Reviewed Oct. 12, 2005 by Lisa Gade, Editor
Palm's latest high end PDA packs a great
feature set yet a mid-range price of only $299. It's currently
the least expensive PDA offering both Bluetooth and WiFi. It's
got a high res plus 320 x 480 display, 128 megs
of persistent memory for storage and a built-in MP3 player. As
with other high end PDAs, it can also play videos, show photos
and connect to the Internet for web browsing, email and instant
messaging using WiFi or a Bluetooth phone as a modem.The
T|X doesn't have the Tungsten name, just as the Palm
on the same day doesn't have Zire in its name. Palm is retiring
these two names, and is using the letters to help consumers devise
these devices' lineage. Were the Tungsten name still alive,
the T|X would be among its ranks.
The T|X replacees Palm's pricier Tungsten
T5 released a year ago.
The T5 was $399 at release, yet lacked WiFi
and the long awaited Cobalt OS, and so it garnered less than a
stellar rating. The T|X remedies the WiFi shortcoming, but the
new OS has been delayed due to changes at PalmSource,
the folks who make the OS (Palm makes devices, PalmSource was spun
off in 2003 and makes the operating system). The T|X falls
behind the T5 only in the CPU and memory categories: the T|X has
a 312 MHz Intel processor while the T5 has a 416 MHz Intel
processor, and the T5 has more memory.
In the Box
Palm includes a USB sync cable, charger (US,
not world), quick setup guide, software CD with PDF manual and
a detachable flip cover which slides into the left side rail.
Design and Ergonomics
The T|X looks very much like the T5, which itself harks
back to the popular Palm V design from years past. It's an attractive,
slim and modern looking PDA. The T|X is matte black (with a hint of blue)
and the "palm" logo
and button icons are masked in white. The color is quite attractive,
though it does nothing to mask the fact the casing is plastic. Simplicity
is a hallmark of Palm design, so the user isn't overwhelmed by a plethora
of buttons. Up front below the LCD you'll find four application launcher
buttons which flank a roomy and responsive directional pad. As with all
Palm PDAs, you can assign any application you wish to these buttons.
The included flip cover fits into the left side rail and the stylus slides
into the right side of the PDA. The SD slot, power button, 3.5mm stereo
headphone jack and IR window are located on the top edge. The single
mono speaker's grill is located on the back. The sync and charge connectors
are located on the bottom edge of the T|X and each plugs into the device
Horsepower and Performance
The T|X uses Intel's latest, greatest processor, the
Intel XScale PXA 270 ("Bulverde") running at 312 MHz. That's
a lower megahertz rating than the T5, and Palm likely went with the slower
CPU to keep the T|X's price so low. The PDA feels responsive in all activities
and can handle video up to 450 kbps smoothly. Like the Treo
650 and T5, the
T|X uses non-volatile flash ROM memory rather than RAM for data storage.
That means even if the battery runs dry, your programs and files will
remain intact, since flash ROM doesn't require power to preserve its
contents, unlike RAM. The T|X has a generous 128 megs of flash ROM, approximately
114.8 of which are available for your use to store programs, photos,
MS Office files and whatever else you wish.
If you need more storage for MP3s, videos, photos or
anything else, you can use SD cards to expand memory. The T|X can address
larger cards: we tested it with a 2 gig Kingston SD card and it worked
without a problem. In addition, the SD slot supports SDIO for SD networking
cards and other SD card-based I/O products.
Display and Multimedia
A large display is a delight to the eyes and allows
you to work more efficiently. You'll be able to see more of a web page,
more cells in an Excel spreadsheet and scroll less in eBooks using the
T|X's 320 x 480 transflective color display. The screen can display 65,000
colors and has reasonably good color saturation. Both photos and videos
look good on screen, and the higher resolution means better quality video
compared to 320 x 320 Palm models or 240 x 320 QVGA Pocket PCs. The screen
is adequately bright, though not overwhelming and lacks the vibrance
of recent HP iPAQ Pocket PCs such as the iPAQ
rx1950, but the T|X's higher resolution may win you over. Like the
Tungsten T5 and LifeDrive, the T|X supports both portrait and landscape
Given the roomy 3.8" diagonal display and high resolution,
the T|X is a natural for movie playback. The PDA comes with Palm's own
Media application for photo and video viewing, but you'll want to get
the excellent free TCPMP application
which offers great performance and supports every popular video file
format. Videos encoded at up to 450 kbps played back smoothly on the
For MP3 playback, Palm bundles the popular Pocket
This full-featured MP3 player is skinnable and supports playlists, playback
with the screen off to conserve power, background playback, repeat, shuffle
and syncing with Windows Media Player on the desktop for music download.
Sound out through the mono speaker is surprisingly decent and loud, but
you'll want to plug a set of headphones into the standard 3.5mm stereo
headphone jack for high quality music playback. How many tunes can you
store? That's limited only by the capacity of the SD card you purchase
to store your music. We tested the T|X with a 2 gig Kingston "Ultimate"
120x card which is good for approximately 500 MP3s and it worked well.
