Rumor: New Zire and Tungsten Models

PIC has received multiple reports on possible new models from the Palm Solutions Group. The new rumors confirm some information from previous sources and reveal additional specs.

Historically, Palm SG has announced new models in the spring and fall. During their Q3 Conference call last week, Palms CFO Judy Bruner confirmed a (product) launch will be in the second half of the quarter. Our sources have indicated a probable April 24th release date.

Tungsten C
The Tungsten C is said to resemble form factor of the Tungsten W, with a built in thumb keyboard and integrated WiFi (802.11b) instead of a GSM/GPRS radio. It will run Palm OS 5.2 and use an 400mhz Intel processor. It will have at least 32MB of ram and will retail around $499 USD. It will most likely use the same 16 bit 320x320 screen found on the T & W models.

A digtimes article from last summer claimed Palm would release an OS 5 handheld running a Intel PXA250 microprocessor sometime early in 2003. Staples inventory system recently had a listing for the Tungsten C, which was later removed and lists a Tungsten C at $499 without any other information.

New Zire Model
Rumors about a Palm OS 5 Zire branded handheld have also surfaced. Multiple reports have indicated it will run Palm OS 5.2, have a color screen and an integrated camera that can capture images at up to 640x480 resolution. It will run a TI OMAP ARM processor and could retail for $299.

When Palm SG announced the Tungsten and Zire brands, it indicated that the Tungsten line of devices would be aimed towards mobile professionals and enterprise work forces. The Zire brand is intended for products designed for consumers, not just entry level handhelds.

Both models are said to run Palm OS 5.2, which includes the new Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition engine. Graffiti 2 is a new character recognition engine that replaces the Graffiti engine that had been used in the past. PalmSource licensed and enhanced Jot from CIC. Graffiti 2 was added to make learning data input on the palm os easier for new and inexperienced users.

UPDATE: Additional rumored details are available on the Zire 71.

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No more puny screens, please!

Puck @ 3/24/2003 12:47:02 PM #
Any rumors on display size?

RE: No more puny screens, please!
Puck @ 3/24/2003 1:01:40 PM #
...on the Zire, that is.

RE: No more puny screens, please!
Admin @ 3/24/2003 1:09:03 PM #
The T|C may have a 320x320 screen, I don't have any info on the new zire resolution.
RE: No more puny screens, please!
Foo Fighter @ 3/24/2003 1:25:05 PM #
Wonder if this will FINALLY feature a Transflective LCD? Palm has to fallow the rest of the PDA industry, and reflective screens just don't measure up anymore.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: No more puny screens, please!
rsc1000 @ 3/24/2003 3:34:08 PM #
>>Wonder if this will FINALLY feature a Transflective LCD? Palm has to fallow the rest of the PDA industry, and reflective screens just don't measure up anymore.

True - i was just staring at the ipaq 5450 a few minutes ago and the brightness of the screen really stands out. however soemthing else stood out as well: i was amazed how - after using nothing but the tungsten t for the last few weeks - the ipaq display suddenly looked really grainny. This is the same experience i had when i went back to using a palm m505 after having used an ipaq for a month. ahhh relativity. my point? aside from the slight increase in quality with brightness and colour saturation - that 320x320 T|T screen is still better because its as good as a reflective screen can get AND has higher res than on the PPC. Of course - as yr saying - what we want is both worlds - transflective + 320x320.

RE: No more puny screens, please!
greentruck15 @ 3/24/2003 3:43:36 PM #
all the new palms have TFT screens

RE: No more puny screens, please!
Foo Fighter @ 3/24/2003 3:59:18 PM #
No, the reason why the iPaq screen looked "Grainy" to you is because it has a lower screen resolution, not because it is Transflective. Look at the Sony TG50 or NX60 next your TT...there is no comparison. I've noticed this with my Axim as well. Compared to my friends NX60 it looks pixelated.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: No more puny screens, please!
yukong @ 3/24/2003 5:21:37 PM #
From reading the specs on the TW and the TT, it appears that the TW form factor is the size of the TT when the TT slider is extended. The TT closed is 4 inches long, and open it is 4.8. The TW is 4.8. Minimal width and thickness differences. However, I am not a big fan of the thumb boards. I used one some with my m515, and I hated it. I could enter text a lot faster with graffiti than I could the thumb board. Just my preference I guess, but I am not interested in anything with a thumb board. And the form factor size difference is enough to slow me down. It may not seem like much, but nearly one inch longer is a big difference when carrying my palm in my shirt of suit pocket. Now if they would do a TT2 or TTII, something like that with the form factor of the TT with the slide, and bluetooth and Wifi, and 32 or more meg, then I'm there. But not the thumb board larger form factor. As to the screen issue, transflective v. reflective, I am torn. I like the slightly better resolution and color depth of the transflective screens indoors. But I don't like how they do outside. The reflective seem so much better outdoors and in bright light. I use my palm a lot in the car when traveling, and in the bright light is looks so much better.

