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Visor Prism
Saturday October 21, 2000 - 1:29 PM EST - By James Hromadka

Speed

Star Pilot in colorThe Prism makes good use of the 33 MHz processor that it uses. PocketMark gives the Prism a 192 rating overall (204/126/199) compared to a 125 rating (129/101/132) for the Visor Deluxe. In actual use, the Prism blows away the VDX. I had Star Pilot 3.10 refresh its greyscale night sky view on City magnitude setting with constellation lines turned on. The Prism took five seconds to finish, while the Visor Deluxe took 14 seconds. Under Rural magnitude (where more stars are calculated and drawn), the Prism took 56 seconds and the Visor Deluxe took 1:06 -- not too much longer.

I then tried Dr. Mario on Liberty on both devices. The game is useless on a Visor Deluxe unless it is overclocked, but ran at an acceptable speed on the Prism. It seems that number-crunching is only marginally faster on the Prism, but functions like screen drawing are much faster.

Battery Life

Handspring says that the Visor Prism offers two weeks of "normal use" or six hours of continuous use with a full recharge taking 1.5-2 hours. I know that there is plenty of religious discussion on the pros and cons of a internal rechargeable battery, but I think it is the right thing to have in a color Visor. Because of the heavy usage I give my Visor when reviewing Springboard modules and software, I went through batteries in 2-3 weeks. Now I don't have that problem anymore. Hopefully Springboard modules will take the VisorPhone's lead and become rechargeable also.

I found battery life to be sufficient. I only recharged the Prism at night, and the meter only dropped by about 20%. The cradle that the Prism uses has a jack on the USB connector for the power supply to plug into. I liked this because it keeps the cable out of the way. For those that travel, Handspring offers a Travel Charger ($34.99) that will charge your Prism and Springboard modules that support in-handheld charging like the VisorPhone.

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Visor Prism
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Product Details
Name: Visor Prism
Company: Handspring
Palm OS: 3.5.2H
Processor: 33 MHz Dragonball V2
Memory: 8 MB
Colors: Cobalt Blue
Size: 4.8" x 3.0" x 0.8"
Weight: 6.9 oz.
Price: $449.00


Buy Visor Prism at Amazon.com





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