Review of the Abacus Wrist PDA (AU5005)
Features of the Abacus/Fossil Wrist PDAPalm OS 4.1.2. I guess you'd have to say the number one featureof this watch is that it runs version 4.1.2 of the Palm OS and comes with the standardPalm personal information management applications installed. (See below for details.)Built-in stylus. The Wrist PDA comes with a tiny folding stylus tucked intothe buckle for writing on the screen. Jot. Jot is a handwriting recognition system that allows you to write lettersin a very natural way right on the watch's screen. I found it to be surprisinglyaccurate. Backlight. The backlight on the Wrist PDA is just like theone on my old Palm IIIx: blue, and plenty bright (at least by watch standards). Multiple watch faces. Choose from one of 11 different watch faces, ranging fromtraditional analog displays to unusual digital layouts.Infrared port. The IR port lets you beam data to and from all kinds ofdevices.Rocker switch. The rocker switch is a sort of three-way buttonused to make navigation and selection more efficient.What's In the Box The watch, of course. One folding stylus stashed in the buckle, and a backup stylus in the box.AC adapter and power cord.CD with Palm Desktop and synchronization software for both Windows and Macintoshoperating systems. USB cable for synching and charging the watch.Getting started guide.Warranty card (one year for people in the US, two years for those lucky Europeans).Three wallet-sized Jot cheat sheets (in English, French, and Spanish).SpecificationsThe specs on the Abacus and Fossil Wrist PDAs really aren't half bad fora watch. In fact, they are much more impressive than my old Palm IIIx which I oncethought of as being pretty advanced with its 16MHz processor, massive 4MB ofRAM, and two AAA batteries.Palm OS 4.1.2.Motorola DragonBall Super VZ 66MHz processor.View the Abacus Wrist PDA photo gallery.The first thing I'd like to do is congratulate Fossil for finally bringing theWrist PDA to market. The Fossil and Abacus Wrist PDAs have been in the works forat least four years, and now they have finally arrived. Thanks, Fossil, for notgiving up on the Wrist PDA. In my opinion, it was worth the wait.Before I get into specifics, I want to answer the biggest question I had whenI first started reading about the Abacus and Fossil Wrist PDAs: yes, they do actuallywork. I don't just mean that they function, but they really do actually work. Thescreen is big enough, the fonts are readable, the handwriting recognition is impressive,the synching functions as expected, and the battery life is sufficient. That'snot to say the Wrist PDA is perfect, however. There are still somebugs to be worked out, and a few rough spots that can definitely use polishing(all of which are described below), but generally speaking, yes, this watch reallydoes put a PDA on your wrist, and yes, it is actually usable. Now let's look atthe details.