Palm V Review
This multi-page article is a review of the Palm V and shows the inside, the circuit board, the chipset, how to replace the LCD panel, how to replace the battery, and a clear guide to upgrading its memory chip.
The Palm V and the Palm Vx were electronic organisers to help business people organise appointments, dates and addresses. It was at a time when people used a paper-based organiser for recording such information. It was one of the earliest electronic organisers to feature handwriting recognition by way of a clever software called graffiti, which had the capability to learn an individual's style of handwriting. The software enabled the owner to write on the touch screen, which the program would then convert into ordinary ASCII text and store into memory.
Today, the Palm V is basic compared to the latest gadgets that are available. The Galaxy S range of smart phones consists of a mobile phone with an integrated PDA, camera, media player, and is an all round powerful computer. The processors used on the smart phone are the most advanced ever created by Samsung.
The device comes with an adapter and a cradle as shown in the following sections of this article. The cradle allowed one to connect it to a PC so that you could back up all your data such as names and addresses. The software that came with it was actually very good, and even allowed the device to share and synchronise data with Microsoft Outlook. This made the product very popular as many people were already using Outlook as their Personal Information Manager.
Electronic organisers changed the way people worked. People would often write their emails whilst on the train or bus, and as soon as they were back into the office, they would connect it to their PC, which would synchronise the data and automatically send off any emails through the dial-up modem. You could also exchange files and data through the infrared port providing there was a line-of-sight for the infrared beam.
The palm V and the Vx should work with almost any PC as long as it has a serial COM port. The minimum requirements were Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT 4.0. A 486 processor with 8 MB RAM, 20 MB disk space, VGA monitor, CD ROM drive, and mouse. It is possible to connect it to Windows 2000 as well using the latest HotSync software from Palm's website.
The Palm will also work with an Apple Macintosh by using the “Palm Connect Serial LKit”, or the USB Kit.
Palm Computing make some fantastic handhelds, and you can tell from the build quality and style of the Palm V that they produce very high quality products that people continue to use even after a decade.
With inflation, the cost of consumer electronics is getting less and you could get yourself a bargain from many online stores.
Click image to enlarge
The Palm V is a highly desired gadget just as the Vx model was back in 1999. They were one of the first handhelds to use a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery to save space and create a very sleek look. Unfortunately, the cases were sealed with glue and when the battery started to fail most people bought another one,
It is not difficult to open a Palm V. All that is needed is a little heat to the back to melt the glue. I have a page showing how one can open the back cover.
When the Palm V was introduced, there were many individuals and companies that were providing a memory upgrade service, and I remember being very tempted to have a go with the upgrade myself. The plans for this procedure were readily available on my old Freeserve dial up Internet and I managed to save them for later use. I just had to find a Palm V and an 8 MB memory chip!
When I first did the memory upgrade, I thought it was exciting. I am sure there are many electronic engineers and students out there who might be very interested in seeing such an upgrade.
The Palm V retailed at around £250 when new. In 2013 you could get a model V or Vx for a fiver on eBay. If it requires a new battery then the 'Battery Changing' and 'Opening the Case' sections of this article shows how to replace them.
It is still a useful gadget to have and with a good modern battery, I have found that it lasts for months without requiring a recharge. The monochrome LCD screen is very clear and the touch pad very reliable hence it could very easily be used as an ebook reader.
There are lots of accessories available for the Palm V and the Vx. I have seen a new data and charging cable that connects via a computer USB port. It is ideal if you do not want to carry around the large cradle and adapter with you. The Palm V foldable keyboard is also a great accessory to get and quite impressive.
In the following sections of this article, you can see the inside of the Palm V, its PCB, chipset, memory upgrade, LCD, and battery. So sit back, relax, take your time, and enjoy the article and the fantastic images.
Author: Peter J. Vis