Formally unveiled in May 2003 and released direct via online order in October of the same year, the Tapwave Zodiac was a Palm OS-based "high performance mobile entertainment system" (read: a gaming-oriented PDA) aimed at the 18-35 market. Features included the ability to play media off of an SD card, a sturdy metal design, compatibility with most Palm OS 5 software (enabling homebrew development) and 3-6 hours of battery life, depending on whether you were playing games or just listening to MP3s.
The system was also available in a "Zodiac 2" flavour, but the only difference between the two versions was the amount of RAM, the case colour, and $100 extra on the price tag.
In July 2005, on account of low sales (attributed to the Playstation Portable's release and success) and the resulting lack of funds, Tapwave discontinued the Zodiac and sold its assets to "an undisclosed multi-billion dollar corporation in Asia" before winding down operations and getting swallowed by Motorola's Connected Home Group.
Two versions of the Zodiac are available, differing only in the amount of memory and case color
- CPU: Motorola i.MX1 ARM9 processor (200 MHz)
- Memory: Zodiac 1 had 32 MB. Zodiac 2 had 128 MB. Both have 10 MB Dedicated to the System Dynamic RAM
- Graphic Accelerator: ATI Imageon W4200 2D graphics accelerator (with 8 MB dedicated SDRAM)
- Controls: Analog controller (or joystick) with 360 degrees of motion, built-in triggers and action button array similar to other gaming consoles.
- Display: 3.8 inch transflective 480 x 320 (half VGA), 16-bit color backlit display (65,536 colors)
- Sound: Yamaha sound and stereo speakers, 3.5 mm earphone plug
- External Connectors: 2 expansion slots (both are MMC / SD capable, one is also SDIO capable), Zodiac Connector, 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Wireless: Infrared, Bluetooth (Compatible with some Wifi SDIO cards depending on drivers)
- Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Batteries – Dual totaling to 1540 mA·h
- Size & Weight: 5.6" x 3.1" x 0.55" (142x79x14 mm), 6.3 ounces (180 g) Compare to the Palm TX which is smaller at 78x15x121 mm due to fewer buttons, but includes WiFi
- Colors: Zodiac 1: Slate Gray, Zodiac 2: Charcoal Gray
- Casing: Synthetic rubber, anodized aluminum, plastic