Palm rolls out new flagship PDA

Palm rolls out new flagship PDA

Handheld vendor Palm has launched a new flagship personal digital assistant, the Tungsten T, which it will pitch at mobile professionals.

The Tungsten T's features include a 320x320 colour display, a new 5-way Navigator enabling one-handed scrolling through applications, one-touch voice recording and a slide-out design that keeps it at its most compact except when inputting information. According to customer surveys carried out by Palm, users access information rather than input it for 90 per cent of the time they use a handheld device.

"It's all about style and efficiency," said Palm's chief evangelist Paul Leeper. "The kind of early adapters we are targeting with the Tungsten T are those people who already have broadband connections and flat-screen televisions."

The Tungsten T is powered by Palm OS5 and Texas Instruments' OMAP1510 processor, which the manufacturer claims will provide faster interaction with data-intensive documents as well as the ability to run multimedia features and software applications like video clips, digital audio files and interactive games.

In what Leeper suggested will be the "year of Bluetooth", the Tungsten T has wireless capability that enables communication with other devices, including PCs, printers and other handhelds. It can also access e-mail and the Internet via compatible Bluetooth-enabled phones.

The Tungsten T will retail at an estimated $1,099 and includes a bundle of 19 software applications. It is being marketed aggressively at removing the need for a laptop. A new ultra-thin keyboard is scheduled for release early next year to strengthen Palm's position in this sector of the mobile computing market.

As for the new range of Tablet PCs being launched in competition to PDAs, Leeper is unimpressed. "I'm surprised to see them back on the market. They have failed once and will fail again," he said.

Market analyst IDC gave Palm a 42.8 per cent share of the Australian handheld market for the six months to June 2002.

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