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palmOne introduces LifeDrive its first Mobile Manager product

Posted on 18-May-2005 17:01 | Filed under: News

palmOne introduces LifeDrive its first Mobile Manager product
palmOne, Inc. is introducing the LifeDrive mobile manager, a new handheld product that fuses business productivity tools and entertainment applications. The LifeDrive is part of a family of products called Mobile Manager, recently announced.

Designed for people with a significant volume of digital information, the LifeDrive mobile manager offers 4GB of hard-drive storage (3.85GB user available), a large 320x480 high-resolution color screen, and wireless access through built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies. The new handheld is based on a 416MHz Intel XScale processor.

"LifeDrive mobile manager comes at an inflection point in the market, when people are ready for more advanced devices that meet their growing mobile-computing needs," said Ken Wirt, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for palmOne. "LifeDrive is versatile. For the business executive, it's a personal mobile briefcase; for the photo enthusiast, it's a camera companion."

According to palmOne, with LifeDrive, people can carry virtually all of their essential desktop computer files and folders. Crucial documents can be set to update automatically at each HotSync operation, and users can receive secure wireless email with attachments whenever they are within range of a Wi-Fi connection or by connecting via a compatible Bluetooth phone. People can even remotely retrieve Microsoft Office files left behind on the desktop computer.

The built-in 4GB Hitachi Microdrive weighs less than a AA battery, is smaller than a matchbook and transfers data 30 percent faster than the previous-generation Microdrive. The company says that this is enough space for 1,200 office documents, 6,000 emails; 1,000 photos; 300 songs; 2.5 hours of video; 50 voicemails; 10,000 contacts; and 10,000 appointments.

The LifeDrive Smart file management system supports native Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader formats. The LifeDrive smart file management system comprises four key applications:
  • Folder Sync -- automatically updates selected files when syncing;
  • File Transfer -- drag and drop thousands of files from a PC onto LifeDrive mobile manager;
  • Drive Mode -- behaves like a USB drive to easily transfer files to any PC or Macintosh; and
  • Files View -- transferred folder structure remains intact, making it easy to locate important information.

    Flash memory keeps information safely intact, even if the device loses its charge, and the system uses 128-bit encryption to keep data secure when invoked. Password protection safeguards access to the device, while the Private Records function protects specific files, even when the rest of the mobile manager is unlocked. An optional Intrusion Protection function erases all data and returns the device to factory settings after a user-specified number of failed break-ins.

    palmOne is working with T-Mobile to ensure a good hotspot experience for LifeDrive customers to access the operator's large public Wi-Fi network in the United States. T-Mobile is providing a free 30-day trial offer for LifeDrive owners. The device's built-in Bluetooth can be used to connect to compatible Bluetooth devices nearby, allowing for wireless syncing with a Bluetooth laptop, wireless sending a document to a Bluetooth printer or hands-free dialing to a Bluetooth phone.

    While on the go, LifeDrive mobile manager users can enjoy listening to songs from their personal music collection, viewing photos or watching video clips. To highlight the music capabilities of LifeDrive, RealNetworks is giving LifeDrive customers free access to its Rhapsody client, which they can use to manage their personal music collections. RealNetworks is offering a 30-day free trial of its award-winning Rhapsody music service, providing unlimited access to more than 1 million songs on their PCs. In the coming months, subscribers also will be able to use the Rhapsody To Go service to download and transfer an unlimited amount of their favorite music to their LifeDrive and enjoy it wherever they go as long as they are subscribed to the service.

    The built-in voice recorder allows for hands-free notes or personal narrations to accompany photo slideshows. The expansion card slot supports SD, SDIO and MultiMediaCard formats

    The LifeDrive mobile manager from palmOne has an estimated U.S. street price of US$499. Limited quantities are available now from the palmOne online store with volume availability expected by early June.