PalmOne Tungsten T3 Handheld

PalmOne Tungsten T3 Handheld

Too Low To Display

  • Used Price: $270.00
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  • Third Party Used Price: $305.00
Kicking the technology advances up another notch, the Palm Tungsten T3 delivers a professional, sleek alternative to bulkier Pocket PCs that's chock-full of productivity enhancing and information sharing applications. Improvements over the T2 include a full-screen mode when the bottom casing is slid open, a bevy of enhanced display options, compatibility with Java applets, larger internal memory, and an easier to access status bar.

First, just the technical facts:

  • Palm OS 5.2.1
  • 32-bit, 400 MHz Intel XScale processor
  • 64 MB internal RAM, with 52 MB usable for applications and file storage (an improvement over the T2's 29 MB usable RAM)
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • Secure Digital memory card expansion slot
  • 4.3 (closed) x 3.0 x 0.66 inches, 5.5 ounces

The T3's Stretch Display
Overall, the Tungsten T3 isn't that much smaller than the Zire 71, but it does feel nicely compact in the hand and its larger navigation button is easier to manipulate with just your thumb. However, the "wow factor" comes into full force when you slide down the bottom of the T3's case to reveal the full screen mode. And it gets even better. The standard "silkscreened" Graffiti input area (so-called because its icons and borders are printed onto the screen's glass) is now replaced by a digital version, which can be hidden to reveal an even larger screen. We found this useful when writing long notes in Memos and viewing an expanded daily calendar view. You don't actually need the Graffiti writing area to input data into notes or Calendar items. With the Full-Screen Writing preference turned on, you can write Graffiti characters anywhere on the screen (you'll even see an outline traced on the screen as you write). But the crowning display enhancement is the ability to rotate the screen to landscape view, which was especially handy when viewing downloaded movie trailers (using the included Kinoma video player). If you're left-handed, you can change the orientation in landscape view so that the status bar and Graffiti input area are more accessible to your own orientation.

The T3 includes the familiar suite of Palm applications (Calendar, Contacts, Memos, and Tasks) as well as a number of third-party software title (ranging from Acrobat Reader to RealOne Player for listening to digital audio). Calendar has been given an Outlook-friendly makeover, adding an Agenda view that consolidates all of today's appointments, tasks, and new e-mails. With full-screen mode on, Calendar's month view now displays smaller calendars for the previous and next months.

Bluetooth wireless functionality is built in, and the Tungsten T3 still includes the BlueBoard and BlueChat for sharing information with other Tungsten users. For Web communication, Palm includes VersaMail and WebBrowser Pro, both of which can be used along with a Bluetooth phone. Additionally, VersaMail can access a corporate e-mail account, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino servers.

Java has also now entered the Palm OS arena, expanding the application development opportunities. The T3 comes with a few sample applets (including a periodic table that would be handy at our local pub's trivia night), but we'll have to wait for more development before Java becomes a full Palm OS tool.

Our only complaint, design-wise, is the placement of the Voice Memo button, which as been placed toward the top of the left side of the case, below the on/off button on the top panel. When turning on the device, our left hand's thumb continually triggered the Voice Memo app when attempting to turn on the T3. Note that you can also turn the T3 on by pressing one of the application buttons surrounding the Navigator, or by sliding the bottom case open. Overall, the Tungsten T3 is a Palm powerhouse, blending its traditional information management strength with new multimedia and connectivity functionality (both wired and wireless). It's about as perfect a personal productivity agent for professional settings as it gets. --Agen G.N. Schmitz

Pros:

  • Crisp, bright color screen
  • Fast processor, ample internal memory, and expansion slot to boot
  • Digital Graffiti input area can be hidden for full screen display
  • Screen can be rotated to landscape view
  • Access to corporate e-mail and Bluetooth wireless connectivity

Con:

  • Voice Memo button gets in the way of turning on and off
Features: Palm’s new breakthrough Stretch Display, Device slides open to reveal a 320x480 display with 50% more viewing area, Ultra-fast 400MHz Intel XScale processor and 64MB of internal memory, Wirelessly access email, dial phone numbers, send text messages and connect to the Internet, What's in the box: Handheld device; Palm Desktop software, including Documents To Go and Adobe Acrobat for Palm OS; all basic utilities such as Calendar, Contacts, Tasks., etc.

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Customer Rating: 3.61 of 5 (69 total reviews)

  • 5 starsFinally, they put it all together

    I've been using PalmOS machines for a long time, and the T3 finally brings together all the things I've wanted in one box: Very sharp color screen; the extra space and the ability to rotate it sideways are great. Picture display is pretty good; I'm glad they didn't try to cram in a camera, I want a *good* standalone camera. MP3 record and play are wonderful. The 64MB of main memory means I can load all the ebooks I want, and the integrated SD/MM card slot makes it truly unlimited. The processor is fast, and PalmOS 5 is quite nice (but expect to take a day or so to get used to some changes if you know earlier Graffitti).

    2 things to be careful of: some older programs (especially games) will hang or reset the machine. Also, the battery can go down fast esp. if you're doing audio.

    Buy a "microSync" retractable USB sync & charge cable to go with it, and a couple of SD/MM cards for music -- perfect for travel.

  • 4 starsFantastic but a few problems

    Overall the Palm Tungsten T3 is a great machine with a bright screen but there are a few issues that you may want to be aware of prior to purchase.

    Power supply - if you intend to take the T3 around the world, make sure that you have an international power supply or buy one. The one that came with the box is only 120V. I guess the cradle is fairly bulky so you might want to just get a sync cable with an international power supply.

    USB - I had a lot of problems syncing the Palm the first time. After looking around, it turns out that older USB ports are incompatible with the T3. I bought a USB 2.0 PCI card and it works perfectly now. I just wished Palm made it quite clear on their support pages what the problem could be. I spent so much time reloading the software on my PC. Admittedly, my machine is fairly old and probably has a 1.0 or 1.1 USB port.

    Kinoma - minor problem, the video player is great and I love the widescreen encoding of movies. The only problem is that if you 'stretch' your T3 while you are playing a movie, it sometimes crashes the whole machine.

    Stretch feature - the extendable section is great idea but it seems a little hard to operate. I wish it would extend and contract a little more easily. Just make sure your hand is well away from the extend/contract mechanism while you operate it, your palm could get caught in it sometimes especially on the edges :) The only other disappointment is that not every application allows you to display the document with the whole screen (eg Avantgo).

    Aside from the minor issues, it is a responsive machine that runs audio and video very smoothly. The bundled software is great and bluetooth works a treat. Great Value.

  • 5 starsSatisfied User

    I've had my T3 for 7 months now and have nothing but praise for this remarkable gadget.
    The 75 applications I've fit into the spacious 64m memory and a 256m SD card include: my check register and shopping list database (Splash Wallet), a world clock with 20 alarms (Megaclock), a complete address book/meeting scheduler/to-do list/calendar (Agendus); an outliner (Bonsai), spreadsheet, word processor, PowerPoint editor (Documents to Go) and relational database (HanDBase); a drawing/painting program appropriate to my 10 years training as an artist (HandPainter); a dictionary and thesaurus (To Go), ebook readers; road maps of Colorado and the New York metropolitan area (Mapopolis); listings of 30,000 movies from the Internet Movie Database -- including main cast,director, and synopsis (on TomeRaider); an MP3 player with my favorite 50 songs; a photo album of 30 pictures; a chess game, submarine game, and Space Invaders clone; an icon editor, a file utility, a backup utility, and a flashlight (PalmLight).
    For all that, I still have 40% of the memory free.
    For all that, I've never had my T3 crash, whine, play games with my eyesight, or go bump in the night. It does however wake me up in the morning to Reville, but I asked it to do that since it's also my alarm clock.
    It has replaced most of the contents of my wallet, two notebooks, and a portable cassette player -- all of which I had lugged around with me for 30 years until I bought the T3.
    I like to compare my T3 to a 386 desktop computer I used to own -- the T3 does about about as much, about as well; except now it's attached to my belt.
    The only thing I don't like about the T3 is that it's not as sturdy as the original Tungsten-T. The T3 feels noticably fragile.
    But after 7 months, I can say: I use it daily. I use it for everything. It's never failed me.