Brighthand Reviews the palmOne Tungsten E2 — Part 2

by Reads (14,505)

This is Part II of this review. Part I should be read first.

Software

Speaking of software, I should mention that the Tungsten E2 comes with a very complete set of applications.

I’m not saying that it can do everything anyone might want right out of the box, but it certainly can handle all the tasks most people expect from a handheld these days.

Obviously, this includes being able to keep track of your calendar and address book.

Plus, if you are a Microsoft Outlook user, you don’t have to worry about entering all your events and addresses twice; you can easily synchronize your E2 with the data on your desktop.

But this handheld’s capabilities don’t end there. It is also quite capable of working with Microsoft Word and Excel files — or playing MP3s while you’re out jogging.

Performance

This handheld runs a 200 MHz Intel XScale processor. I know that doesn’t sound too impressive, but when the operating system it’s using, Palm OS Garnet, was released, a 200 MHz processor was the top of the line. Therefore, this handheld doesn’t need a 400 MHz processor to have good performance.

I tested the Tungsten E2 with the Speedy benchmarking application, and got a score of 987. Not surprisingly, this is way below the score of a high-end device like the Tungsten T5, but it’s nearly double the score of the original Tungsten E.

Honestly, benchmarks don’t really tell you the whole story. The E2 responds quickly and launches applications virtually instantaneously.

Accessories

The Tungsten E2 comes with a nice “leather” flip cover. It isn’t actually leather, but it’s close enough. This fits in a rail on the left side of the handheld, and can be flipped around all the way to the back.

I like flip covers. They are a nice compromise between a full case — which adds bulk — and carrying your handheld around with no protection at all.

Thankfully, palmOne still includes a decent size stylus with its models. This isn’t as thick as a regular pen, but it looks like a tree trunk next to the styli offered by many other handheld makers.

Tungsten E2 The E2 uses palmOne’s new HotSync connector, which debuted on the Treo 650 and Tungsten T5. This means that, unlike the original Tungsten E, a cradle can be purchased separately.

Battery Life

One of the most important factors in any handheld is its battery life. No matter how great a device is, it’s useless once the battery runs out.

In my tests, the Tungsten E2 was able to last for roughly five hours on a single charge.

This isn’t an outstanding amount of time, but it’s decent. There are handhelds that can last longer, but there are also ones with a shorter battery life.

Just so we’re clear, I didn’t do a torture test where I keep the device on until the battery is dead. I don’t think that’s a good way to test handheld’s battery life. Instead, I used the E2 normally and tracked the amount of time it took to empty the battery with Jeroen Witteman’s BatteryGraph.

Value

The Tungsten E2 is now selling for $249, which is a decent price for a handheld with this ones features.

If you take a look at other models in this price range, whether they are running the Palm OS or Windows Mobile, you’ll find that they are roughly comparable.

And $249 is just the official price for the Tungsten E2. Shopper.com already shows several online retailers offering it for less.

Update: Not surprisingly, in the months since this review was written, the official price of the E2 has been dropped to $199. Of course, Shopper.com is still the best way to find the lowest price for this handheld.


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