Tungsten T5 is Not What "Palm OS Enthusiasts" Expected

Brighthand does a wonderful job of reviewing the palmOne Tungsten T5-- the company's latest pure Personal Digital Assistant. Although there are several innovations in this device, including the incorporation of internal flash memory and a virtual disk capability that allows you to use 160 Megabytes of the built-in memory as a flash disk, the Tungsten T5 is criticized for not being an improvement over the Tungsten T3 in all areas. Brighthand rightly points out that this PDA is could more correctly be characterized as a second-generation Tungsten E.

It's helpful to compare the features of the palmOne PDAs in order to see where each is positioned. The Tungsten E looks like a killer deal for a lot of pure PDA applications. The biggest holes in its feature set are an expansion card slot and Bluetooth capability, which were never considered core PDA features anyway. For the people who need expandability and a relatively inexpensive wireless data option, the Zire 72 has an expansion slot, Bluetooth, and throws in a digital camera for about $50 less than the T3. You can combine that with a low cost Bluetooth mobile phone.

I should point out that I'm thinking about which Palm to buy because I need to replace my Treo 180. The Treo 600 is looking expensive to me, and I'm wondering whether the Treo 650 will seem like a better deal to me when it's formally announced. I've definitely been waiting to see what the 650 pricing will be, and how much the price of the 600 will be lowered. I can't sit on the sideline forever, because I'm carrying around a printed version of my calendar from Ximian Evolution, which represents a measurable personal productivity loss.

I agree with Brighthand, that the Tungsten T5 is a solid handheld that takes a step toward the future of the stand-alone PDA by adding flash memory drive capability. I'm hoping that palmOne steps up with firmware changes to isolate the content of the internal flash memory drive so that it isn't affected by a hard reset. I also hope that they come out with another PDA that Tungsten T3 users can call a complete upgrade.