WiFi and Bluetooth
For the price tag, the Palm T|X is a very connected device. It has both
WiFi 802.11b wireless networking and Bluetooth 1.1. When you wish to
connect to the Net at high speeds via your home or office access point
or the local Starbucks, the T|X's WiFi is ready. Connecting to new access
points is fairly simple: tap Setup and the T|X will show you a list of
access points within range as well as their signal strength and encryption
status. Tap on the access point you wish to connect to and enter a WEP
password if needed. Should you need to connect to VPN, you'll need to
purchase 3rd party software.
Bluetooth uses Palm's familiar user-friendly wizard
which walks you through connecting to a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone,
Bluetooth access point for LAN access and to your PC for HotSyncing.
Of course you can use BT keyboards and GPS units as well. Phone Setup
walks you through connecting to your phone so you can use it as a wireless
modem for the PDA. Supported brands are Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia,
Siemens and Palm. Once you select
your brand, you'll select your phone model from a list and move on to
the pairing process. In addition, the T|X comes with a dialer application
that allows the PDA to tell your phone to dial a phone number via IR
The T|X comes with Palm's enhanced PIM applications
for contacts, calendar and tasks management. This includes Palm's
Agenda view which shows you the day at a glance and is similar to the
Pocket PC Today Screen. In addition, DataViz' Documents To Go 7 Professional
is bundled. This excellent Office suite allows you to create, view and
edit native MS Word and Excel files (no file conversion needed). You
can also view PowerPoint presentations, but not edit them when in native
Favorites, a launcher with shortcuts to your favorite
applications such as Documents To Go, music, photos and VersaMail is
included. It also has room for additional individual applications
which you can launch with one tap. The Favorites app has three additional
pages where you can add more shortcuts to the files, folders or apps
of your choice. Of course, you can use the traditional Palm OS home screen
if you wish or your favorite 3rd
party launcher. Palm doesn't include a file manager on the PDA, so
download a copy of the free Filez to view and manage the contents
For Internet, you get both the Blazer web browser and
VersaMail email client. The Blazer 4.5 web browser has optimized
bookmarks, history, cookies, proxies and SSL. Version 4.5 is noticeably
faster than prior versions we've used on older Palm models. VersaMail
3.1C, Palm's email application is included. It supports POP,
IMAP and SMTP servers, multiple email accounts, automatic email fetching
and notification of new mail and filters. You also get WiFile (light
not pro version) for accessing computer network shares.
Like all Palm PDAs, the T|X has Graffiti
2 handwriting recognition. You can write in print (not cursive) in the
Graffiti area at the bottom of the screen, or bring
up an on-screen QWERTY keyboard or number pad when you don't want to
use handwriting recognition. If you have some serious writing to do,
you can buy Palm's IR or Think Outside's IR or Bluetooth folding
The T|X comes with Palm Desktop syncing software for
Windows and Mac.
Palm claims 5 days of use, and for the average
light to moderate user that's on target. If you surf the web for
a few hours or check email several times per day using WiFi, expect
to charge every day or every second day. Unfortunately, the T|X,
like all Palm products except the Treo smartphone, does not have
a user-replaceable battery. This means you won't be able to swap
in a spare when on the road away from AC for long periods of time.
We asked Palm why they're so allergic to user-replaceable batteries
and they stated that the device design would have to be larger
to accommodate the battery compartment and related parts, and they
prefer to make their devices as compact as possible.
The least expensive PDA with both Bluetooth and
WiFi. The large 320 x 480 color display makes both work and play
a pleasure, while the roomy 128 megs of flash memory and responsive
processor keep up with the demands of both worlds. If you need
a user-friendly connected PDA with the power to handle MS Office
files, photos, MP3s and videos, the T|X should be on your decision
list. Non-volatile memory means your data will survive a complete
battery rundown, unlike older Palm and Pocket PCs.
Pro: Dual wireless,
large high resolution display. Good battery life for the feature
set. Easy to use, handles MS Office documents well thanks to the
bundled Documents To Go. 128 megs of internal memory is more than
enough to hold thousands of contacts and calendar items along with
a good collection of photos, documents and a large collection of
3rd party applications.
Con: Battery isn't
user replaceable so you can't swap in a spare on the road. Those
who own a Tungsten T5 or perhaps even a Tungsten
T3 may find little
reason to upgrade.
x 3.08 x .61 inches. Weight: 5.25 ounces.
in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone
jack. Pocket Tunes included for your MP3 pleasure.
WiFi 802.11b and Bluetooth.
OS Garnet 5.4.9. Palm Desktop for Windows and Mac
Calendar, Contacts, Memos, Note Pad (ink notes), Dialer
(dials phone for you), Media, World Clock, SMS, Blazer
Web browser 4.3, VersaMail 3.1C, Addit, Favorites, Expense,
Calculator. 3rd Party: Documents To Go Professional 7.0,
Pocket Tunes 3.09, Handmark Solitaire and WiFile.