Given a device as “big” as the Aceeca PDA32, I have decided to give myself at least a few hours worth of hands-on time with the machine to allow my thoughts to settle before writing anything here.
Even though this unit is not a final, production unit, it feels very solidly in the hand even though it has but a plastic case. The buttons are pleasant, and the form factor is ergonomic albeit it being extremely “fat”.
Looking back at the device and comparing it to handhelds like Palm’s evergreen IIIc, the PDA32 appears like a very solid and great performer. Of course, its design lacks many niceties which were introduced on later machines – more on that as the review progresses. When compared to today’s devices, the device barely stands a chance.
However, the device’s competitors are non-existent: Palm’s excellent quality control has taken care that most original PalmOS hardware is now in a state of total decay. Thus, a Palm OS head has no real choice – and, if he can live with the fat form factor, will most likely like the device.
As for me, the device has served to awaken beautiful memories of a long-gone past. Memories of a Palm economy where press, software and hardware developers were a small community which knew one another and worked together. Unfortunately, time has moved on…
The PDA32 sample will now face our regular test battery in a preliminary review, and a final sample will pass through the same process in a ceteris paribus fashion.
But these words should have been said in advance…