palmOne Announces the Tungsten T5

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It s not really much of a surprise at this point, but at least we can now openly talk about the T5 and its specs. The palmOne Tungsten T5 features a Tungsten E-esque design, a brilliant 320×480 display, 256MB RAM, Bluetooth and several software updates. And just to clear the air, there is no Cobalt (OS 6) and no integrated WiFi, though the latter can be added via SD slot. the Tungsten T5 will be available for purchase on November 3rd for an MSRP of $399.

First off, take a look at a few images and the T5 specs:


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Manufacturer: palmOne
Model: Tungsten T5
Description: It s a whole new way to carry your files and put them to work.

With 256MB of storage,1 the Tungsten T5 handheld from palmOne lets you carry more and do more. Word documents. Spreadsheets. PowerPoint presentations. Photos. MP3s. The works. And because it s flash memory, all that information is saved even if the power runs down when you re on the go and you don t have time to recharge or synchronize. Better yet, the stunning 320 x 480 color screen lets you see more in both landscape and portrait modes.

The real beauty of the Tungsten T5? You can transfer files and even whole folders from your desktop to your handheld, so you have what you need on the road, in a meeting, or when working from home. Even use it like a USB removable drive to work on those files on another computer.2 Just when you re thinking there couldn t be room for anything more, we ve also built-in Bluetooth wireless technology so you can check email3 and connect to the Internet3 on the go. All this and the Tungsten T5 still fits right in your pocket.
Released: 11/3/2004
Operating System: Palm OS v5.4
Dimensions: 4.76″ x 3.08″ x 0.61″
Weight: 5.1 ounces
Processor: 416MHz Intel Xscale processor
Wireless: Bluetooth
Memory: 256MB (215MB available to the user. 160MB internal flash drive, 55MB of program memory for applicati
Expansion Slot: Secure Digital (I/O), Multi-Connector
Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Audio Out: Steareo Headphone Jack, Speaker
Display: Transflective TFT color display supports more than 65,000
Resolution: 320 x 480 pixels
Keyboard: Onscreen
Handwriting Recognition: Graffiti 2
Digital Camera: None
Software Included: Favorites, Files, Drive Mode, Contacts, Calendar, Documents To Go, Note Pad, Tasks, Carf Info, Dialer, Hot Sync, palmOne Media, Expense, Preferences, RealPlayer, SMS, VersaMail, Web, Bluetooth Manager, World Clock, Quick Tour, Calculator.

Let’s review some of the core updates in the T5:

  • 256MB RAM – This is one of the features that palmOne is really proud about in the new T5. But it’s not just the RAM that’s interesting. Of the 256MB, 215MB is available to users. Of that, 55MB is program memory for applications and data and 160MB is designated as an internal flash drive.
  • Flash Drive – The Tungsten T5 brings a new “Drive Mode” to the table. While in drive mode, the T5 acts just like those popular USB drives. Users can connect their T5 to any computer and it will be read as an external mass Storage device. While the T5 is in drive mode, it cannot be used for anything else as the PDA needs to be in a different state for the flash drive to function properly.
  • File Transfer – Along with the T5 comes an application allowing users greater control to manipulate files on the T5. It’s an installed application on the users’ PC that will allow browsing of the T5’s file structure, much like the Explorer function in Windows. File transfer supports drag and drop, so moving anything to the T5 is going to get much more simple. No longer do files need to move via HotSync, which takes a very long time to move data.
  • Favorites View – The home hardware button now maps to a new “Favorites” view on a single press, and the home page on a double press. The favorites view lets users organize the programs, files or web sites on their T5 by providing four pages with 8 links each. This way it’s easy to customize a view that puts important information in an easy to access place.
  • Files – A new files view offers a refreshingly intuitive way to see the contents of the T5. Files are now browsable much like Explorer in Windows. Users can now see the contents of all folders with a simple tap. Folder structure can be manipulated, including file management. Programs can also be launched from this view by clicking a file. So if a user clicks on a Word file, Documents to Go will automatically launch, opening the requested file.
  • Multimedia – RealPlayer and palmOne Media are built into the T5’s ROM. RealPlayer allows for playing of MP3s and RealAudio content directly form the handheld. Now that there’s more RAM in the T5, it’s reasonable to play files from the internal RAM. palmOne Media is a picture and video viewer that also helps organize digital albums on the T5.
  • Multi Connector – The Multi Connector is the new Universal Connector, if you will. We’ll see the multi connector on most palmOne units going forward, likely including the Treo 650. The MC allows for accessories to be used across devices, something that has been an issue over the past year or so.

As part of this announcement, palmOne is also introcducing several new accessories:

  • Tungsten T5 Hard Case — Based on the best-selling Tungsten E hard case, this case provides strong protection in a sleek, brushed aluminum design. $39.99
  • Tungsten T5 Leather Case — This premium slim leather custom case features luxurious suede interior and Storage for credit and/or business cards and expansion cards. $29.99
  • Tungsten T5 USB Cradle Base — This new stylishly designed HotSync and charging cradle works with inbox cables and charger and includes an audio out for stereo or powered speakers. $29.99
  • Tungsten T5 Cradle Kit — The complete cradle kit for home or office, this product includes a Tungsten T5 cradle, a desktop USB HotSync cable and AC charger. $49.99
  • Combo Stylus with Pen Multipack — This combo pack includes three convenient-to-carry pen and stylus combinations. $14.99

Now that you know what the Tungsten T5 is, let’s talk about what it isn’t. The two core problems people are going to have with the T5 is the lack of Cobalt (Palm OS 6) and WiFi.

  • Cobalt – This one can’t be pinned on palmOne. PalmSource made a big deal about OS 6 almost a year ago, but the release wasn’t exactly baked from what we hear. That’s why you saw a new campaign start last week for Palm OS 6.1. There are other issues here as well though. It’s not a simple matter to move to Cobalt. Software has to be modified and there’s a whole new level of testing that has to take place. palmOne had invested so much time and energy into the new applications for the T5, they felt that it wasn’t practical to move to Cobalt at this point. I tend to agree. If you want to be mad, direct your frustrations at PalmSource for this one.
  • WiFi – This is the biggie. First, let me explain why there is no WiFi. palmOne wanted to keep the price of the T5 at $400. Studies show, and yes I’ve seen them, that PDAs sell half as well at $500. palmOne made the decision to give users the memory and new management applications over WiFi. After all, they figured that users could add WiFi if they wanted it, now that the SD card seems to work with supported devices, of which the T5 is. I let palmOne know when we met that I though leaving WiFi out was a problem, many of you have voiced the same concerns based on the rumors so far. I think this decision is going to hurt palmOne a little bit. Hopefully the T6 will meet more expectations on the wireless front.

Our review unit is coming soon, so we’ll have a detailed review up for you before you can even buy the T5 in stores or online. And in case you’re wondering why palmOne is announcing a product a month ahead of availablility, they had to do so to get it into retail planograms before the Holiday shopping season. This push out to retail is probably where most of the leaks are stemming from this time around and also indicates that palmOne does not plan on releasing any other PDAs this year. Notice I said PDAs, not Smartphones.

Availability and Pricing

The palmOne Tungsten T5 is available for pre-order now from palmOne.com for $399

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