Archive for February 1st, 2005

Ultimate PDA and speculation on Tungsten

I posted a thread at AximSite’s forums about what it would be the “ultimate PDA” today.

For two hundrend bucks I would also buy a supposed Tungsten E2, with the following specs (in parenthesis please find the comparison to the current T|E):

208 Mhz Intel PXA (new, current is a TI 126 Mhz)

64 MB RAM (new, current has 32 MB)

SD/SDIO/MMC slot (same as now)

320×320 color TFT (same but w/ optional backlight)

line-out, speaker (same as now)

microphone (new)

better IrDA SIR (current has only 0.5 meters range)

Multi-Connector (new, current uses mini-usb)

1000 mAh/4 hrs battery (current is 850 mAh)

PalmOS 5.4.1 (new, current uses 5.2.1)

Suggested retail price: $199

Most important feature: keep the same body! The current T|E design is both functional and good-looking!

Searching for your first PDA?

Just wanted to share my research with more people: IMO, the Tungsten|E is the best fist-time PDA in the market today, offered at a reasonable price. It sells for only $170 in the market and it features:
126 Mhz TI ARM processor
32 MB memory
320×320 TFT screen
SD/SDIO/MMC card slot
Headphone jack for included mp3 player
(weak) IrDA port
4 hours of battery
PalmOS 5.2.1 (5.4.1 is the latest, but considering that T|E came out on Oct 2003, it’s still realy good)

Please, don’t even think buying the Zire 31. These things suck and the cheap color Zire has an STN screen, not a TFT one (really slow refresh).

In my experience, PocketPC’s operating system is more solid than PalmOS, but even the cheapest PPC sells for $250, so that’s significantly more expensive.

Bottomline: the T|E is the best first-time PDA that’s not overly expensive, neither sucky. It doesn’t do internet, but hey, it does well all the PDA functions. The only thing that it SHOULD have been there and it is not, is microphone recording functionality.

One more note: the T|E is now 1.3 years old. I have the feeling that PalmOne will release an updated version soon for $200, with 200 Mhz ARM CPU, 64 MBs of RAM and hopefully a microphone. But we can’t be sure of that. It’s a risk, but not a big one. The T|E is able to play video/mp3 without a problem anyway (suggested video player for DivX/XviD decoded DVDs: Watch DVDs while on the go) and view pictures (use the excellent Resco Image Viewer — best of breed).

My husband has an old Sony T615-C PDA with PalmOS 4.1, and I was thinking of buying him a Tungsten|E (hence the research I did). He will soon only use his PDA for picture viewing anyway in order to include his portfolio in it. With 25 MBs of free RAM on the T|E, he can fit 1000 pictures in there when properly encoded with Photoshop’s jpeg encoder at 320pix, which is known to be the industry’s best jpeg encoder (quality/size ratio). He already has Resco’s image viewer, so there was nothing missing, other than the fact that he doesn’t want another PDA. 😀