Palm 130 doesn’t quite make it to 65K colors but whose counting?

Robert Dow

Palm has had to admit that its m130 handheld, the one with the slogan “as colorful as your life” is actually a little less colorful than advertised. The machine is capable of only 58,621 color rather than 65,536. The problem apparently lies with the screen of the new handheld which sells for $249. Instead of using 16-bit technology which produces 65,536, it uses 12-bit technology which produces 4,096 colors and then dithers it up to 58,621.

The news is being reported by Reuters and Wired News and so far Palm has admitted the that there are indeed 11% less colors in the m130 than advertised but the company hasn’t offered a refund or apology.

There are anguished cries emanating from the chat rooms where people with computer keyboards and too much time on their hands are complaining about Palm’s shoddy marketing, deceptive practices etc. etc.. Apparently something similar happened with an earlier version of the HP Jornada, but HP did offer a refund.

Some of the more interesting questions that should be asked are these: What other, if any, Palms use this technology? What other handhelds use this technology? Who counted all those colors anyway?

We found Palm’s clarification after much hunting.
Reuters story
Wired News story