Yafa 4.Palm Stylus Review

The Yafa 4.Palm stylus is a trendy iMac styled translucent 4 in 1
multifunction pen that is available in 5 colors: Green, Blue, Orange, Grey and
Clear.

Each 4.Palm pen has a black ink pen, 0.5mm pencil, neon
highlighter and a stylus tip. To select a tip, you hold the pen at about
30 degrees and rotate it till the icon for the tip that you want is on
top. The icons are printed around the top of the pen near the plunger.
Then you press the plunger and that tip extended. This method works
surprisingly well and I rarely had the wrong tip selected using this
method.The black ink pen and pencil tips are pretty much standard. The ink pen
has a medium point and writes as smooth as any regular ballpoint ink pen.
The 0.5mm pencil also works fine although to refill the lead, you have to
unscrew the pen, pull out the pencil tube, and insert more lead. If
you plan to use the pencil a lot, this could be an annoying chore.
The neon highlighter tip is actually an orange ballpoint ink
pen that has a heavy point (just a little thicker than the black ink tip).
As highlighters go, I’d rather have a felt tipped version…The other tip is the stylus which is black. I’m not fond of black
colored stylus tips because they don’t stand out enough from the other
tips. It would be easy to think you had the stylus extended only to have
the black pen instead…eek, wouldn’t want to use that on your PDA
display!

That said, this tip is smooth and easy to write with. Using it with my
Palm IIIc and Casio E-115 felt just fine. This stylus is worlds better than the stock
styli that come with the PDAs.

A small white eraser is housed under the plunger cap.

When no tip is extended, the pen does rattle quite a bit if you shake
it.

The only real negative aspect of the 4.Palm stylus is its
size. It is really thick. As you can see by the picture to the left,
it is almost twice as wide as a regular BIC pen. But, the Yafa 4.Palm
didn’t seem to be uncomfortable for me to hold and use. Its size and color
makes it seem more juvenile than corporate. I can’t really picture an
executive with one of these pens clipped to his shirt pocket.Other than that, the Yafa 4.Palm is a nice inexpensive stylus / pen
combo.

 

Price: $20.00

Pros:

4 tips in one pen.
Smooth stylus tip.
Interesting colors.

Cons:

Too thick.
Black stylus tip.

More of our stories that you'll enjoy:


28 thoughts on “Yafa 4.Palm Stylus Review”

  1. I must admit, when I received email notification of this review I was ecstatic. Tons of pictures, great in-depth review, typical for the-gadgeteer…or so I figured! While I am glad to see a Shap C700 review, it truly could have been more in-depth. This seems to be one of the most revolutionary Linux PDAs in a long time, yet its review is half the size of those for new Pocket PCs with a mere two or three new features! What gives? I would really like some more pictures, from every angle possible, and if possible maybe a longer in-depth version over the period of the next month. Is that too much to ask?

    No disrespect here…just constructive criticism.

  2. jeff@friedman.com

    Everyone’s a critic! Well I didn’t write any of those other
    LONG reviews. But I’ll be glad to answer any questions
    (provided I have figured the answers out). If you found
    a gadget (say, an astrolabe) with the instructions written
    in Etruscan how long would the review you wrote two weeks
    later be?

    Jeff

  3. I once had an ancient egyptian sarcophagus which come with sumerian instruction tablet. It didn’t take me 2 weeks to write a review. 😛

    PS. nice review:
    uhm..can you run all Linux software written with QT in mind? what is the situation with softwares? thanks.

  4. I am amazed that devices with keyboard and wide aspect screen have been so eclipsed by the palm top format.
    I love my palm 500, and I am rarely without it, including whilst on holiday, which is the only time I do not also have a PC close at hand. Now I like to keep a daily account of the holiday, and have used the palm for that purpose, but I much prefer to use my son’s LG Phenom. (long since discontinued) Long battery life, instantly on, fair keyboard, not pocketable but certainly portable, and 640×240 screen though not brilliant, does present an A4 width of page.

    Here are a few questions that come to mind from the C700 review:-
    What is the screen resolution?
    Does the Word handling program cope with tables?
    Is there a hotsynch program? Which interface does it use?
    Does your replacement contacts program synchronise with outlook?
    does the application or the OS control the screen aspect (portrait or landscape)?

