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Gadget flashback – Palm PDA

In these days of high-falutin’ do-it-all smartphones, the thought of carrying around a Personal Digital Assistant to handle pretty much everything exc

Palm Pilot 1000 (1996)

The first PDA produced by Palm (then owned by US Robotics) sported a monochrome LCD “tactile panel” with a resolution of 160 x 160 pixels and 128KB of built-in memory. You could add extra RAM – a whole 2MB of it – by shoving memory chips in the back, and the whole thing was powered by a pair of AAA batteries. You could sync the Pilot 1000 to your computer through a cradle – and it held applications including an address book, calendar, notepad and to do list.

Palm III (1998)

A law suit from pen-makers Pilot meant Palm had to drop the moniker for this PDA, which toted the then new 3.0 version of the PalmOS. That meant kickass features like a new app launcher and extra font size! The device itself had 2MB of flash memory for the OS and built-in apps, and 2MB of SDRAM for storage of user data and installed software – and a similar four-tone greyscale screen to the Pilot 1000, although this time it was backlit. It also had an IR port for wirelessly transferring data.

Palm IIIc (2000)

The first Palm PDA to feature a colour screen. The TFT LCD the IIIc rocked was fine indoors, but reportedly almost unusable outside unless the weather was “very cloudy”.

Palm Treo 270 (2002)

Not a PDA, this is proper smartphone combining the PalmOS platform with the skills of a mobile. With an unusual protective cover that doubled as an earpiece when opened out, it wasn’t much of a looker – but it boasted both a primitive colour touchscreen and full backlit QWERTY keyboard, making it very handy when it came to messaging.

Palm Treo 650 (2004)

This hugely popular smartphone came with a 0.3-megapixel camera and upped the resolution of its 2.7-inch touchscreen to 320 x 320. There was Bluetooth too and an SD card slot to boost the 32MB of built-in memory, but no room for Wi-Fi.

Palm Pre (2009)

A new generation of Palm smartphones, the Pre came with a swanky new webOS operating system, 24-bit colour multitouch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. A 3.2-megapixel snapper, 8GB of built-in memory, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and Bluetooth rounded off this much anticipated blower.