Rumor: palmOne Zire 31 and Tungsten E2

A leaked photograph and details of a new palmOne Zire model has been posted on a popular Chinese PDA message-board. The shows a palmOne branded Zire 31, with a blue case, color screen, SD slot and a 200 MHz Intel CPU. Additional rumors point to a upcoming wireless TE 2.

palmOne Zire 31
The rumors comes from a thread on TomPDA. The initial specs reveal that it will be powered by a 200 MHz Intel chip. It will have 16 MB of SDRAM, 4MB/8MB FLASH ROM OR Mask ROM, a 160x160 pixel TFT color display, and a USB/DC connections similar to the TE.

The image showed a pre-production prototype with a blue hued case, 2 application buttons, a center navigator and a silkscreen input area. The model is also said to have a SD slot on the top similar to the one on the TT3 which has a built in dust cover. It is powered by a internal rechargeable battery.

The pictures was reportedly taken with a Palm Zire 71 in China. Most palmOne handhelds are now produced and built in China. Pricing or exact availability is not known at this time, thought it is reasonable to speculate the Zire 31 would be part of the spring product release cycle.

Tungsten E2
There are additional unverifiable rumors from the same source on a next generation TE handheld. Internally called the TE 2, it is rumored to have built-in Bluetooth, a 320 x 480 wide-screen display, and also use a Intel processor.

Thanks to Tommy for the tip.

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Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!

mikecane @ 1/6/2004 3:42:04 PM #
>>>There are additional unverifiable rumors from the same source on a next generation TE handheld. Internal called the TE 2, it is rumored to have built-in Bluetooth, a 320 x 480 wide-screen display, and a Intel processor.

But -- just BT?! *NO* WiFi?


1) Will the Sandisk WiFi SD be ready?


2) Is it really the TT*4* I want?

320x480 with *no* slider is a Good Thing!

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
abosco @ 1/6/2004 3:44:44 PM #
Quit your bickering and buy an e805, already!

This is BEAUTIFUL! Total chaos today! :D New hardware looks very impressive, and dare I say, more competitive.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
mikecane @ 1/6/2004 3:51:58 PM #
The e8xx is the size of Papa iPaq, aka The Brick!

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
Foo Fighter @ 1/6/2004 3:54:39 PM #
The only thing that would keep be from buying the E2 would be if it's made of the same cheap faux metal finish as the existing E.

My blog:
RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
Foo Fighter @ 1/6/2004 3:54:39 PM #
Glad I sent the Zodiac 2 back....and held off buying the T3. Good things DO come to those who wait. We'll see.

My blog:
RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
Timothy Rapson @ 1/6/2004 7:23:36 PM #
I'm in. A 320 by 480 TE for what...$275? list would probably get my $$$. I wouldn't even care if it was the 144 MZ TI chip of the any other ARM, they are all plenty quick enough for me. I like the removable battery and full 64 MB that the HP 1935 comes with, but I would probably pay $225-250 (street) for a TE with no removable battery, no UIC, no bluetooth or WiFi. I just want more ARM power, more memory, smaller size, without giving up HVGA of my current Clie NR70V. I don't mind the cheesy finish of the TE, but I don't like the shape. Don't pile on, but I didn't like the shape of the Palm V. It looked marvelous. Perhaps the best looking PDA ever. Stunning. But, to pick one up was to wonder what in the world they were thinking. People don't grab PDAs from the middle. They rest them from the bottom on their palms. So why is the TE so wide at the bottom? There surely isn't any part of the motherboard that needs to be wider at the bottom like that!

But, uncomfortable shape or not, I am in.

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
Purfekshunist @ 1/7/2004 12:56:45 PM #
I'm there!!!

I don't care about lack of WiFi (although it would be good), lack of UC (don't like it, anyway - feels so unnatural when removing it from the cradle), or even the cheap faux metal finish (a white finish, like the Zire/Zire 21, would be perfect). I just want 320 x 480 in a slim case without a slider.

I've also been thinking about upgrading my m515 to a Tungsten E (low cost, great form factor) or even T3 (320 x 480) in the meantime, until someone comes out with the PalmOS PDA of my dreams, but now I'll just wait and hope the rumors are true. I hope palmOne sees this as an incentive to get a sliderless 320 x 480 model out quickly, rather than as a cannibalization of current sales.

Please let the rumors be true!

no WiFi
mj6798 @ 1/8/2004 10:11:51 AM #
But -- just BT?! *NO* WiFi?

Why would there be WiFi? To make the thing heavier and drain the battery faster?

BT is there for connecting to your phone and laptop and for wireless hotsync. It works like a charm. It's far easier to configure than WiFi for the average user and, unlike WiFi, it's actually secure all by itself. You can even get BT access points if you want to get onto your LAN.

