330 review - Healthcare's "Dream Machine"
It was Voltaire who first wrote that common sense
was not all that common. Looking back at some of the missteps
in the handheld device manufacturing world shows that hardware
manufacturers are not immune to Voltaire's missive. Handspring's
"Visor Edge" or Palm's "Claudia Schiffer Edition"
are two examples that immediately spring to mind: both were feeble
attempts to win over customers with style, but failed because
they lacked substance. Handspring's Visor Edge is a failure because
they tried to to get into the "slim and trim" game and
still support their clunky Springboard modules and produced a
unit that achieves neither goal very well. Palm's "Claudia
Schiffer Edition" was a nonstarter because ... well, because
Thankfully the engineers at HandEra chose to use
history as a servant, not a master. HandEra built their new offering
on the same basic chassis as the TRGpro, but they took the venerable
TRGpro and gave it a slightly sleeker housing and then proceeded
to cram it full of innovations.
The choice to focus on technological innovations
and to use an existing (albeit slightly modified) chassis is a
welcome relief from the crop of "designer" products
that are hitting the market. By encasing the new HandEra in the
same basic housing, users will be able to use all of their Palm
III compatible accessories. We are all growing weary of being
required to go out and get a a new set of accessories each time
a new "designer" product that has few new features but
a "bold" new form comes out.
Apart from increasing the real cost of ownership,
this constant changing of form factors is making for an incompatible
world of gadgets that is increasingly frustrating to operate in.
It seems the handheld industry thinks little of backward compatibility
of devices and is focused on the next latest "look".
Breaking with the current trend, the engineer team at HandEra
chose to expend their energies and creative thoughts in an area
that really matters .... functionality .... and we're glad they
Yes, HandEra did give a nod to aesthetics, and gave the
HandEra a nice chrome front, but you very quickly come
to realize that this machine was designed and built by
mobile device enthusiasts who craved much more that just
a another pretty face. Expandability and storage are once
again the hallmarks of the HandEra product. The 330 comes
with two separate expansion slots capable of accessing
three types of media: The Compact Flash (CF), Secure Digital
(SD) and MultiMedia Cards.
What all this means to you is; you can now swap
cards (information) with just about any, software compatible,
device (handheld or otherwise) on the market today: Excluding
Handspring & Sony , who are still dedicated to their proprietary
expansion systems. You can also utilize a wireless modem, like
the enfora (formerly nextcell) PocketSpider in the CF slot while
still accessing the vast amounts of data you have stored on your
SD Card. Flexibility, compatibility and computability have attained
new heights in the 330!
The second most striking feature of the
330 is it's screen. HandEra has introduced a revolutionary
new screen technology: The 1/4 VGA high resolution 240x320
screen. It's a gray scale (monochrome) screen, but what
a gray scale it is! More than just a high resolution screen
the viewable area has increased as well. By incorporating
a virtual Graffiti area, users now have some interesting
choices available to them. With a tap of the stylus you
can make the Graffiti area drop out of sight and increase
the usable viewing area or you can select the landscape
mode and view data in a "wide screen" format.
Our Favorite "Cool Extras"
- A full sized reset button that will accommodate the
tip of an ordinary stylus, no more fiddling with ridiculous,
tiny reset pins.
- Optional battery configurations: The 330 comes standard with
4 AAA batteries, doubling the time between replacements. Or you
can order a removable, rechargeable, Lithium Ion battery pack
...how's that for a smooth way of ending the debate over rechargeable
- Voice Pad software, embedded microphone and enhanced speakers
enable voice recording on the fly. Need to remind yourself of
an important event? Simply record a voice memo for playback later.
The software will allow you to record to your CF & SD cards
so you can record as long a message as your storage cards allow.
The quality is fine for voice but but is not recommended for music
- A special fully functional registered copy of Quickoffice
that has been enhanced to take advantage of the 330's larger
screen and higher resolution. Quickoffice is a suite of
powerful utilities that you can use to synchronize with
Microsoft Excel, build charts, or create and edit Word compatible
text. "The Quickoffice suite was a natural choice for
the new HandEra 330 handheld, because it is the most powerful
business productivity suite offered for the Palm OS."
- Michael Downey, Chairman and CEO of HandEra
...( we could not have said
it better- RNpalm )
Some compatibility issues are sure to arise when new
screen technology is introduced. The HandEra is no exception. Some
compatibility issues have been raised, however most are trivial
(mostly gaming software) and will be overcome. The important software
i.e. NursingDrugs and all other clinical software developed by Skyscape,
we've run without a glitch.
For a complete list of specifications click
Wish list for the future
- An option to choose a Color screen.
- USB connectivity.
The HandEra 330 with it's dual expansion slots and
ground breaking screen technology (not to mention all the other
many innovations) is the ideal mobile device for healthcare.
Get the HandEra 330 from the PDA