The Latest on Palm’s Upcoming Handhelds

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Rumors have been circulating lately about Palm’s plans to release a pair of handhelds in the near future.

Palm itself recently accidentally confirmed the Tungsten X and Zire 22, and an anonymous source has told Brighthand a few more details about them.

Confirmation… Sort Of

Last week, when Palm released Palm Desktop 4.2 for Windows, Tam Hanna’s Palm OS Blog noticed that it had references to a TX and Z22.

There are even pictures of the backs of these two devices, indicating where the reset holes will be.

This version of the Palm Desktop was quickly withdrawn.

Tungsten X

One of these is known only by its codename, the Tungsten X.

As its codename suggests, this will reportedly be an updated version of the Tungsten T5. Like its predecessor, it will have a 320-by-480-pixel screen and the same general form factor (see possible picture below).

The newer model, though, will have WiFi and Bluetooth 1.2, and both of these can be used simultaneously.

However, some might not consider this device to be an upgrade, as it will supposedly have a slower processor than the T5 — 312 MHz vs. 416 MHz — and less NVFS memory — 128 MB vs. 256 MB.

Of course, it will run a version of Palm OS Garnet, not Cobalt.

At this point, the Tungsten X is not expected to have a camera, a voice recorder, or vibrating alarms.

Tungsten X It will, however, have good battery life. According to one source, with both WiFi and Bluetooth active, the backlight on maximum, and continuously performing several processor-intensive tasks, it will be able to last for 2 hours and 30 minutes on a single charge.

The rumored price for the Tungsten X is $300, which would make it less expensive than the T5. It is likely to debut in October, when Palm traditionally introduces new models.

Zire 22

The other upcoming handheld that rumors speak of is the Zire 22.

This will be an entry-level model, and the first ever Palm or Pocket PC with a color screen to debut at $100.

To reach this low cost, this will be a very bare-bones handheld. It’s screen resolution will be just 160-by-160 pixels, for example.

The Zire 22 will also lack a headphone jack, vibrating alarms, a camera, WiFi or Bluetooth, or a voice recorder.

It will run Palm OS Garnet on a 200 MHz processor. This model will have 32 MB of RAM, but this will be non-volatile, meaning it won’t lose its contents if the battery is depleted.

One advantage of stripped down models like this is that they often have very good battery lives. The Zire 22 will supposedly be able to run for 13 hours on a single charge.

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