RE: No more puny screens, please!
kidA @ 3/24/2003 7:11:44 PM #
FYI screen resolution has nothing to do with transflective versus reflective. the difference is in the overall brightnesss of the screen and the color vibrance and saturation. i agree that transflective screens are far worse in sunlight than reflective, but other than that, it's all advantages: brighter, better color saturation, and the biggie--no freakin' dust under the screen! plus they aren't really that bad outside, just not great like reflective displays.

RE: No more puny screens, please!
Timothy Rapson @ 3/25/2003 12:56:25 PM #
RSC: *I* could tell you were not thinking the QVGA Ipaq screens were grainy because they were transflective, but because they were medium resolution.

". Of course - as yr saying - what we want is both worlds - transflective + 320x320."

I have been really dreaming of a 320 by 480 transflective that is as bright and colorful as the new Ipaqs, but as smooth as the Clies.

Now, I don't know. I use a Clie. I am pretty sure it is merely reflective as it is nowhere near as bright as the newer Ipaqs. The very latest, the NZ is a lot brighter, but I don't know if they just boosted the backlight or went transflective. But, I can barely use it out of doors now. Taking pictures can be a real crap shoot. I could not go with anything less capable outside, so maybe I should forego the transflective.

As it is, I so agree with you on the matter of what one gets used to.

I could have been perfectly happy with a 320 by 240 before I got my NR. No more. I am just too used to the smoothness to go back. As long as I don't gaze too long at those bright, bright Ipaq screens, I am very happy with my Clie. Even at it's worse, it is always easilly viewable. Something you can't say about all PDAs. There were times when my Mono Ipaq simply needed it to be darker in the room with the backlight turned on or much lighter in the room with no backlight. In church was the worse, a good amount of ambient light, but the light was so far away and indirect I could not get the Ipaq at any angle that made it readable.

I never have that problem with the NR.

As always, your mileage may vary and make sure you try it out before you plunk down your hardearned bucks.

RE: No more puny screens, please!
masitti @ 3/26/2003 11:26:46 PM #
There are reflective screens with no dust. It doesn't matter what type of screen it is.

Mario Masitti

I believe about the rumor of new Zire

dhchung @ 3/24/2003 12:57:30 PM #
Think about iPaq H1910 and Dell's $199 PDA. Palm really should sell a smiliar product at a similar price. What they have currently is m130/m515 which can't really compete with PPC. (not even sony's SJ30/SJ22) It is reasonable that a new mid range Palm model appear on the market.

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
twalk @ 3/24/2003 3:54:47 PM #
Palm really needs 2 color devices in that price range. One cheap PDA at $150 to undercut pricewise all the color PPC PDAs, and another at $250 with arm and a hires screen. (Note to Palm marketing people: this is called "bracketing", and it's often very effective for market leaders...)

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
kidA @ 3/24/2003 4:56:25 PM #
i don't know that $150 is really possible. but a color device like the rumored zire, but w/o the camera would easily come in at $200 to $250. but to sell, it needs to have a hi res screen.

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
twalk @ 3/24/2003 5:09:52 PM #
A $150 color Zire with a 160x160 display is definitely possible. The difference in screen cost would amount to $30-$40, and everything else would be mostly the same, so the profit margin would be less, but the absolute dollar profit per device would be roughly the same.

Put 4M on it, and make the usb port work with keyboards and usb flash drives, and you've got a winner.

With this low end device, Palm wouldn't have to meet a $200 price point for the higher end one. They could make something cut down like the sj22, but with an arm processor, and charge $50 more than the $200 that sony does.

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
graph @ 3/24/2003 6:45:57 PM #
I wish they added the cam to a highend model and not the zire, or i wish zire isnt such a lowend model and they wont cut features.

too bad the tungsten C doesnt have BT.

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
kidA @ 3/25/2003 1:09:15 AM #
no one ever said that Zire was necessarily low end or that Tungsten was necessarily high end. so far it's just played out that way. Zire is the consumer line, Tungsten is the corporate professional/business oriented line. The differences end there. Tungstens will probably always come with business software like DtG and whatnot, while I wouldn't expect Palm to include it with the Zire, although it would be nice. The rumored Zire is projected at $299, certainly more mid-range in today's market than low end.

RE: I believe about the rumor of new Zire
graph @ 3/26/2003 3:54:39 AM #
Do you think its possible to have mp3 and voice rec on that $299 budget given it already has cam. if it has those 3 plus 320x320 then its the device for me.

