If its functionality is on par with its hype, Palm's new i705 sounds like an interesting gadget. Features of the new PDA include always-on "push" email from up to eight accounts; behind-the-firewall email for corporate users; web browsing via Google search or URL entry; and Palm Personal Information Management (PIM) features that include a Date Book and Address Book. Palm also wants you to know that AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM) service and other AOL services are also loaded on the new Palm i705 wireless handheld. Without having the thing in hand, it's hard to say whether an alliance with AOL is a benefit, but don't you wish that the software for PDAs was on par with the hardware so that you could choose between different software packages? Other features of the Palm i705 include notification of new email by LED, sound or vibration; filtering of mail from different sources; multiple forms of data entry, including an optional Palm Mini Keyboard; and DataViz's Documents To Go 4.0 Professional Edition for reading, creating, and editing Word and Excel documents while preserving formatting. On the Palm i705 handheld, email management is made possible by the Palm MultiMail Deluxe application, which supports a business account, an included webmail account at Palm.com, and support for other email accounts, that include Yahoo!, Earthlink, and Mindspring. On the desktop, MultiMail Deluxe Desktop Link runs in the background and is said to securely encrypt and decrypt email, redirecting messages to the Palm i705. Internal expansion is provided by Palm's Expansion Card Slot, which can accommodate memory, application and input/output devices via SD Cards and MultiMediaCard media. External expansion is delivered via the Palm Universal Connector, which allows the attachment of gadgets like collapsible keyboards, digital cameras, and other hardware. The Palm i705 handheld is based on the Palm OS v4.1 platform. It has 8MB RAM and 4MB Flash ROM, a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor, a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, and HotSync USB cradle. It weighs 5.9 ounces, including the battery, and measures 4.65 inches x 3.06 inches x 0.61 inches. The Palm.Net service for the new handheld is provided via Cingular Wireless' Mobitex-based packet data network. The new Palm i705 PDA is priced at $449 and a Palm.Net service subscription is required to activate the device's wireless functionality.