Palm has just announced a collection of new accessories that will be available in the near future. This includes an infrared keyboard, a 1.3 megapixel camera SD card, six handheld cases, a multifunction stylus, and several more products.
One of the frequently heard complaints from users is that handhelds don’t share a common standard for connectors, which means that many peripherals aren’t cross-compatible. This is especially true for external keyboards. Palm’s next keyboard will help alleviate this problem by allowing the handheld and keyboard to communicate with infrared. The handheld is placed in a cradle and an infrared port on the end of a movable arm is positioned near the IR port on the handheld.
The keyboard portion appears similar to the Palm Ultra Thin Keyboard. It includes standard, full-sized keys but folds to a small, portable package.
Brighthand‘s Editor-in-Chief was given a brief opportunity to test this accessory and said, “Forget the bad things you’ve heard about other infrared keyboards. This one is a breeze to set up and the response time is basically instantaneous. It’s flexible enough that it will work with almost any Palm OS handheld.”
Palm’s new infrared keyboard will cost $69.95 and will be available October 1.
Another significant new accessory is a 1.3 megapixel digital camera that will connect to the handheld through the SD slot. This will be capable of taking 24-bit color photos at up to 1280 by 1024 pixels. Users can save them as standard JPEG images.
Other features include adjustable focus for close-up shots or landscapes, digital zoom for photos, a swivel lens for self-portraits or forward-facing photos, and a video capture function. This camera will be compatible with the Tungsten C, Tungsten T, and Tungsten T2.
This new camera card is scheduled to be available in December for $99.95.
Palm will also offer six new cases: two for the Zire line, a Universal Tough Case, and three leather Executive Series Cases in various sizes. These will range in price from $14.95 to $69.95.
The company’s pen-sized Executive Multifunction Stylus will perform four functions in one — a pen, a laser pointer, a flashlight, and, of course, a stylus. It will sell for $19.95.
Palm is also announcing the Zire Lighted Stylus Pen Pack ($14.95), the Tungsten Stylus Multi-Pack ($9.95), the Tungsten Gold Stylus ($29.95), the Screen Protector Multi-Pack ($19.95), the Zire Essentials Kit ($19.95), and the Universal Essentials Kit ($29.95).
All of these products except the camera will be available October 1 on the Palm web store, as well as consumer-electronics outlets, major retail chains, and online stores in most countries worldwide.