One of the reasons for buying a Zoomer is because I didn't want a laptop running Packrat. Palm Connect has the three main applications in the Zoomer included, but the main reason to use them is to overcome the limitations of the Zoomer's data entry methods with a PC keyboard. Import for the address book is a real strong point. I would never actually use these applications on the PC, there are much better software alternatives (such as Packrat). The whole point is that a software package for $19.95 that allowed you to transfer files, import files, and backup files was all that was needed and all most people will ever use. $129.00 that I paid for Palm Connect was too much, though I understand the included cable does bump the cost up another $20.00. (thats a total of $39.95 or 90.00 too much).
The main problem with the Zoomer is data entry. It's pretty good at data retrieval, thus the reason I call it a good reference tool. Data entry is terrible. The handwriting recognition is okay for short entries (such as in the dictionary), but just go and type a document on the notepad. I sat down and tried to get it to recognize the alphabet in upper and lower case using the examples in the manual. After hours of trying it did so one time. It is impossible to write a lowercase "w" next to an upper case "X". Could you imagine trying to take notes during a business meeting with either the pen based handwriting recognition or that little pop up keyboard--embarassing!
Office Depot now has the Casio for $599.00. Doesn't look like a temparary Radio Shack price markdown to me. Anybody else feel like they got stuck with a TI/99?
Make a PCMCIA card full of reference material, a simple spreadsheet, a simple com program, a simple database, and about 1mb of additional memory. That along with a ROM update would make the machine much more useful. Why does this machine have a joypad and buttons if there are not going to be any use for them? How about some real games like the Game Boy? How about some software of any kind for a decent price ($19.95 is the optimum selling price, $29.95 for exceptional titles, more for cartridges PCMCIA cards).