Palm unveils Tungsten T3, E, and Zire 21

Palm today officially announced their three latest handhelds, each targeting a different segment of the market with an array of new features at new prices.

The T3 is the first Palm-branded handheld with virtual handwriting and rotation
The first new model is the high-end Tungsten T3. The T3 combines the form factor of the previous Tungsten T line with the horsepower of the Tungsten C, as well as introducing new features. It uses the familiar collapsing case design, albeit with a new front button layout, and is backed by a 400 MHz Intel XScale processor, 64 MB of RAM (52 MB user accessible), and Bluetooth connectivity. It also supports for the first time from Palm a collapsable handwriting area, allowing the user to minimize it out of the way for 320 x 480 pixels of screen real estate. It also supports screen rotation. It sells for $399 USD.

The Tungsten E is Palm’s new entry-level business handheld. Running on a 126 MHz TI OMAP processor and backed by 32 MB of RAM (28 MB user accessible), the TE has the normal 320 x 320 color screen. Very svelt at only 12.7 mm thick, it is modeled on the m500 series case and is built from an attractive silver metal and includes a rectangular 5-way Navigator. However, it foregoes the Universal Connector in favor of simple mini-USB and mini-AC connectors, much like the original Palm Zire. It sells for $199 USD.

Both the Tungsten T3 and Tungsten E run Palm OS 5.2 with Graffiti 2, and come with an impressive software suite. Palm Photos, Kinoma Player, and the RealOne player provide multimedia support, while business users get VersaMail 2.6 and Documents To Go 6. VersaMail now supports full arbitrary attachments, while Documents To Go 6 supports viewing and editing Microsoft Word and Excel files natively without conversion. Both devices also include telephony support and SMS applications, although only the T3 includes the updated version of Palm WebPro. The new WebPro supports both proxied and proxyless connections, as well as the T3’s new screen.

The Tungsten E combines the m500 and Tungsten T series designs
Both Tungstens also include Palm’s new PIM applications, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Memo. All four are modest upgrades to the normal Palm OS PIM suite, which has remained largely unchanged since 1998. Notable improvements include 32 MB note and Memo fields, additional fields in Contacts, and a new Agenda View in Calendar that is for all intents and purposes a Today screen.

Over in the Zire line, Palm has introduced a new entry-level handheld. The Palm Zire 21 looks at first glance like the original Zire, with 160 x 160 grayscale screen, two application buttons, and white plastic finish. However, the Zire 21 is powered by the same 126 MHz TI OMAP processor as the Tungsten E, and sports 8 MB of RAM (7.3 MB user accessible). That makes it the first grayscale or low-res Palm OS 5.2 ARM-based handheld. According to Palm, more entry-level users were installing applications than they expected so the Zire 21 includes a new OS and more RAM to support that, as well as additional bundled applications, although it does not include the new PIM suite. It sells for $99 USD, the same price as the highly-popular original Zire.

Palm’s existing product line has also been cleaned up a bit as well. The Palm m130 and Palm m515 have been quietly discontinued, replaced by the Tungsten E. The Tungsten T has also been quietly moved aside, and its replacement the Tungsten T2 has been reduced to $329 USD. The original Zire is still available for now for $79 USD.

All three new models are available now.

Pictures and discussion can be found here:


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