In depth – Palm Tungsten T3

by Reads (83,314)

It never rains, but it pours. Hot on the heels of Sony’s wireless clamshell, Palm appears to be planning the Holy Grail of Palm-powered PDAs: a single piece tablet with virtual Grafitti and wireless.

The first word of the Tungsten T3 was leaked by Chinese site Enet.com.cn, along with photos of practically every angle of the machine. You can see practically every detail, down to the FCC ID, DC power input rating, and the UL stamp. Make no mistake–this is real, and it’s a production model.

T3 front

The new Palm features 64 MB of RAM (51 MB accessible), a 320 by 480 pixel HighRes+ screen, Bluetooth, full virtual grafitti, a redesigned directional pad, and a landscape mode, while retaining the form factor of the prior TT models.

Oh, and you read that right: a landscape mode.

T3 landscape

If you compare the photos of the T3 with photos of the new Sony UX50, you’ll notice some uncanny similarities in the ways that they handle landscape mode. We may be seeing the first implementations of some new PalmSource OS revision that supports landscape rotation.

Even more impressive though, is the way the T3 packs in a highres+ screen and still stays tiny. The slide-mechanism from the earlier T-models has been revamped to slide up over part of the screen, reducing the overall size drastically while you’re hauling it around.

T3 screen

Not to overlook it, the directional pad and buttons got a big face lift, possibly to make the design more friendly for use in landscape.

Looking at the icon tray along the bottom, we can clearly see Bluetooth status indicators, an up/down control for the grafitti area, a landscape/portrait toggle icon, a clock, and the ordinary Palm silkscreen icons, as well as two more icons of undetermined use.

T3 memory

Chinese characters aside, the memory allocation screen conveys a clear message.

T3 serial

The seal of a production Palm.

What’s the bottom line? It certainly seems that Palm intends to fill the niche that users have been asking for since the original Sony 320×480 clamshell hit the market. The T3 in some ways makes the Sony UX50 seem lacking; in memory, processor speed, and the single-piece design.

When might we see it? Well, it will have been about seven weeks from the first information about the Tungsten T2 to it’s formal release, so if we see an equivalent time here, then the T3 will likely hit the market some time in September, around the same time as the Sony UX Clies. This is strictly a guess though. With Palm, as ever, they will release it when they want to.

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