My CD didn't work, so I downloaded it from the Palm website. It has an expansion card slot capable of hosting up to a 1GB SD or MMC card.
The Palm Zire 31 uses PalmOne 5.0 or higher software, I think mine's 5.2.8. With this software you can add apps like Student (http://www.palmdev.tk/, look it up) or Mobipocket (ebook reading software, converts and reads .txt, .doc, .pdf, etc etc. www.mobipocket.com). I found the Adobe Palm Reader software to be utterly useless for some PDFs, and a resource hog. Also useful if you read a lot of text-based websites, is Plucker (http://www.plkr.org/). Another I really like is the BibleReader from Olive Tree Software (http://www.olivetree.com/). I have the NRSV (new revised standard version). I had to pay for it but it's worth every penny for not having to lug my huge Bible around campus to class.
It comes standard with all or most of (as far as I know) the normal Palm apps like Calc, Calendar, Card Info, Contacts, Expense, Hotsync, Memos, Notepad, Photos, Prefs, Real One (for listening to mp3s), Tasks, and World Clock.
- Lightweight but Sturdy.
- Cheap and Entry-Level in features--won't break the budget or confusticate new users.
- Expansion slot for extra storage capacity.
- Plays MP3s.
- Reads PDFs (with proper software, either Adobe or PalmPDF).
- Long battery life--will last an entire day between recharges.
- Fast Processor (for the price).
- Battery is NOT user-replaceable, so when it goes, the unit goes.
- Expansion slot only accepts up to 1GB cards, larger cards (2GB, 4GB, 8GB etc) won't work.
- Display, while good, is not as good as the larger, higher-resolution screens found on more expensive PDAs.
However, if all you need or want is a basic note-taker with ebook reading and music playing capabilities, you need look no further than the Zire 31.
Place of Purchase: www.gizmos2go.com
Price: 74.88 shipped (at the time).
Berserker's Overall Rating: 5 Stars! This one does exactly what I need it to do:)