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PalmOne's Tungsten PDAs: A Handheld on Every Desk

The number of third-party applications that support the high-resolution mode include Kinoma's Player, DataViz's Documents To Go 6 word processor and Sheet To Go 6 spreadsheet software, Web Pro 3 browser, and VersaMail 2.6.1 e-mail client. Updated PIM (personal information management) applications--calendar, to-do lists and so on--are standard. Unlike PocketPC units, the T3 has a built-in landscape option at the OS level, accessed via a one-touch status bar at the bottom of the screen. Rotating the screen to landscape makes spreadsheets immediately more usable.

The T3 is slightly longer than the original T and weighs a very reasonable 5.5 oz. The CPU has been upgraded to the same 400-MHz PXA255 Xscale processor used in the Wi-Fi-enabled Tungsten C --the fastest processor in a mainstream PDA. I threw a multimedia presentation at it, and it didn't even break a sweat. In fact, the Kinoma Player chewed through 320x480 video clips at speeds up to 60 frames per second. The only problem I encountered: While watching a Terminator 3 movie clip on the Kinoma Player, the T3 sometimes locked up with a memory-related error, requiring a reset of the whole unit.

Memory has been boosted to 64 MB (52 MB usable). It also has both an SD/MMC expansion slot and the palmOne Universal Connector. In addition, Bluetooth is built-in, with the welcome addition of a one-click Bluetooth status and activation button on the system status bar.

I set up the Bluetooth network to access a Sony Ericcson phone, browse the Web and check e-mail via GPRS. Unfortunately, the T3 also has the same 900-mAh battery as the Tungsten T--when combined with the bigger screen, battery life is reduced to approximately five hours of heavy use. PalmOne's nifty Power To Go charger sled slips on the back of any Universal Connector-enabled palmOne device to recharge the battery quickly.

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