Tungsten C could be cool

MV-Jon @ 3/24/2003 1:22:06 PM #
Sounds like the T|C could be a cool new Palm to own. Only thing I am mixed on is the Graffiti 2. I don't really want to have to relearn :)

Any word on expansion ports? Same as T|T perhaps?


RE: Tungsten C could be cool
hkklife @ 3/24/2003 3:10:36 PM #
I'd really like to see a refreshed version of the T|T. Like the "T|Tx" or "T|T2| or whatnot. 32 mb ram, improved battery life, and all of the bugs and audio problems squashed. It's make a pretty capable mid-range handheld unit IMHO.

If not, then there's still quite a bit of life left in the classic V/m500 formfactor, and Palm would be quite foolish to discard something that is to many *the* classic representation of a modern PDA. The T|T is nice, but I get aggrivated by the slider and am always bumping the voice recorder button by accident. Brighthand's recent editorial said it best last week when the author claimed there was only one "safe" side on the T|T (devoid of buttons, connectors, slots etc).

I can live with either a buggy half-baked OS or a handheld with some ergnomic issues, but a heaping of both can get very tiresome after a while.

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
IanJD @ 3/24/2003 8:16:34 PM #
"I'd really like to see a refreshed version of the T|T. Like the "T|Tx" or "T|T2| or whatnot. 32 mb ram, improved battery life..."

I'd plonk down money for a slightly higher spec son of T|T; more memory, better battery life, maybe another SD slot, maybe removing that slider and making it fixed in the closed form for a smaller size (since 5.2 should remove the need for a hard graffiti area).

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
Keithos! @ 3/24/2003 8:57:25 PM #
I like the idea of getting rid of the sliding Grafitti area myself. Without that, a new T|T could probably be thinner too...
RE: Tungsten C could be cool
SQLDba @ 3/24/2003 10:57:17 PM #
Not sure where you are getting the improved battery life. In fact, one of my worries is that the battery life on this will be worse. Remember, the wireless component is a radio that receives and transmits - that takes juice - and for it to have any range it's going to need more juice than the BT transciever on the T|T. Now, of course, you can always turn it off when not in use but still.... I would be interested in seeing what happens to the battery life on an NX when they put the wi-fi card in.

I also hope that Palm moves the navigator pad to the top of the keyboard - although I doubt it. I have played around a bit with the W and I really find that the unit is harder to use with the pad below the keyboard. Maybe it's just me.

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
hkklife @ 3/24/2003 11:30:00 PM #
Heh, no I meant just improved battery life for the "refreshed" T|T (assumg there will ever be one). Perhaps if the sliding mechanism were omitted, the weight and room saved would enable a larger battery...which would be useful to offset the increased power consumption of the additional ram and backlit Graffiti area (my honest to goodnesss #1 wish on any new PDA w/ a fixed Graffiti area).

I do not doubt that a Tungsten Palm with both wi-fi and bluetooth would guzzle like no Palm before it...and the additional RAM would only worsen matters. Of course, for many users, this would be a small price to pay for having the ability to never be away from 'net access (asssuming you have a BT cellphone) while all the while keeping the SD slot open.

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
Take1 @ 3/25/2003 4:37:47 AM #
I'm with the guys that simply want a T|T part DEUX with all the problems fixed especially the screen and audio (louder and fidelic please).

Or better yet:

If Palm REALLY wants to have a hit like the Vx once again, simply take the T|W form factor (minus antenna and keyboard) put a 320 x 480 TRANSFLECTIVE screen (virtual graffiti), add a jog dial (keep the 5 way as well), and fix the audio ! Sony's too retarded to get this done so why not INNOVATE and do it BEFORE Sony for once?!?!?!?!?! AAAAAGGHGHGHGHGHHhhhhhhhhh! Do it... just do it.... you won't be going broke if you simply LISTEN to your customers... really!

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
Take1 @ 3/25/2003 4:59:06 AM #
oh yeah... don't forget B/T!

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
Altema @ 3/25/2003 10:53:30 AM #
"If not, then there's still quite a bit of life left in the classic V/m500 formfactor"

I agree and think that if they released one in that form factor with VG, hi res+, and BT it would be a good seller. 32Mb Ram and 16Mb flash would make it a killer.

Tungsten C: adding not replacement.
pdangel @ 3/25/2003 10:54:44 AM #
New Palm SG Model Coming in a Month or So

It's an interesting and logical wireless adding to there i705 decice, Tungsten T Bluetooth Model and Palm PDAs with SDIO support.

Bluetooth and Wifi Differences
Bluetooth Applications

"PalmSource expects that we are only seeing the beginning of what is expected to be a long line of Palm OS devices with embedded WiFi capabilities."

Asustek nor the Palm Solution Group has granted a PDA with built-in WiFi by the FCC.....yet!!!!!

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
chilimost @ 3/25/2003 6:23:45 PM #
Two interesting items regarding those linked articles...