    Have you seen anything of the Samsung Nexio? http://www.samsungelectronics.com/pda/index.html
    Pocket PC 8.8oz 800×480 screen and keyboard

    Best Wishes
    Mike

  5. Thanks for the review, I especially like the photographs.

    I would like to hear your impressions of the PIM apps and the conversion to english by Dynamism.

    I have serious techno-lust for the C700 but it is missing a few things for me (besides not being sold in the US).

    What I would like to see is:

    128Meg RAM
    802.11b
    8 Hour battery life
    $400-$500 price

    I’ve stated this in other places but I think Sharp is missing a huge opportunity with the C700. They need to really support and seed the developer community. They also need to release this in the states soon.

  6. jeff@friedman.com

    Screen size: the Dynamism blurb on the C700 says (and I
    concur):

    “The Sharp VGA (640×480) screen is truly awesome: bright and razor sharp. In fact, sometimes it’s so detailed it can be difficult to read the text; fortunately, there’s a built-in zoom function that allows you to zoom up on the screen in five steps. ”

    I will check out the tables in HancomWord and let you know, the
    comm programs will have to wait on more exploration and an
    English manual. Certain Compact Flash cards that work on the
    Zaurus 5500 are supposed to work on the C700, but I’m not
    going to buy anything until I have pretty reliable reports AND a
    set of user instructions I’m sure I understand.

    The PIMs and English conversion are acceptable. I mentioned
    that I replaced the Contacts book with the tkc program,
    because the conversion was not great (kept trying to switch
    to Japanese font), perhaps this has been corrected over the
    past two weeks. The tkc contacts book is written for the
    5500 and does not rotate to landscape aspect, this is not
    optimal but if the C700 catches on here I’d expect to see a
    fix for this.

    The Nexio looks also very interesting, but it is a good deal bigger
    than the C700.

    QT format Linux programs should run, but I think I want to try
    ’em out one by one until I become a Linux guru. The tkc people
    seemed amazed that some of their stuff was running on the
    C700.

    Jeff

  7. Jeff, I truly did not mean any offense :). Yesterday was a bad day, and I guess I took it out on you. Sorry about that…:).

    Have you found that the Zaurus apps for the 5500 work on this PDA, or is the resolution too confusing for them?

  8. jeff@friedman.com

    I have gotten a number of the 5500 apps to work (the tkc
    software, the Beiks stuff, JustReader, and a number of Jeode
    programs (RDCalc, Solun’, Formulae1). I have not found
    anything in English yet that is written FOR the C700 (no
    surprise there, since there are just a few dozen of them around).

    One or two programs would not work, but I’m not sure why.
    There was nothing I absolutely needed, and I haven’t had a
    chance to fool around with getting non-essential stuff to run
    until I get everything else up. It looks to me like movies may
    have to be converted to 320 rather than 640 to run with the
    tkc viewer, but I haven’t had enough time to check that out.

    Otherwise, no problem with the resolution that I can see, except
    that most of the programs do not have an option to use the
    landscape view. Some will not install to the SD card but require
    you to install to internal storage, but most do fine from the SD
    (or, I guess, Compact flash). I will probably save the compact
    flash slot for wi-fi or other comm stuff, Dynamism says that 1 Gig
    SD will be available later this year. Since the 1 hour John Wayne
    oater I found on the net takes roughly 92 Meg, and I have about
    100 Meg of book files, spreadsheets and software, a 1 Gig
    card should hold all my stuff and plenty of movies.

    Jeff

  9. To bad this doesn’t run PPC format or Palm os. I don’t understand why they can’t do this. I guess the keyboard market has never been a hot seller.

  10. Jeff,

    Holding your stylus down on the applications icon will allow you to disable the mirror mode (320×240 mode). This will allow many of the applications to run in the “landscape” mode. This is not an option for the included applications since their options are hidden by a line that is added to their .desktop file.

    LD

  11. Thanks for the review – it reminds me of my own experiences, I loved my HP 200LX and haven’t been really happy with any other organizer until getting a C700. It’s absolutely amazing.

    I’m now running Debian Linux on mine (see my homepage for details; the screenshots still show the older 5000 model), and it’s surprisingly well useable as a miniature Linux workstation. The keyboard is great, the extra Japanese keys are positioned just right to be used as Ctrl and Alt keys, and the 640×480 display has no trouble displaying 80×25 characters in a well-readable font.

