Palm rolls out enterprise-class Tungstens

Palm is unveiling two new Tungsten handhelds today, which have phone features and built-in support for the wireless technology...

Palm is unveiling two new Tungsten handhelds today, which have phone features and built-in support for the wireless technology Bluetooth.

The debut of the Tungsten devices is part of an effort by Palm to realign its product offerings with separate lines for consumers and corporate customers, or so-called "power users".

Earlier this month, Palm released its Zire line of PDAs (personal digital assistants), which start at $99 (£64) and are designed for entry-level consumers.

The Tungsten T is slimmer and more compact than previous Palm handhelds. Measuring four inches by three inches, it can be extended another inch to expose a hidden Graffiti pad for inputting data with a stylus pen. It is priced at $499 (£321) and will be available immediately, said Anthony Armenta, a Palm product manager.

The Tungsten W, at $549 (£353), features a thumb-sized keyboard and supports GSM and GPRS to make voice calls and send and receive e-mail. Palm did not disclose which wireless carriers would offer service for the device. It did say the devices would be available in the first quarter of next year.

Both Tungsten devices feature Palm's five-way navigator, a dial on the face of each device that can be used to navigate the display with one hand. Both also sport 320-by-320 pixel, 16-bit color displays, 16Mbytes of RAM and an SD (Secure Digital) drive.

The devices also are Palm's first to include built-in support for Bluetooth, and the Tungsten T is the first Palm device to make use of the latest version of the Palm operating system, Palm OS 5 and use the ARM chip architecture now supported by Palm OS 5. It runs Texas Instruments' Open Multimedia Applications Platform 1510 chip, a 144MHz processor, which promised to offer better audio and video support.

Palm is using the previous version of the operating system and the long-used DragonBall 33MHz microprocessor for the Tungsten W.

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