Current Cover (3068 bytes)
Current Cover
Pen Home | Main | News | Columns | Hardware | Software | Accessories | by Issue

Palm T|X

Both more and less than the Tungsten T5

Only a few weeks after the historic announcement that Palm was now a "platform-agnostic" company--which means that future Palm hardware might or might not use the Palm OS--the company released two traditional Palms, both still running that good old friend, the original Palm OS. This was certainly a calculated move, and one that was sure to give Palm OS devotees some warm fuzzies to hold onto. Palm obviously also aimed to cement brand awareness. Gone are the "Tungsten" and "Zire" monikers. The new machines are simply called the Palm TX and the Palm Z22. Automobile maker Acura once did that when it found that its customers thought of the car as a "Legend" and not as an Acura. So Acura switched to bland name designations like TX and RL to force people to view their cars as Acuras. That worked pretty well, and it'll probably work for Palm also.

The Palm TX will look and feel familiar to anyone who has used a Tungsten before. It is a slender, elegant device with a matte-black metallic body and a gorgeous 320 x 480 pixel transflective LCD display. Most people will immediately compare it to the existing Tungsten 5 and wonder how it compares. Well, the new TX gets you both more and less. As of this writing, it costs $50 less than the Tungsten T5--US$299 versus US$349. That means a slower processor (312MHz versus 416MHz) and only half the total memory (128MB versus 256MB). However, you also get more. The TX comes with built-in WiFi whereas the Tungsten T5 does not. That can make all the difference. I know it does to me.

It's hard not to like the TX. It's both big and small at the same time. It weighs just 5.25 ounces and is only 0.6 inches thick. Yet it's both a powerful tool for business thanks to its high res screen and wealth of software, and lots of fun. Use it to play music and video, and view photos. No voice memos and no camera, but this is one good deal.