    I’m not too thrilled with the qtopia applications delivered with the system – they are rather slow and bloated IMHO. I’m currently using jpilot for PIM tasks under X11 – it’s not pretty, but at least it has a month view that actually displays the appointment details for each day. And you can dial numbers on your cellphone via IRDA directly from the contacts view.

    I haven’t really had any trouble with the battery life so far – note that its charger and batteries are compatible with the older Sharp Zaurus 5×00 series, so I plundered my old Zaurus to get a spare battery, which I haven’t actually needed yet. Wireless LAN eats power like crazy, but you can usually plug in the (tiny) charger at airports or other hot spots.

    It would be nice if Sharp released a 64MB RAM version – the 32MB model can run out of memory if you try to run larger applications. But it’s been working quite well so far.

    -Klaus

  12. jeff@friedman.com

    Originally posted by LordDavon
    [B]Jeff,

    Holding your stylus down on the applications icon will allow you to disable the mirror mode (320×240 mode). This will allow many of the applications to run in the “landscape” mode. This is not an option for the included applications since their options are hidden by a line that is added to their .desktop file.

    LD [/B]

    Thanks for this tip. It works, but unfortunately 1) some apps then
    run in a 1/3 screen box in landscape mode, and 2) those
    that run full-screen, like the tkc Contacts program, end up with
    micro-tiny fonts; even increasing the font size to maximum on
    tkc Contacts leaves it just a bit too small to be useful. I have
    read on a new C700 forum (http://externe.net/zaurus/forum/)
    that you can edit the resolution: it involves starting up via a
    command line in Embedded Console, and editing. I have not tried
    this, it sound a bit complicated.

    Jeff

  13. Jeff,

    That would be expected as the fonts these applications use are designed for a 320×240 display. I have been working on making the fonts larger, but this is taking some time. I have also been working with OpenZaurus and there will be a version of Opie for the C700 which will also sync with Qtopia Desktop out soon.

    This is the preferred conversion method and the route that we have decided to take as opposed to releasing the conversion.

    LD

  14. Thanks for pointing out the forum. Unfortunatly, it has the same misunderstanding that many people have. The units that Dynamism sells do not have an English ROM. The units are converted by making changes to the writable filesystem and the ROM is the same as shipped from Sharp. This makes it possible to update the ROM using Sharp’s Japanese ROM without affecting the translation.

    LD

  15. Excellent review. I’ve been drooling for one of these since I found out about them.

    One feature you didn’t address was how the swivel for the screen feels. Does it feel like it’s going to snap off, or does it feel pretty solid? I’ve held of on getting one since I tend to be pretty hard on mobile devices.

    Thanks,
    -Jon

  16. well i was dumb enough to load an ogg plugin for the mediaplayer and listened to music from the internal speaker (not the greatest, but it does work – didn’t say how well it worked though).

    i don’t use the usb cable to windows as i don’t have windows. i was yet dumb enough to go wireless and started samba to move files over to it from nautilus (smb://ip-address).

    my future plan is to setup sudo and have an icon just to click to start samba – when the network dies, so does samba apparently.

    i don’t plan to buy any software for it so for playlists, maybe i’ll find a playlist editor which just modifies the playlist in media-player and that will work for me.

    note: you can get sound from the internal speaker – it just isn’t great sound – for great sound plugin an external speaker.

  17. jeff@friedman.com

    Originally posted by jmoses
    [B]Excellent review. I’ve been drooling for one of these since I found out about them.

    One feature you didn’t address was how the swivel for the screen feels. Does it feel like it’s going to snap off, or does it feel pretty solid? I’ve held of on getting one since I tend to be pretty hard on mobile devices.

    Thanks,
    -Jon [/B]

    It is okay, but you have to be sure not to try to turn it the wrong way! It goes clockwise, and feels like you could do some damage if you try to turn it counterclockwise too energetically. There is a sticker in Japanese on it warning you of the right way to turn it, so I guess they know it might be tempting to make a mistake.

    Jeff

  18. jeff@friedman.com

    Originally posted by Mike Pendray
    [B]Does the Word handling program cope with tables?
    Is there a hotsynch program? Which interface does it use?

    Best Wishes
    Mike [/B]

    Yes, tables seem to make it over to HancomWord from my
    desktop Windows Word.

    Jeff

  19. Thanks for the review. Wow for about the same size as my Zaurus SL-5500, I’d get VGA resolution. I love my Zaurus, but I am always wanting a bigger screen.

    There’s lots of SL-5500 software available at myzaurus.com, more every day.

