Palm Aims Tungsten Handhelds at the Enterprise

 
 
By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2002-11-04
 
 
 

With eyes on the enterprise, Palm Inc. last week introduced two handheld computers aimed at business customers.

The Palm Tungsten T is the companys first device to run Palm OS Version V using Texas Instruments Inc.s ARM-based Open Media Application Protocol 1510 processor, which is designed to handle multimedia applications.

"Theres very good graphics support," said Michael Steinberg, president of the New England Palm Users Group, in Cambridge, Mass., who tested the device.

But while the additional processing power makes the Tungsten comparable to devices that run Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC platform, Palm officials are going out of their way to distinguish the Tungsten from its competition.

"Its about the data, not the desktop," said Todd Bradley, president of Palms Solutions Group, in Milpitas, Calif. "We dont stuff unnecessary PC capabilities into a smaller box."

The Tungsten T includes 16MB of memory, a Secure Digital expansion slot and support for the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol, along with Palms classic organization software.

The device is more compact than previous models, with navigation and application buttons on a slider that opens to reveal a screen for Graffiti handwriting recognition data input. Available now, the product is priced at $499.

The Palm Tungsten W, meanwhile, is the companys first wireless device that supports Global System for Mobile Communications/ General Packet Radio Service, or GSM/GPRS, networks.

It includes a built-in keyboard and enhanced phone features, including speed dialing, caller ID, call forwarding, five-way conference calling and call-history logs. Palm officials said, however, that the Tungsten Ws main focus is always-on e-mail access. The Tungsten W includes integrated Bluetooth support and a 320-by-320-pixel color screen.

Due in the United States in the first quarter of next year through carriers including AT&T Wireless Services Inc., the Tungsten W will cost $549 without a carrier contract, but carriers that offer the device are expected to subsidize the cost. Service pricing has yet to be determined.

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