Comments on: Tungsten T5 Inside Dissection Pictures

Pictures of the disassembled circuitry of the inside of the palmOne Tungsten T5 handhelds have been posted as part of the FCC approval documents. The images are a required part of the FCC approval process and show an inside look at the device. Read on for the full gallery.
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Looking closely

Mausoleum @ 10/20/2004 11:38:18 PM #
If you look close enough, you can read "Tungsten|E2" written on it.

RE: Looking closely
LiveFaith @ 10/21/2004 12:03:14 AM #
HeHe ... that's good Maus.

Boy, PalmOne will certainly pocket some pennies at $399 on this one as compared to the "complex" T3. The bean counters have to love the assembly, repair, durability, materials and parts cost savings. Maybe that will help the P1 bottom line?

1. Screen electronics identical to T3.
2. What's being circled with red pen on the PXA27x?
3. Blue dots are for hiding info on the 2 128mb "Flash"(presumably) Ram chips
4. Looks like plenty of green space at topleft of board for voice recording IF pre-designed in. Looks like it was not in the origonal thoughts tho ... it's was a TE2 in 4/2004.
5. What's that notched-gap in the motherboard at the mid-left side of the PDA for?
6. Check that exposed wire connecting something left out in this early version board. Surely the retails don't have that.

My note: This was destined as T2, but became T5 later because OS6 not ready for prime-time. PalmOne is holding a T3 upgrade killer device in the wings with OS6.1. I hope I'm not dreaming or I'll have to buy the Dell X50p!

PIC, thanks for the cool geek stuff.

Pat Horne;

RE: Looking closely
Gekko @ 10/21/2004 12:30:32 AM #

this is no joke - look closely - they scratched a big "X" over the "E" for T/E(2). Too funny.

RE: Looking closely
egardner4 @ 10/21/2004 12:41:28 AM #
Strangely, the white label titled "Sample" in red letters in the first picture has a field titled "Sony Model No:".

RE: Looking closely
sremick @ 10/21/2004 1:11:15 AM #
I must be blind, but I've looked at the pics and the PDF and cannot see the T-E2 or the scratched X or anything. Someone point me in the right direction...
RE: Looking closely
LiveFaith @ 10/21/2004 1:56:00 AM #
That may be an FCC label. Sony frequents the place a little more?

Pat Horne;
RE: Looking closely
cypher76 @ 10/21/2004 2:18:29 AM #
The Sony label is probably for the LCD, I know Sony has made the screens for various Palm (palmOne) devices in the past.

As for the X on the Tungsten model, it's the fifth picture on that page. It could be an italic E or B, but definitely not a T. Gives credence to the theories that this model was thrown together/rebranded because something went wrong with the device the T5 was supposed to be.

RE: Looking closely
Marv @ 10/21/2004 2:52:00 AM #
Second picture (from the top) - top right of the PalmOne "Made in China sticker...

X=10 V=5 ;-)

Muss halt auch mal was sagen ;-)

RE: Looking closely
hoodoo @ 10/21/2004 8:40:18 AM #
I still don't see it either. I see "angus" though...

RE: Looking closely
Gekko @ 10/21/2004 9:12:56 AM #

Click the link under my comment above - not the one in the story and you'll see it.

RE: Looking closely
Radu @ 10/24/2004 8:49:14 PM #
That's a Sony battery, therefore the sticker. Palms had Sony batteries before too.

TE2 Speculation

alexp @ 10/21/2004 8:21:19 AM #
If you consider the history and the specs, this model was clearly intended to be the Tungsten|TE2 that was rumored some time back.

While I can understand that OS6 was not ready, I have to ask - why release it as the T5? You're simply positioning it to guarantee disappointment.

If p1 were to release this as the TE2 and price it $250-$300, they'd probably have another hot seller. Not with me or any other T3 owners, but it would still sell. Positioned as the top-of-the-line, $400 model...good luck with allllll THAT!

RE: TE2 Speculation
Zyxel615 @ 10/21/2004 9:44:57 AM #
I personally think they named it T5 because it is the last of the product line. It is really the E2, but the next power palm will run Cobalt and have a completely different different name (like PlamOne Cobalt C?)
just my guess
RE: TE2 Speculation
hkklife @ 10/21/2004 2:20:27 PM #
Veld! Veld I say! ;-)

The new Veld line will gradually phase out the Tungstens IMHO. Treo & Zire are both 4-letter model line names. Veld rolls off the tongue better than "Tungsten" anyway. There is too much mixed history with the Tungstens and they were spread over too many different price points. In fact, I'd even wager on possibly a new "mid to high end" handheld line with each new subsequent OS release.

RE: TE2 Speculation
Strider_mt2k @ 10/21/2004 3:21:23 PM #
Sounds interesting, but what information do you have to support that?

Where Ts and Es have been a joke, perhaps the Vs?

They were okay in the "before time"!

