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Not Your Grandfather's Model T

Size is Wise

At just 4 inches high, the Tungsten T is a good five-eighths of an inch shorter than the m505/m515 it replaces (see "Put Your Hands Together for the Sharp New Palm m500 Series,"). The Graffiti area and surrounding silk-screen buttons are hidden until you extend the bottom inch of the unit, in a design similar to the Sharp Zaurus, increasing the product's total length to about 4.8 inches. Palm has engineered the device to be comfortably held and used for one-handed data retrieval. Controls are well-placed, and a five-way Navigator button replaces the two central up/down buttons on previous Palms.

As with Pocket PC devices, the Tungsten T has a one-touch voice memo button for recording voice messages, with playback through a loud internal speaker or a headphone jack for audio-out only. Third-party vendors are rolling out sound applications and MP3 players for the Tungsten T. I tested Kinoma's video player (Version 1.5 Preview) and found it works well on the Tungsten T, providing quality video clips with sound at around 30 frames per second.

The screen is what really grabbed me about the Tungsten T. No larger than the m500-series screen (about 2.25x2.25 inches), the new 16-bit color screen displays a 320x320 pixel density--four times that of the 160x160 screens on earlier Palms and greater than the 240x320 on the standard crop of Pocket PCs. This means the screen's resolution is incredibly sharp--you can see the screen clearly in almost any lighting.

Good

• Sharp, appealing screen.
• Innovative, sleek design.
• Integrated Bluetooth.

Bad
• Needs more OS 5-tailored software.
• Included screen cover is merely adequate.

• Only 16 MB of internal RAM.

The Tungsten T comes with 16 MB of SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM) and 4 MB of Flash ROM. Although this typically is sufficient for Palm OS devices, which are considerably less memory-hungry than Pocket PCs, users would welcome more internal memory. You can add storage easily via the included Secure Digital(SD)/Multimedia Card slot, but if that slot is being used for a peripheral, you're in trouble--with large databases or multiple add-on programs, 16 MB goes fast. (find out more on expansion and peripheral usage.)