Palm TX Handheld PDA


High power wireless PDA

Palm’s newest iteration of their world famous PDAs, the TX is easily the most complete and versatile of currently available handhelds. Palm has had some challenging times in the past few years; strong competition from hardware vendors like Sony, operating system competition from the likes of Microsoft, and various business transitions have forced the mighty Palm to innovate and expand. Now who can complain about innovation? One area in which Palm is doing very well is what I call the “chunky mobile phone market”. Just about every mobile phone carrier has a Palm-powered phone with a tiny keyboard, Wi-Fi, data manager, camera, etc.

Now, I have heard people say the PDA is going to go the way of the wagon wheel with all this convergence of technology into the cell phone, but the fact is, the little cell phones, while certainly cool, do not have the muscle or ease of use as most high-end PDAs – miniscule screens, lower battery capacity, and the inherently lower-lifespan of the cell phone (80% of people do not keep their cell phones longer than 2 years, people drop the phones in the washer, the kids get a hold of it, etc.) mean that all-in-one cell phones aren’t for everybody. So the PDA is sticking around. The TX would actually be the next in Palm’s “Tungsten” line, except that they have dropped the tungsten. Is that at all like “Don’t drop the soap?”…”Don’t drop the tungsten.”…I’m sure there’s a really great joke in there, but perhaps only if you’re a metallurgical engineer. Moving on…

The specifications on the TX are respectable:

  • 320×480 pixel touch-screen displaying 16 bit color, which can also be rotated 90 degrees for wide-screen viewing
  • 312 MHz Intel XScale (PXA270 family) processor, which is Intel’s version of the ARM series of processors, incidentally, their XScale division has just been sold off to Marvell
  • Palm OS version 5.4.9
  • 128MB of flash memory, 100MB is user accessible for storage, 4MB is used as dynamic heap memory – that is the portion that is actually used as the RAM for applications
  • One SD/SDIO/MMC expansion slot
  • Wireless – both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (802.11b)
  • One speaker on the back of the unit, and one headphone jack
  • One non-user serviceable 1250 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery (you could probably replace it if you needed to, but you would have to unscrew the unit, which would void your warranty)