    I think you’d get more out of your Zaurus if you use the (fairly) good documentation that comes with the SL-5500 model. They sound similar enough. The documentation that came with the Z is on line:

    Word and Excel (1 MB size):
    http://www.myzaurus.com/downloads/HancomMobileOffice.pdf

    General User Guide 6.5 MB size:
    http://www.myzaurus.com/downloads/Final_OM.pdf

    Questions:
    What the schedule for Dynamism to improve their English support?
    Will you update the review when you get the English instructions and find out about all the other nifty features?
    Is Sharp gonna release a real English version in the US?

  20. Originally posted by LordDavon
    [B]Thanks for pointing out the forum. Unfortunatly, it has the same misunderstanding that many people have. The units that Dynamism sells do not have an English ROM. The units are converted by making changes to the writable filesystem and the ROM is the same as shipped from Sharp. This makes it possible to update the ROM using Sharp’s Japanese ROM without affecting the translation.

    LD [/B]

    Does this mean that if I buy a translated one, and sharp decides to release an english version, that I can update to a native english one? (Or does it mean that I can’t)

  21. This is about the 4th or 5th article I’ve read on the Zaurus 700, and from what I can read, it seems to be the answer to a maiden’s prayer for a PDA. All existing PDA’s are really nothing more than a kludge, buying snap-on keyboards, foldable keyboards and other accessories, you finish up need a satchel to carry everything around. This has all the benefits of the form of the Psion range with the addition of changing to a traditional PDA style. I hope that all the US journalists are putting pressure on Sharp to release the sytem with an English OS, I’m right at the head of the queue in wanting one.

  22. jeff@friedman.com

    > Julie,
    > I am using the C700 now for about everything, except still
    > have the HP200 as an adding machine on my desk (I do have a
    > Reverse Polish notation calculator installed on the C700, but
    > the separate HP200 numerical keypad is harder to disaccustom to)
    > In spite of no English manual, still, I sprang for a
    > 802.11b LAN card and signed up yesterday, in a Starbucks near
    > Carnegie Hall, for the TMobile Hotspot WiFi service. I am
    > emailing you this from another Starbucks, near Lincoln
    > Center, via mail2web.com. But first of course I visited the
    > gadgeteer web page and took some photos. Unfortunately my
    > digital camera uses multimedia cards; if it used SD cards I
    > could pop the card into the C700 and send it on to you right
    > now (I’ll send the photos of your web page on my C700
    > tomorrow from work).
    > The 802.11b card luckily configured itself, so I didn’t
    > have to negotiate any Japanese menus to set up. All around
    > this Starbucks are people with huge Mack truck size laptops.
    > And me with my micro-mini!


    Jeff

  23. What is the full list of connectors on the C700?
    So far I see it has CF, SD, IRDA, and some sort of serial interface. Is the CF type II? (You never know until you know).

  24. Originally posted by Dexteron
    [B]What is the full list of connectors on the C700?
    So far I see it has CF, SD, IRDA, and some sort of serial interface. Is the CF type II? (You never know until you know). [/B]

    Yes, the CF slot is type II, and a Microdrive works fine in it.

    There’s also a stereo heaphone connector (which can be switched to mono earplug/mono microphone mode in software), and a proprietary plug format for the USB (device, not host) and serial cables.

    -Klaus

  25. jeff@friedman.com

    After a month I am REALLY starting to get excited about the C700!
    This week I used the built-in email program (while connected at
    a Starbucks to the TMobile WiFi network through the NetFront
    browser) to get Pop mail from my ISP’s server, and did ftp
    using a tkc commercial ftp client ($9.95). The ftp was amazingly
    fast, I downloaded a 3 Meg mpg file in 15-20 seconds. Still no
    English manual, but the more I use it the more capabilities the
    C700 reveals.

    Jeff

  26. Hi all!

    Wow, thanks Jeff for reviewing the Zaurus C700 and introducing it to the greater tech community!

    I just received my Japanese unit and I liked it so much that I just have to tell everyone this – To everyone who is sitting on the fence like I was, this PDA is truly excellent and I believe it is ready for prime time!

    I believe that the C700 community has reached critical mass and that we now have enough knowledge to convert this unit to English and customize it to make it useful – even for Linux newbies like myself.

    If you are full of questions like I was – check out my C700 page for newbies and judge for yourself. I welcome your comments!
    http://members.rogers.com/e46m3/zaurus/

    🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *