In a crowded corporate market where handhelds and handsets are fighting it out for supremacy, PalmOne is introducing a device it hopes will cut through the noise.
The Tungsten T5 (NZ$799) claims bragging rights to having more storage capacity than any other handheld in the market — 256MB in the form of built-in flash memory. Along with storage, the Tungsten T5 includes a file-transfer system which allows mobile workers to transfer files and folders between their desktop computer and Palm device.
The drag-and-drop File Transfer application opens a window on the desktop so users can drag a file to the handheld's internal hard drive and open a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document.
PalmOne is also promoting the use of the T5 as a removable USB drive. Users would select Drive Modeon the handheld, hot synching via USB with a desktop, to copy, move, rename, delete and manage files.
The T5 connects via USB or Bluetooth. PalmOne chose not to add Wi-Fi or cellular capabilities to this model. Rob Enderle, principal of Enderle Group, says there are other PalmOne models with either Wi-Fi or cellular built in.
"The T5 shines as half of a really good solution. The other half is a Bluetooth cellphone to connect the two," Enderle says.
The device comes with a Bluetooth wizard, which enables users to associate the T5 with most Bluetooth cellphones.
The T5 TFT colour display is the same as the previous T3 model with a 320 x 480 pixel display. The device also comes with a 416MHz Intel XScale processor.
The device still uses the old, less-capable Palm 5.4 OS rather than the newer Cobalt 6.0 or 6.1 OSes from PalmSource.
According to Enderle, savvy users will want to wait for the new OS.
"This is a tweener product with a brilliant industrial design, but the folks in the know will want to wait for Cobalt," Enderle says.
Stephane Maes, senior product line manager for handhelds at PalmOne, insists there is no need to go to the newer OSes.
"We've done everything on top of the [current] OS like File Transfer. In terms of OS 6, you're not going to gain anything," Maes says.
Other features of the T5 include support for MultiMediaCard, SD (Secure Digital) and SDIO (SD Input Output) expansion cards, a 5-way navigator for one-handed operation and a new Favourites page for placing important files on the opening screen when the device is turned on.
PalmOne has also introduced a stiffer wireless keyboard that can be rested on a users lap.
The Tungsten T5 ships on November 3.