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My palmOne m5-Series

Home | My Handheld | My m515 | My m505 | My m500 | My m5-Series | PDA Guide | How-To
m5-Series Features

The Palm m515 is Palm's latest OS 4 color device in the m5-series that replaces the discontinued Palm m505. The two are almost as small as the Palm V(x) and Palm m500. They are very cool devices. Here is Palm Infocenter's m505 review. The m515 includes a brighter screen with intensity settings, 16MB of memory and OS 4.1 as compared to the m505.

The display is a reflective color screen that can display 65,000 colors. Since it is reflective, it looks pretty dark except in bright light. Because of this, many people like to keep the backlight on most of the time. This, of course, drains the battery pretty fast. Some early reports estimated about 7 hours of on time with the backlight, but we're getting less than 4 hours! Here is a review of the m505 screen.

The m515 and m505 also have a Secure Digital (SD) expansion slot. It accepts MultiMedia Cards (MMC) as well. This slot is designed for adding flash memory storage as well as I/O devices. Do not confuse CompactFlash or SmartMedia cards with the cards above because they won't work in your Palm. This is the same with Sony's Memory Stick.

The m500 is the only PDA in the m5-series that does not have a color screen. It looks almost identical to the m515 and m505, has 8MB of memory and includes the SD/MMC expansion slot.

See pictures and more information about the m5-series details on the Older Models Buying Guide.

palmOne no longer stocks these models, but you can see the palmOne m515 in our Amazon.com Store and the palmOne m505 in our Amazon.com Store and the palmOne m500 in our Amazon.com Store.

PalmZone.net Palm-related News

Check out the following PalmZone.net Palm-related news topics:

Memory Card Usage & Tips

For SD memory card usage, tips, and related software, check out the Memory Card Usage Section on our User Tips page.

Battery Life and Charging

The Palm m515/m505 chew through battery power quickly with the sidelight on. In the worst-case extreme with the sidelight on constantly, it will last from 4-6 hours. Without sidelight use at all, battery life is close to twice that. Obviously, your actual battery life will be somewhere in between depending on how often you use the sidelight and what applications you run.

The Palm m515 has both High and Low settings for the sidelight. The Low setting is about as bright as the Palm m505 sidelight. Battery life at this setting is somewhat improved over the m505. The high setting yields considerably lower battery life, but typically is not needed.

* Be sure to check out the Battery Life & Charging Section on our User Tips page for more valuable information.

Battery Drain Fix for Static Discharge USB Sync Issue

There is also a much more serious issue with the m505/m515 where static electricity can kill the USB sync capability. If you can sync via serial cable but not via USB, then you likely have this problem. Palm has recalled the original cradle and is replacing it with an enhanced version to prevent this problem moving forward. But if your m505 is already hit with the problem, you'll need to either exchange it through Palm support, have Palm Support send you an SD card that backs up your data and then performs the battery drain trick for you automatically, or try this do-it-yourself battery drain trick.

Palm OS 4.1 Upgrade
If you have an m515, then you are already running Palm OS 4.1. If you have an m505 or m500, then there is a free OS 4.1 Upgrade Utility available from Palm. It is a very tricky upgrade to get working, so don't attempt this if you don't have a lot of time and patience. You can't run it on Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows XP. Your Palm itself will still sync with these desktop OSs, but you have to use a different computer to run the OS 4.1 Upgrade Utility. Many people have also reported problems running it on Windows 2000 as well. Read Palm's directions very carefully and also follow all of these additional instructions.

The OS 4.1 Upgrade provides the following features:

  • It includes the Palm Backlight Utility to remember whether your backlight was on or off when you last shut off your Palm
  • It includes the FATFS update to the card-handling capability of the Palm that improves performance on cards over 32MB.
  • It includes Copy Update, which enables the launcher's copy function to copy user data associated with an application (this can be turned off as well).
  • It updates the Note Pad application to allow you to select an ink color. This color is used across all notes, its not selectable for individual notes.
  • It fixes a few noticeable bugs that you may have encountered: Beam receive now stays off permanently when you set it off, the "Stay on in Cradle" option now doesn't cause sporadic issues when placing your Palm in the cradle.
  • There are also a slew of behind the scenes bug fixes that mostly effect developers, but could resolve some problems you might be having with various 3rd-party applications.
Once you are complete with the OS 4.1 update, then you still need to install Palm's OS 4.x File Manager Update.

Palm OS 4.1.2 has also been released to developers, but no upgrades to end-users have actually been released. The only thing in OS 4.1.2 that's not in OS 4.1 is Palm's new Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition system based on CIC's Jot. There are no bug fixes or any other enhancements besides this.

Styli and Screen Protection

For recommendations on m5-series styli and screen protectors, see the Screen Protection Section on our User Tips page.

Getting Wireless

Check out our Wireless Page for all of the available options for connecting yoru Palm to the internet. Methods available to you as an m5-Series owner, include Bluetooth, cellular phone connection, and wireless modem accessory.

Palm m5-Series Software
  • Palm Backlight Utility: If you are still running OS 4.0, Palm has released a utility that saves the status of the backlight and restores it whenever you turn on your m505. So if you like to leave it on, it will come on whenever you turn on your device. If you like to leave it off as much as possible and it was off when you turned the device off, the backlight will still be off the next time you turn on your device.
  • PalmZone.net has colorized several applications ourselves, such as SubHunt, MineHunt, BatteryLog, etc. They are available in our Colorized Applications Section of our File Downloads.
  • We've listed only software specifically for the m5-Series above, so be sure to check out our PalmZone.net Software Essentials section for more great software.
  • Next, head to our PalmZone.net Software Store, powered by PalmGear for even more listings of color software.

Additional Information/Links

Here are some additional places for information of value to m5-Series users.

Home | My Handheld | My m515 | My m505 | My m500 | My m5-Series | PDA Guide | How-To

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Published on: 2006-07-04 (60935 reads)
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