The LifeDrive bashing has already started and the product isn't even released yet. PDABuzz has published an editorial comparing the LifeDrive unfavorably to new Personal Media Players (PMP's).
Some excerpts from the article are as follows:
Whether PalmOne and Palm fans like it or not, the LifeDrive's hardware capabilities and price-point would seem to put it in direct competition with many of these Personal Media Players.
A new device from BlueTronics is about the same size as LifeDrive, (5.5 in x 3.1 in x 0.8 in.), yet it has 5 times the storage and a high resolution video output displaying at 720 x 480 at 30fps.
Not only that, it will play Mpeg 1, Mpeg 2, Mpeg 3, DivX, ASF, and WMP natively. Most video won't need to be rescaled or converted on a computer before being played. This device will just work, it will flat out play video and music, and play it well.
The most telling point about this Bluetronics Device is the price point. At $420 the BlueTronics is not a cheap buy, but it is still $80 cheaper than the LifeDrive.
I expect the LifeDrive will require a lot of computer-side conversion and rescaling. Most users (and I suspect a good many reviewers) will try it out a few times, fail miserably and put video firmly on the "cons" side of things.
The music playback included in modern Palm devices can only be described as a shambles. Apple gets it, so do a lot of the other manufacturers. With an iPod, a user doesn't even need to look at the device to play a tune, let alone look at the screen. An iPod user can feel around, hit a few buttons and music just plays.
Only time will tell how the LifeDrive fares against these new PMP's. PDABuzz is correct in that there is little mention from palmOne or other sources about video playback. I'm sure there will be a video player included and there is always MMPlayer that will play some native video formats.
The one thing that PDABuzz should have mentioned in their article, though, is that palmOne's initial target market for their new mass-storage device is the Healthcare industry. Doctors and other professionals in this industry need tons of storage for medical reference applications. palmOne will be releasing the LifeDrive first to this market within about a week and then to the general public later in the month.
Its quite possible that palmOne's strategy was to get their mass-storage device to market and then build upon its software features to attract additional buyers.
I also wanted to point out that there is a similar argument about the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) being inferior to these new PMP's because Sony is using a proprietary spinning media, called UMD.
Be sure to read our article, Recent Rumors of Zire 73, Tungsten E2, and new LifeDrive, for all of the known information and rumors surrounding the new palmOne LifeDrive.
Thanks to PDABuzz for writing this editorial.