Tungsten W Coming Later This Month

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Palm’s newest wireless handheld, the Tungsten W, will be available in the U.S. later this month, on February 28. At this point, the only carrier offering service for it will be AT&T Wireless.

Tungsten W Palm formally announced the Tungsten W in October, at the same time it announced the Tungsten T. This means that, aside from the release date and the wireless carrier, all the details of this model have been public knowledge for months.

Since its announcement, the availability of this device has been a major topic of discussion on the Brighthand Tungsten W Discussion Forum.

It has been on sale in Asia for a few weeks and Expansys is already carrying it. CompUSA is taking pre-orders for this handheld at $550.

According to Cnet, Palm had intended to announce the agreement with AT&T on Tuesday but the device ran into a delay getting certification from the PCS Type Certification ReviewBoard.

About the Tungsten W

The W is a data-centric wireless handheld, which means that while it can make phone calls, its primary use is for wireless networking. It uses a Class 10 GSM/GPRS wireless radio powered by Texas Instrument’s TCS2100 baseband processor, which offers one of the fastest data-transfer rates available. It is a tri-band device and therefore can be used almost anywhere in the world.

Tungsten W does not have an integrated speaker and microphone like a mobile phone; instead, it comes with a plug-in headset. It has a new application to allow it to make phone calls, plus users can automatically dial phone numbers from the Address Book. It supports many phone services like speed dialing, caller ID, call forwarding, 5-way conference calling, and more. Its 1500 mAh lithium ion battery provides up to 10 hours of talk time.

Naturally, one of the major uses for this device is email and it ships with Palm VersaMail, the company’s new personal email software. This app can download and view the text of Microsoft Word documents and HTML email attachments. It also includes advanced folder and filtering capabilities, the flexibility to delete many messages at one time, and easy access to common tasks such as forwarding email and moving messages. Windows PC synchronization support allows automatic conversion of most Microsoft Office documents using DataViz Documents To Go. Users can synchronize email with Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes 5.0, and Eudora.

The W includes a 320 by 320 pixel color screen that can display 65,536 colors. Under the screen is a small keyboard to make writing email and SMS messages easier. It also has the same D-pad the Tungsten T uses. The whole handheld is 5.4 by 3.0 by .65 inches, including the antenna, and weighs 6.4 ounces.

It runs Palm OS 4.1.1 on a Motorola Dragonball VZ 33 MHz processor and includes 16 MB of RAM.

It has an SD/MMC slot which allows it to use postage-stamp-sized memory cards and other peripherals. Like the Tungsten T and most of the company’s other models, uses the Palm Universal Connector.

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