SanDisk Bringing out Wi-Fi SD Card for Zire 71

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Users of most palmOne models have been eagerly waiting for a way to add Wi-Fi to their handhelds for a very long time. The first Wi-Fi SD card hit the market almost a year ago, but until now there have no drivers to allow any of these to be used with Palm OS handhelds. The long wait is almost over, at least for users of one model.

SanDisk has revealed to Brighthand its plans to release a Wi-Fi SD card for the Zire 71.

SanDisk This will not simply be a driver for the Wi-Fi SD card SanDisk released last year. The Zire 71 doesn’t supply enough power to the SD slot to let it use the original version, so a new model was necessary that requires even less power. Customers should be aware of this and only buy cards that specifically mention the Zire 71 on their packaging. However, this card will also be usable with Pocket PCs, as the original version was.

This card will begin shipping the last week of this month in both the U.S. and EMEA regions. SanDisk estimates the street price will be between $90 and $100.

Brighthand will publish a review of the SanDisk Wi-Fi SD Card for Zire 71 in the next couple of days.

What about Other Models?

SanDisk would like to make this card compatible with other palmOne models, but it isn’t getting the co-operation it needs. The Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 need to have a system patch applied before their SD slots can use this card. According to SanDisk, palmOne won’t publicly release this. Instead, the patch will be built into the driver that palmOne will release with its Wi-Fi SD card, which is expected to be available soon. This patch isn’t something SanDisk can develop itself, which means that the only option for Wi-Fi SD cards for the Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 is the one palmOne itself will sell.

SanDisk promises to try to make versions of all of its SD products compatible with as many palmOne products as possible. However, it says the lack of support from palmOne makes this difficult. SanDisk can’t release its SD card that combines Wi-Fi and 256 MB of Storage without further assistance from palmOne.

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