To set up the Handspring Visor Deluxe, it is a simple case of inserting the batteries, calibrating the touch screen, entering the date and time, connecting the included USB cradle to your PC (an optional Serial cradle is available), installing the desktop synchronisation software, and synchronising the Visor with your PC. The entire set-up process was straightforward and intuitive, requiring only about five minutes.
Fans of Palm Computing's Palm III line of connected organisers will have no difficulty using the Visor, as it runs on a licensed version of the Palm OS. All the popular Palm personal information management (PIM) applications are included and work in exactly the same way as they do on the Palm. The Visor also uses Palm's Graffiti handwriting recognition system for text entry, which takes only a few minutes to learn and a few hours of practice to master. Handspring has added to the Palm OS an advanced date book, calculator, world clock and support for floating-point math.
The Visor Deluxe comes with 8MB of RAM, providing plenty of room for thousands of addresses, to-do items and memos; hundreds of e-mail messages; and several years of appointments. It also includes a USB synchronisation cradle, two AAA batteries, a stick-on Graffiti "cheat sheet", a leather slip case, a stylus, a Handspring logo decal, a Quick Reference Guide, inserts describing accessories and cases, and a software CD-ROM. The CD-ROM includes Palm Desktop Software 3.01, a software link to Microsoft Outlook, and the full-length User's Guide.
Using the Visor was intuitive and fun, just like the Palm III series organisers that it's based on. However, unlike the Palm, the Visor has an easily accessible expansion port that supports Springboard modules. For testing, we installed a modem module, an 8 MB memory module and the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf game (note that you can install only one module at a time). Installing these modules is very easy, and they can greatly increase the functionality, power and usefulness of the Visor.
Overall, the Visor is impressive. It takes the best of the popular Palm platform, and adds memory and expandability--all at a great price. --Mike Brown
- Standard memory: 8 MB
- Maximum memory: 16 MB (with Springboard 8 MB flash memory module)
- CompactFlash memory: Springboard 8 MB flash memory module and backup module
- Display type: 2-bit greyscale LCD, monochrome
- Display colours: four shades of grey
- Display size: 2.375 by 2.375 inches
- Display backlight: Yes
- Processor: Motorola 16 MHz Dragonball EZ processor
- Operating system: Palm OS 3.1H
- PC compatible: Yes
- Mac compatible: Yes
- Handwriting recognition: Graffiti
- Keyboard: Onscreen keyboard
- User controls: Power on/off, backlight control, up/down scroll buttons, calendar, address book, to do list, memo pad buttons
- Memo pad: Yes
- Address book: Yes
- Scheduler: Yes
- Email: Yes, for Windows. Macintosh solutions sold separately
- Web browser: Third-party solutions available
- Security: Password-protect entries
- Stereo: Third-party solutions available
- Built-in speaker: Yes, includes both a built-in speaker and microphone
- Headset jack: Third-party solutions available
- Voice recorder: Third-party solutions available
- MP3 playback: Third-party solutions available
- Audible content playback: Third-party solutions available.
- AC adapter included: N/A
- Battery type: two AAA
- Batteries included: Yes
- Average battery life: Approximately two months
- Desktop import/export formats: Microsoft Outlook/Outlook AOL, Lotus Notes, Netscape Communicator, and POP3 mail sold separately. MS Word, Excel, Project solutions sold separately.
- serial: Yes, but serial cradle sold separately
- USB: Yes, USB cradle included in package
- Infrared: Yes
- Wireless: Yes, sold separately
- Docking cradle: USB cradle included. serial cradle sold separately.
- PC cable: USB cable sold separately.
- Other hardware: Leather case included.
- Width: 4.8 inches
- Height: 3 inches
- Depth: 0.7 inches
- Weight (ounces): 5.4 ounces
- Parts warranty: 1 year
- Labour warranty: one year