Palm's Tungsten adds Bluetooth, widescreen support

FRAMINGHAM (10/03/2003) - Palm Inc. this week introduced three handheld devices, including a high-end model with Bluetooth short-range wireless capabilities and a 320-by-480-dpi color screen that can be used in either vertical or horizontal mode.

Milpitas, Calif.-based Palm said the Tungsten T3 handheld is based on Intel Corp.'s 32-bit XScale processor and includes improved personal information manager tools and IBM's Java-based WebSphere Micro Environment software. The 5.5-oz. device costs $399 and is designed for corporate users, said Anthony Armenta, a senior product manager at Palm's hardware unit.

Jeff White, a longtime Palm user who is a biomedical engineer at Miami Children's Hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., said the T3 packs a lot of functionality into a small, lightweight computer that can be carried in the scrubs worn by doctors and nurses.

The T3's ability to switch from the standard portrait-shaped screen used by most handheld devices to a landscape mode makes it easier to read documents, White said. "People naturally want to scroll up and down, and they hate to scroll sideways," he said.

White also praised the battery life of the T3, saying that the battery-level indicator on a device he received via an early shipment still read 100 percent after being used for four days. Previous Palm models have run out of power in a matter of hours, according to White.

The T3 has better screen resolution than any rival devices based on Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC operating system, said Sam Bhavnani, an analyst at ARS Inc. in La Jolla, Calif. He noted that the horizontal landscape viewing mode will make it easier to read not only text documents but also Excel spreadsheets, because end users will be able to see a larger number of spreadsheet cells than they can in portrait mode.

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