Visor Deluxe Review


The Handspring Visor is a personal digital assistant (PDA) by the company directed by the folks who originally developed the Palm. The Visor Deluxe model, reviewed below, is equipped with 8 Mb of RAM, a leather case, USB cradle, instruction manual, and software install CD. Software included is normal for PDAs - Datebook, Calendar, Expense Tracking, Graffiti recognition, and so forth. The base Visor model and the Deluxe come in a variety of colors but both are a bit more square in appearance than some other PDAs.

I purchased a Visor for several reasons. First, in my estimation there was more bang for my buck with the Visor versus other PDAs on the market at the time. Secondly, I was not fond of carrying around a conventional paper and pen Datebook, regardless of its size. And lastly, the functional expansion capabilities were greater with the Visor. This last reason was what really sold me on the Visor and its potential utilization by nurses.

When I purchased my Visor, about 4 months ago, I also purchased the backup module and an 8 Mb ROM module. The backup module has been moderately useful for me, more as a security blanket than anything else has. However, the ROM module has been very useful. I am able to store most programs on it and not directly on the Visor. This gives me more room on the Visor. And, the ROM module has more than enough room to hold many applications. The down side, though, is that the module must be in place to utilize those programs.

The Graffiti recognition software works well. It is not difficult to learn, and, what is interesting is that I now find myself, when using pen and paper, using graffiti strokes to try to compose on paper. Kind of annoying when the paper doesn't recognize my handwriting . (grin)

I found installing programs very easy. I have not had any difficulties in this area. The batteries are AAA's and I found that longer life from using batteries touted as having greater staying power in these kind of devices. The manual advises replacing batteries within a minute or else you risk losing all of data. Another way of losing all of data on the Visor was to perform a hard reset, which requires a paper clip. From personal experience, I encountered a system error from an application and had to perform a hard reset. I didn't use my backup module to restore data, opting instead to HotSync with my office PC the next day. Because I keep regular synchronization with my desktop PC, there was no loss of data.

Overall, I must say that I've been pleased with the performance and function of the Visor. And, with the purchase of a belt holster, I now travel without restriction.

William Scott Erdley, DNS, RN

Clinical Assistant Professor - SoN University at Buffallo

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