Palm TX

Palm TX

palm_tx.jpgPalm’s hard drive-based LifeDrive was, apparently, as much fun and games as the company could take for a while, so it’s back to business with the Palm TX, a sleek upgrade of the Tungsten T5.

The staid 312MHz Bulverde proc from Intel, the 320x480 LCD, and the 128MB of nonvolatile RAM won’t win over any hardware fetishists, but neither will the reasonable $300 price frighten away the rest of the flock. The TX weighs a bit more than 5 ounces, and 100MB of the built-in memory is available for your day-job spreadsheets and email. Anything more than that, such as movies or MP3s, would be best copied to an SD card and dropped into the TX’s expansion slot.

Go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief—the TX supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, so you can web surf, check your email (the bundled VersaMail 3.1 supports up to eight accounts, including POP, IMAP, and Microsoft Exchange servers), and grab stuff from a co-worker’s PDA with your invisible hands.

We miss, however, the Drive Mode available on the T5 and LifeDrive which allows your handheld to be recognized as an external storage device through any USB connection. Battery life was acceptable, with continuous MP3 playback clocking in at a hair more than eight hours.
Palm still lords over Windows Mobile (even the 5.0 version) in one-handed navigation, allowing you to use the five-way rocker switch and application buttons to launch applications, scroll through directories, and select files without using the stylus or taking your other hand off your revolver. And switching from portrait to landscape mode is much easier than in Windows Mobile—you can change with a single stylus tap.

The best part, however, has to be seen to be believed—the screen is gorgeous and visible even in direct sunlight or in the car. That alone is reason enough to put your old Palm in a shoebox and bury it in the backyard.
—Logan Decker

Month Reviewed: January 2006

Verdict: 8

URL: www.palm.com

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