I’ve had the Palm Tungsten C for just a day now, but I am happy to report that Palm is doing a number of things right. The WiFi implementation is great and the keyboard is the best one around. There is a price though, the TC is heavy and pricey at $500.
I’ll be back in 7-14 days with a comprehensive review, but here are a few first thoughts to get you started:
The Tungsten C includes a 400MHz XScale processor that is very fast. Programs like Sheets to Go load very fast. I opened a robust spreadsheet and it popped right up. Games seem to be fluid and video via Kinoma player is quite sharp. To feel the power you’ll really have to push it in the video realm, as most other software really doesn’t need this kind of speed.
Obviously one of the more important features of the Tungsten C is the integrated WiFi. I am very pleased with the WiFi setup wizard that is included. If you are running a network at home or the office, it’s a breeze to connect. I have not tested switching between networks, but will do that for the full review.
One of the other nice WiFi tools is a signal strength meter that will come in very handy. You may also view all the network details and configure more detailed options if you are so inclined. Overall, I am very impressed with the implementation.
Palm jammed 64MB RAM into the TC, which is a very welcome surprise. 51MB is user accessible leaving 13MB for system applications. The TC is the first Palm OS PDA to include 64MB of memory. Everyone expected the Garmin iQue to be the first to production, but it looks like Palm will beat them by a few steps.
The 320 x 320 transflective screen is actually very impressive. I find it to be brighter, whiter and more clear than the latest efforts from Sony. The screen feels a little soft though under the stylus, I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
The front of the device is visually appealing, although it is thick and a bit heavy. Part of this can be attributed to a huge 1500MaH battery pack. The flip cover is easily removable, which is nice, because the cover is pretty weak. A flurry of leather cases will become available for the TC in 4-8 weeks.
Perhaps the most important feature of the TC is the keyboard. I love the buttons and the feedback is perfect. This keypad is on par with the Treo and Blackberry units, and substantially better than the Clie’s.
On the surface Palm has done a great job with the Tungsten C. My major concern though is the price. $500 seems a bit high to me. I think it will need to fall to $425 or so before Palm sees a steady sales stream. The same thing happened to the Tungsten T. It was blasted for being too pricey, but at $325, it’s a fantastic deal.
If you will use the WiFi and an integrated keyboard is important to you, this should be a perfect fit. Post any questions you might have to this forum and I’ll do my best to address them either online or in the full review.