I just recently bought a used (but like new) Palm Z22 PDA off eBay. It was a deal at $50 less than the market price! Anyway, I have heard some good things and some bad things about this PDA, so I thought I might shed some light on the digital organizer, and its pros and cons.
The Design: I love the design. The organizer is just the right size and weight at 2.7” x 4.06” x .6” and 3.4 ounces. The Z22 is relatively light, and most of the PDA is taken up by its 160 x 160 color touch-screen. The mini-USB connector is at the top, and the power button is on the side. The location of the power button may be a slight disadvantage, because several times I've meant to hit a button nearby, and without thinking, I turn the power off. The stylus is stored in a hole in the upper right-hand corner of the Z22. It can be a bit of a hassle to remove the stylus from the storage hole, as I have to insert my fingernail into one of the grooves to remove it, but this is just a minor inconvenience. The Z22 contains two buttons that can be used as shortcuts to programs, a direction-pad, and a graffiti-area, which I will explain later. There are four icons next to the graffiti area that are also shortcuts to different functions and areas, like find, the main menu, hot-sync, and the select menu.
Battery: Most of the time my Z22 is left plugged in, and when it's not, it runs on its battery for a very short time, but from what I've seen, the battery can lost a pretty long time.
The Directional Pad: Personally, I use the stylus more than the directional pad, but from the few times I've used it, the directional pad is extremely responsive and easy to use. However, because the Z22 is supposed to be compact, the directional pad might seem tiny to some people, who would struggle and hit the wrong buttons while trying to look at their calendar.
The screen: The touch screen is extremely bright. One time, when I got up in the middle of the night to write down one of my ideas, I turned on my Palm, and was blinded by the bright light! This may bother some people, but the brightness of the screen can be adjusted, along with the color scheme of the PDA. The touch screen is also extremely responsive, and can be calibrated for you in particular through a reset of the PDA.
Graffiti: Graffiti is a function in Palm PDAs that allows a user to write something in a specified area of the organizer, and the operating system (Palm OS Garnet 5.4) will read what they wrote and change it into text accordingly. The black graffiti area on the Z22 is below the touch screen, and is divided into three areas. The left area allows users to write lowercase letters, the middle allows uppercase letters, and the right area allows numbers. This is a good idea in theory, but to tell the truth, the Z22 software does not recognize what I am trying to write most of the time. All letters must be written a certain way, and it takes longer to write with Graffiti than with the on-screen keyboard.
Software: The Z22 comes loaded with a bunch of software, and even one game. The calendar program provides an extremely easy way to plan out one's day, and can display your schedule in four different ways. The task program is like a checklist of things for you to do, and you can even check them off like you would in real life. It allows a user to organize their things to do by priority, with numbers one to five. NotePad is an easy-to-use program that allows the user to draw on screen and save the contents.
HotSync: The HotSync program allows the user to copy the contents of their calendar, task list, and more on their computer to their PDA, and the reverse. It is very simple to use with Palm's free Desktop software. All you have to do is press the HotSync icon on your Z22, wait approximately two minutes, and everything is complete.
Overall: This is the first PDA I have owned, and I love it. For more advanced users, I might suggest buying something else, because there is no SD card port on the Z22 and the software available for it is very limited. If all you need is to plan your day and manage an electronic checklist of things to do, then the Z22 is for you. But if you plan to be gaming or using a PDA for advanced business applications (like word processing), then the Z22 is not for you.