It's been a long time between Palm releases, but the Tungsten T makes the wait worthwhile.
The Tungsten T benefits from a high 320 x 320 resolution, which is the first sign of Palm OS 5. This has been enhanced to make text more readable – and it works.
The most striking thing about the Tungsten is its speed. Apps launch virtually before you lift the stylus from the screen, and Graffiti lovers will find themselves writing even faster due to the increased speed of recognition. The added speed is thanks to Palm OS 5's support for ARM processors, with the Tungsten using a 144MHz chip from Texas Instruments.
Made entirely from metal, the Tungsten's case feels like it could survive quite a few direct bashes and the occasional fall. Palm V and m500 owners might be disappointed that the mock-leather cover has been scrapped, though. Instead, a transparent, plastic lid snaps in place – on the front for protecting the screen when travelling, on the back when you're using it. This does allow you to read the screen with the protector in place, and pressing the new button in the centre of the direction pad flashes up the current time.
The Graffiti area is generally covered by a drop-down panel which reduces the Tungsten's height to 10.1cm.
Portability again took a knock because the Tungsten's battery life was a little lower than we'd hoped for. Whereas the Palm m515 survived for six hours in general use with the backlight on, the Tungsten could only manage four hours. Thankfully, switching the backlight off will increase this significantly, and even this reduced lifespan remains superior to its Pocket PC rivals.
We were a little surprised that Palm includes 16MB of RAM rather than 32MB, but it does have an SD slot for expansion.
Luckily, there's no need to fill the SD slot with the Palm Bluetooth SD Card, as Palm integrates this into the device. It's one of the best implementations of Bluetooth we've seen, with a step-by-step Wizard making it easy to connect devices.
With all the enhancements on show, Palm's Tungsten T is a clear winner, even taking the sizeable asking price into account.