Short looks at some of the best we've seen
by Shawn Barnett
Jeff Hawkins himself decreed that this Plastic belt clip holster should be made for the Visor line. It offers excellent screen protection and clips pretty securely to your belt or pants. The only moving part is the clip, yet the Visor goes in easy, comes out easy, and stays locked in place even if you turn it upside down and shake it. Simple and straightforward, the little holster is a must-have item for the Visor owner on the go. US$19.95 www.handspring.com
Caught an authorized sneak peak at this little gadget at MacWorld. It's a clear prototype of the goVox soon to be released by LandWare. The screen cover/voice recorder slides into the Palm V's left pen slot and has a slick spring-loaded hinge that keeps it in the closed or open position. I asked if the shipping version would be available in clear plastic, and the answer was no. No idea yet on what color it will be, nor on pricing, but it is a very cool addition, offering not only voice recording, but superior screen protection. Those LandWare guys are always thinking. www.landware.com
Palm Portable Keyboard
We saw these babies back in November, and we thought they were pretty neat, but to have one is to love it. The Palm Portable Keyboard is the best engineered piece of Palm hardware I've ever seen, and it ranks among the most engineered pieces of anything I've ever seen. Everything has a purpose, from the latches to the cams that subtly hold the outer wings of the keyboard in place. It all comes together to make the slimmest package, only slightly larger than a Palm III, fold out into the nicest keyboard imaginable for a handheld computer. The typing experience is superb on this full-size keyboard. Tactile feedback is excellent, just like a laptop, only more comfortable because it's closer to the table. Special control buttons for the Palm round out the package, taking you to the four basic applications. US$99 seems a little high, but when you use one, you'll agree it's worth every penny. Made by ThinkOutside, it is available from Palm for the Palm III and VII series, as well as the Palm V. Soon there will be one for the Visor as well. www.palm.com
The new Springboard modem has finally shipped; it's the first item to ship with a case that is larger than the usual Springboard module. Just like the Palm modem, you'll need software to get email or get on the web. It runs at 33.6 and comes with the usual simple instructions we've come to appreciate from Handspring. There are absolutely no markings on the outside of the device, which could get confusing because many other devices will use the same standard case. As for function, it works great! US$129.
IntelliGolf has the distinction of being the first third party Springboard module to ship. As a proof of the Springboard concept, the module just plugs in and you have instant access to the premier golf scorecard program. IntelliGolf automates golf scoring, collects game-improving statistics, and tracks up to 17 simultaneous wagers (skins). Also included is a free download of Windows software that allows downloads of 6,000 course statistics, and desktop tracking of handicap, etc. If you golf, Intelligolf is essential. US$39.95 www.intelligolf.com