WiFi makes little sense for PDAs as long as it is as expensive, bulky, and power-hungry as it is today.

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
mikecane @ 1/10/2004 5:14:54 PM #
>>>Why would there be WiFi? To make the thing heavier and drain the battery faster?

>>>WiFi makes little sense for PDAs as long as it is as expensive, bulky, and power-hungry as it is today.

>slaps head!< Yeah, you're right! Those MORONS at hp! How DARE they cram BOTH BT *and* WiFi into that itty-bitty teensy-weensy makes-a-TungE-look-like-a-fekkin-BRICK hp iPaq 41xx series?!

I mean, geez, the NERVE of some people shattering your illusions like that!

RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
swinginjonny @ 1/12/2004 2:26:56 PM #
I have wifi on two PDAs, a wifi network at home and one at work. It's still fairly useless. Until hotspots become more prevalent there's no reason to have wifi on a handheld. Whenever I'm close enough to use the wifi, I'm within 1000 ft of my computer. I'd rather do it all there. Bluetooth allows me to connect through a cell-phone when I'm NOT 1000 ft from my computer making it really useful. It's a lot more practical on a PDA, says I.
I just can't figure why folks make such a big deal about wifi on a handheld.

(Self-confessed Palm Geek)
RE: Well then, *NO* TT3 for me!
The Black Moose @ 2/2/2004 7:36:16 PM #
E2, 'cheap faux metal' case... Why don't anyone who has a problem with this just hide back in the past with the m100 series when you could change the faceplate? Then you could choose your color.

If pda color was such a big deal, palm could boost many sales simply from reviving the changeable faceplate. I never bothered with it, but it did not seem like such a bad idea.

I am really beginning to despise windows. Windows, get out of the mobile devices, you can keep your desktop OS.

They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?

somas1 @ 1/6/2004 4:02:24 PM #
This can't be right.

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
DWD @ 1/6/2004 4:06:11 PM #
I agree...that makes absolutely no sense.

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
abosco @ 1/6/2004 4:09:28 PM #
Treo 600 has it. The Zire 31 looks like it'll be price anywhere from $100-$150. You can't have everything. It already has 16 MB, 200 MHz, and an SDIO slot. While hi-res would be nice, I'm not pushing it.

But in any case, from the looks of the launcher, it doesn't look low-res. May just be the low resolution of the picture.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
hoodoo @ 1/6/2004 4:16:45 PM #
It will be cheap!

I wonder if the 21 will be retired as a result of the 31 coming out. Here is the entry level colour Palm everybody wants. Maybe the screen is the exact same one as the Treo 600, that would make sense from aqvolume standpoint.

It would seriously cannabilize (sp?) T|E sales if it was 320x320, assuming the T|E isn't being retired. It still gets the new user on to the upgrade cycle; I'm sure this is P1's strategy here.

One prediction for Mike Cane in the bag!!

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
robrecht @ 1/6/2004 4:45:03 PM #
$100 color would be a killer model. If Palm can do that, then they're definitely back.

Thanks, robrecht
RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
Palm Cow @ 1/6/2004 6:56:54 PM #
I think that the photo is 160*160 ... my friend's m515's screen looks like that.

Chess or Chyes
Palm Cow loves it.
RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
Timothy Rapson @ 1/6/2004 7:37:46 PM #
I say it is going to be 160 by 160. For $150. This is the model they would have presented last Fall to replace the M130 but they had too many M130s still in stock.

It looks like they will have three models below $200, the TE at $200, the 31 at $150 and the 21 at $100. I would expect them to drop the 21 down to $80 for the Spring or offer some other $20 premium. That would give PalmOne a nice spread at the low end. They would also have the TE at the HP 1935's $200 price (a bad deal for PalmOne comparing the specs), the TE2 at the HP 1940s $300 price, and the T3 at the HP 2210's $400 price. A new TC replacement with HVGA instead of the keyboard but with both WiFi and BlueTooth might match the HP 4130-35 (are those the right numbers?) at $450. That would make an extraordinary head to head market battle. Of course, the new Zire 71 replacement would have to fit in there somewhere. A million or so sales of those could give PalmOne some very good sales numbers vs HP who have no such model.

I thought Palms lineup for Fall 2003 was good. This is steller.

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
Palm Cow @ 1/6/2004 9:11:17 PM #
err...I personally think that palmOne will:

Price the Z|31 at $100 and lower the Z|21 to $80, Z|m150 to $59
Lower the T|E to $250
Price the T|E2 at $200

The T|E2s would sell like hotcakes. I won't buy it at $300.

Chess or Chyes
Palm Cow loves it.

