Palm Adds Color, Boosts Memory to Handhelds — Palm, Inc. has released the Palm IIIc, a new handheld device sporting a color screen, 8 MB of memory, and a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery. Although color handhelds have been available for several months for the Windows CE (now renamed Pocket PC) platform, they have been hampered by poor battery performance. Palm’s entry into the color spectrum indicates that the company thinks it’s done color right. The TFT active-matrix screen is the same size as existing grayscale displays, and supports up to 256 colors. Battery life does take a hit, as expected, with Palm estimating two weeks’ worth of power between charges. However, under normal use the battery can be fully recharged after only a few minutes in the device’s HotSync cradle/charger. The Palm IIIc is available immediately and retails for $450.
Although the IIIc has grabbed the spotlight, Palm also released another handheld, the Palm IIIxe, which features 8 MB of memory and a dark slate-colored case for $250, as well as the $100 Palm Pocket Keyboard, a folding keyboard that collapses to roughly the size of a Palm III. And finally, Palm has added an Unlimited Use Service option to its Palm.net wireless service for Palm VII owners, eliminating the costly per-kilobyte charges for a flat fee of $45 per month. [JLC]