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First look - Visor Edge

Tue Mar 13, 2001 - 5:07 AM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson


First Look

VisorCentral's Marcus Adolfsson got his hands on the Visor Edge yesterday - below you will find his initial thoughts. Note: James will have an extensive review (with better photos) of the Visor Edge published by the weekend.

If Bang & Olufsen produced PDAs, this is the design they would have chosen.

Visor Edge is definitely one of the most elegant PDAs I have ever seen. It might appear boxy at first glance, but take a second look and you will find design elements and attention to details never before seen in a PDA.

Starting with the front, we see a beautiful metal plate surrounding the screen and graffiti area [picture]. The screen is almost identical to Visor Platinum's, with one slight improvement: The backlight is noticeable brighter.

The applications and scroll buttons are also in metal, however unlike the rest of the Visor family these buttons are convex, not concave [picture].

The power button is located in the bottom right hand corner. Rather than being in metal it is made of plastic, because it also functions as a silent alarm and charging indicator.

Unlike the front and back, the sides of Visor Edge are made of plastic. The plastic edge, which holds the screen and front plate in place with nine noticeable screws (part of the design) makes Visor Edge easy to hold. [picture]

The plastic edge, in combination with the plastic power button, allows for the silent alarm to be seen even when the cover is closed. [picture]

A second metal plate covers the back of Visor Edge. It is also here we find the 12 pin cradle connector and the Edge Connector - a miniature springboard connection. [picture]

Not only is the casing beautiful - it is also highly functional. Between the plastic sides and the bottom metal plate is a tiny gap. The gap creates a track that surrounds the whole unit. [picture]

This track serves multiple purposes. The Detachable springboard slot attaches to it, and the cradle uses to track to hold Visor Edge. Cases can also use the track. For example, Handspring's has an upcoming slim case that uses the track to attach the Visor Edge. [picture]

Cover

The detachable metal cover adds almost no thickness or weight to Visor Edge. It attaches using the Edge Connector slot, so no modules can be used when the cover is attached. [picture]

The cover opens and closes relatively easily, and can "lock" into a 105 degree position (rotating from the screen of the Visor). Unfortunately the cover can't go 360 degrees and attach to the back of Visor Edge - the furthest it will go is 270 degrees. [picture]

If you prefer to not use the cover, a small piece of plastic is included to cover the slot for Edge Connector. [picture]

Stylus

The stylus bundled with Visor Edge is one of the best "factory" stylus I have seen in a long time. Purely made out of metal, this stylus has an excellent shape (thicker towards the bottom) and near perfect weight. And like the rest of the Edge Package, it is stylish.

A short track at the top of the right hand side of Visor Edge both holds and guides the movement of the stylus. At the bottom, the stylus' tip slides into a stylish holder. [picture]

To release the stylus, simply press down on the lever located at the top, and push the stylus upwards. Inserting the stylus is equally elegant. Align the stylus with the holder tracks and push down until you a "click.

Edge Connector / Detachable Springboard slot

Unique to Visor Edge is the Edge Connector, and the Detachable Springboard slot. The Edge Connector is electronically identical to the Springboard slot interface, however their physical appearance are drastically different. [picture]

Bundled with Visor Edge is the Detachable Springboard slot. The adapter, which is colored "Smokey Blue" (same color as cradle) adds considerably thickness [picture] to Visor Edge, however it easily slides onto the back, using the track system mentioned earlier. [picture]

Plugging in an oversized module, like the Visor Phone, makes for an awkward looking combination. [picture]

It is great to have the Springboard expandability option, even though Visor Edge owners might not use that option too frequently.

Springboard developers can also make expansion products that fit directly into the Edge Connector and therefore fit the design of Visor Edge better.

A mockup unit of an Edge Specific Tellus WipClip CDPD modem was shown at Handspring's press conference in New York City. [picture] [picture 2]

Cradle

This is one cool looking cradle. Visor Edge is held into place by its tracks, and a metallic weight underneath the tiny cradle stops it from tipping over. [picture] [picture 2]

That's all I got for now. Additional information will be added later today.

Please excuse any spelling/grammar mistakes in the article - I have now been up for more than 24 hours in a row (left FL for NY at 4.30 am yesterday, and just got back home) and don't really trust my judgement...


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