palmOne Launches 4GB LifeDrive PDA

As expected, palmOne on Wednesday launched its LifeDrive, the first hard-drive based PDA from the company. The LifeDrive sports 4GB of internal storage, a 320x480 high-resolution color screen, and includes built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

"LifeDrive mobile manager comes at an inflection point in the market, when people are ready for more advanced devices that meet their growing mobile-computing needs," said Ken Wirt, senior vice president at palmOne. "LifeDrive is versatile. For the business executive, it's a personal mobile briefcase; for the photo enthusiast, it's a camera companion."

palmOne also struck a deal with Wi-Fi provider T-Mobile, who will give a 30-day free trial of its T-Mobile Hotspot service to all LifeDrive owners.

Also confirmed was an earlier report that palmOne was planning to include Real Rhapsody in the PDA. The company says that the device will be compatible with both the pay-per-download and Rhapsody To Go services. As with T-Mobile, Real will also offer a 30-day free trial of the service.

Other features included in the unit are a built-in voice recorder, support for the SD, SDIO and MultiMediaCard formats, and flash memory to prevent data loss in case of a full drain of the LifeDrive's battery.

The LifeDrive will retail for $499 USD and is now available in "limited quantities" from the palmOne online store. The company expects it to be widely available on store shelves by early June.

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