Same cheap speaker connection as T|E

I.M Anonymous @ 10/21/2004 12:33:50 PM #
I know many people whose T|E speakers have stopped working reliably because there is no physical connection between the speaker contacts and the motherboard. I personally have to squeeze the case of my T|E to hear anything. That's acceptable for a PDA I picked up for $150, but not for a $400 PDA.

RE: Same cheap speaker connection as T|E
ChiA @ 10/23/2004 10:42:16 AM #
"T|E speakers have stopped working reliably..."
"...That's acceptable for a PDA I picked up for $150"

Why should it be acceptable? You paid $150 for a PDA with sound, not sound that will be there for one week, one month and then die but a PDA with sound! Fair enough if you've been throwing your T|E around and dropping it every day, but if the speakers inside a $30 pair of in-ear headphones I've had for 4 years haven't failed, then why should they fail on a 2 year old PDA for $150?

Besides, a faulty PDA (well one with a design flaw)is unlikely to inspire customers to run out and buy that company's future products - very bad for business in the long run.

T|E: the lowest quality Palm ever made?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/23/2004 5:26:29 PM #
The T|E appears to have been designed as the first of Palm's new Disposable Series - use the PDA until it breaks three or six months later (warranty is an amazing three months!) and then throw it out + buy another one.

Great new revenue model for Palm except for one thing: people aren't going to keep buying c r a p.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Same cheap speaker connection as T|E
RhinoSteve @ 10/23/2004 9:37:16 PM #
Also, if you look at the board size and layout, you can see a lot of gaps that should have other components in it. If they designed the PBC from the start to have the advertized feature set, the boards would be smaller. Instead you see a board that is larger than needed.

My guess is that the mechanical design was done, marketing did a call to "castrate" the design and the PCB layout guys got one more spin at it. They just took out the pads and routing of the WiFi chipset and voice recorder before the Gerber plots where generated.

Why? My business plan / conspiracy theory is that they want to make even more differentation between the first OS6 device and the latest Palm device. Hence the feature retraction. A questionably unethical move for sure but that is what happens when you let MBAs that never worked in an employee poll of less than one hundred run the shop.

I thought they smelled bad on the outside!

Strider_mt2k @ 10/24/2004 11:51:28 AM #
I wouldn't hide my freezing friend inside this stinking carcass on an ice planet.

The overall appearance is not good, and the circuit board looks like, well... it was done in China.

At least we're not seeing the alarming solder blobs like in some previous Palm offerings.

You can learn alot by the little details in and around the case detail areas too.

It should be interesting to hear about this thing over the long haul.

Palm needs to start focusing on QUALITY
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/24/2004 4:28:17 PM #
All the new Palms (especially the ultra-pathetic Tungsten E) have bargain basement construction and that's why Palm's reliability has nosedived in recent years. If Palm's Chinese manufacturers are incapable of making a decent PDA, Palm needs to get new manufacturers. ASAP.

Every person that has their T5 or TE die within a few months of use is one more person Palm may lose to PPC when it comes time to get a new PDA. And one more person that will badmouth Palm to everyone they know. People aren't stupid and Palm isn't the only game in town. After so many years of having the market all to themselves (despite making countless business mistakes), in the end it may shoddy construction quality that finally kills Palm off. Is anyone at Palm even listening? Do they care? Or is everyone just trying to cash in on stock options and plunder the company as fast as possible before the inevitable collapse?

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
Strider_mt2k @ 10/25/2004 6:45:38 AM #
Don't forget the m100 series.

Many of us got a bellyfull back THEN.

RE: I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
A9700rO @ 10/25/2004 12:23:10 PM #
Quit living in the past... back then, before... please, what matters is what's here and now, right?

Clie-SJ22>>Tungsten | E >>> Clie-NX60>>Zire 72
RE: I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/25/2004 12:59:16 PM #
Quit living in the past... back then, before... please, what matters is what's here and now, right?

The Present:

Zire 21 - decent organizer, but grossly overpriced at $99

Zire 31 - horrible color screen. $149

Zire 72 - cheap, peeling paint, useless camera. $299

Tungsten E - unreliable, übercheap case, buzzing screen. $199

Tungsten T3 - quality control + digitizer problems galore. $349

Tungsten C - cheap plastic case, Tic Tac keyboard buttons, problems with disappearing Wi-Fi, buggy update, elderly (2 years old?). $399

Tungsten "5" (E²) - "the Tungsten E in drag™." $399

Treo 600 - brilliant design let down by poor quality of phone portion and cheap components. $500 - $600

Treo 650 - another brilliant design, but will the quality be acceptable this time? $?

I find it interesting that Palm seems to be living in the past. Take a look at their mission statement on their website

"We make the handhelds & smartphones millions of people depend on every day
Palm V

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
RhinoSteve @ 10/25/2004 1:52:05 PM #
Considering that car makers are going retro, how about PDAs too! I want to see an ARM machine in the Original Pilot case! It will probabely have more mechanical integrity than the current T5!

RE: I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/26/2004 11:12:50 PM #
Let's see:

Which would sell better

a) Tungsten "5" (E²) - "the Tungsten E in drag™." $399


b) Palm V updated with high res scren and SD slot

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.



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