- The device is listed as having 64MB RAM...NICE!

- They praise Xircom (Intel) for supporting WiFi on Palm devices. Support is certainly questionable here... Their tech support for these devices sucks. Nor are they supporting any enterprise level functionality that you should have for corporate environments (802.1x, EAP, etc...) on their devices. They aren't even going to support their existing universal connector sleds with drivers for OS5. Apparently, these will fit the T|T (albeit not as perfectly as m Series Palms), but are useless w/o an OS5 driver. I'd have to disagree with their statement that they are truly taking the initiative. You have to do more than just manufacture the hardware for this IMHO...

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
burtba @ 3/25/2003 6:58:30 PM #
If Palm REALLY wants to have a hit like the Vx once again, simply take the T|W form factor (minus antenna and keyboard) put a 320 x 480 TRANSFLECTIVE screen (virtual graffiti), add a jog dial (keep the 5 way as well), and fix the audio !

FOR THE LIFE OF ME; I agree, why why why cant they do that when everybody knows that would be an INSTANT HIT. Even the TT form; 320x320 when closed, for address, quick info etc & 320x480 when open for picture viewing, spread sheet, ebooks etc.

Can anybody give us any reason WHY Palm would not do this???????

Tungsten Vx would be cooler!
RAMdŽd @ 3/26/2003 12:43:57 PM #
I'd be happy with a Vx form factor, a high-res screen, and a jog dial! The five-way nav button would be nice, but I could live without it.

32MB would be fine. I don't know that they could squeeze 64 into the Vx. (It seems that when more RAM is added, people tend to write fatter apps!) I'd want decent battery life! My iPAQ 3765 drains quickly without use, over three or four days. My Vx can go over a week of daily use and still have about 40%-50% battery life left.

I use my PDAs (V and iPAQ) outdoors about 30% of the time, and the iP's screen is almost always a problem to read.

I've been waiting for the T|T's price to drop a little more, but it's icons don't seem as nice as the iP's. Is that a function of resolution?

About Virtual Graffiti- what is that? I'd love to have a T|T that didn't open up, and let me write on the whole screen for Graffiti input, instead of having to access the designated input area. (I like Graffiti, but the iP's handwriting recognition seems to work much better than my V's. Does GII work any better?)

Huge screens are nice, but I really want something that fits in my pocket like the Vx/m505. (And I want an all metal case!)

An armed society is a polite society.

Makes Me A Believer - Tungsten C
yetis @ 4/16/2003 5:03:50 PM #
Just a little tidbit on the Tung C. Follow the link and notice the reference at the top of the page.
"< Home

Why would reference the Tung C if they were not going to make it, and, sell it soon I might add.

Any day now!

RE: Tungsten C could be cool
shantipur @ 4/22/2003 8:47:07 PM #
(shaking my head) Why not the REAL answer, Palm people? Why not a unit that has anytime wireless GPS/GRPS AND WiFi? Why not have the perfect wireless lifestyle device that does BOTH???? Or am I the only one who wants it all?

Skip Ferderber

Digital Media support?

Foo Fighter @ 3/24/2003 1:27:01 PM #
Will either of these products feature digital media (MP3 + Video) capabilities, or will we continue to see the same half-baked features similar to the TT?

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Digital Media support?
rsc1000 @ 3/24/2003 3:53:13 PM #
I think palm has taken a bit of a knocking about the fact that the T|T didn't have mp3 out of the box. Since all they have to do to rectify this is to include the exact same software that you and i - or anybody with half a brain cell - can go and download now for free (Kinoma + RealPlayer), i can't imagine they wouldn't include these now that they are ready. Then again, this is Palm we are talking about...

RE: Digital Media support?
Foo Fighter @ 3/24/2003 4:03:42 PM #
Software availability isn't the problem. The TT audio output is too weak to serve as an MP3 player.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Digital Media support?
alanh @ 3/24/2003 4:40:08 PM #
Seems plenty loud to me. The beta audio patch exhibited this problem, but the one currently available doesn't.

RE: Digital Media support?
SonofWan @ 3/25/2003 6:18:15 AM #
Am considering getting a TT but one thing that puts me off is this talk of low volumn. Is it really that bad?

RE: Digital Media support?
IanJD @ 3/25/2003 9:25:37 AM #
The volume is not unusably low. Unless you have poor hearing, or like music loud enough to damage your eardrums, a pair a decent headphones will yield adequate volume for most environments. The bass response is well documented, and less than optimal, but this does not make it useless for MP3 playback.

RE: Digital Media support?
MonkeyK @ 3/25/2003 10:38:57 AM #
Personally, until >1GB external memory is readily available for my PDA, I don't care about listening to music on the PDA.
I refuse to carry around the same damn album everywhere.

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