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
hotpaw4 @ 1/7/2004 2:35:31 AM #
Makes sense. Their product line could use something with enough more features than the Z21 to fill the gap around the $150 price point, but clearly less desirable compared to the T|E so it won't cannibalize sales of the more profitable product.
RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
twizza @ 1/8/2004 2:08:36 AM #
To those that were wondering if this is going to be 160/160 or not:
I took a good look at the pics and it seems that this will be a hi-res screen. My reasoning lies in the part of the screen where the time is. On the TW all of the icons and scroll bars look hi res until you look at the area of the screen where the time is. It is quite blocky in my opinion. The pics of the Z31 do not reveal this blockiness. Therefore I am thinking that this will be a $150-$170 hi res PDA. No expansion slot though. This seems to be the PDA for those that need a color screen and space but no more than maybe 8mb ram. If it has 16megs then PalmOne has a heck of a home run. But, without a headphone jack, I dont know. If this has an expansion slot and a headphone jack, PalmONe will have the iPod killer. This device plus a $70 256MB card is a steal. More than likley though, PalmOne plays this model as a color sticky notes and charges the $150-170.

As for the TE2; I wanna see if it has BT. Personally, for PalmOne to leave the Tungsten line with a slew of BT PDAs, it will do well to its marketshare. Without BT, do not charge more than $250; but then drop the T3 to $350 because of the Mhz, RAM, and BT.

Check out my review of KeySuite over at

Personal Website: (cant wait for PalmOS to support Flash so that I can view my site on my Palmie)

if PalmOS would actually support it...
mj6798 @ 1/8/2004 10:15:05 AM #
A color screen, in principle, could give you much better monochrome text and graphics than an equivalent b/w screen, using anti-aliasing and ClearType-like technologies.

But graphics under PalmOS remains stuck in the dark ages: no anti-aliasing and no ClearType.

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
feed_sheep @ 1/8/2004 10:57:03 PM #
Looking at the pictures - how can you tell whether it is 320x320 or 160x160?

Also, does anybody besides me see the white plating around the blue plate - somewhat similar to the Z71? Could this have a camera?

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
twizza @ 1/9/2004 9:45:12 PM #
I dont know about Palm devices needing ClaerType. My Z71 is very sharp in compairson to PPC models. Mainly becasue the pixels are compressed into a smaller area. Therefore there is a sharper screen without needing any pixel enhancing elements.

About the grey/silver trim on the outside. The other Zire models have the two tone color scheme going. plus, the Z31 doesnt have the depth that the Z71 has. That plus its number designation says to me that this model does not have a camera.

Check out my review of KeySuite over at

Personal Website: (cant wait for PalmOS to support Flash so that I can view my site on my Palmie)

RE: They are gonna make a color pda with 160x160 res?
Timothy Rapson @ 1/12/2004 7:43:13 AM #
When talking about possible clear-type style font enhancements I am sure MJ6798 and the others are assuming low-res.

You can in fact see such an enhancement on your hi-res Palm with WordSmith, which I use everyday. Wordsmith's FineType technology softens font stairstepping in a way very much like ClearType. I expect it does some good for low res Palms, but I can scarcely tell the difference on my Clie.

I don't like these hacks anyway. I think it only makes the text look blurry, but I may just be too aware of it and if someone didn't even know what it was or how it worked it might make the text look better to them.

I look for the Zire 31 to be low res. If it is hi-res there is no longer any need for the TE. Either way, I would not expect to see Palm suddenly include system-wide clear-type-style font anti-aliasing.

Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!

hkklife @ 1/6/2004 4:41:21 PM #
I am really getting sick and tired of this!
WHAT good is a connector called "universal" if 1/3 or 1/4 of your product line cannot use it?

If an average consumer goes into Target and sees a Zire, Zire21, (and soon to be Zire31) and T|E to choose from, they will logically assume that a cradle bought at any electronic or computer store will work with their new model. I've had 3 neophyte coworkers/colleagues buy Palms (all Zires or T|E's, btw) within the past few months based on my enthusiasm and my T2/T3 experience. Two of the three have given up and returned or sold their units because of the lack of a cradle and/or general peripheral confusion.

It's sickening to see a major entity like Palm have to keep revising their packaging and/or putting little stickers on their boxes to show which models can and cannot work with a certain accessory.

In fact, they should just go ahead and relegate all Zire-branded models to the USB/DC ghetto and revise the T|E2 with a UC. Then at least everyone can know in advance they are going to be shortchanged and have a crippled, unexpandable handheld when they purchase something in the Zire line.

I think all of this confusion and incompatability is cheaping what little luster the brand has left. Palm should drop all monochrome models and eliminate overlap in their handhelds if they have any chance of hanging in there. One near-miss after another...

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
IndyDave @ 1/6/2004 4:56:22 PM #
I coulnd't agree more...perfect replacement for my m515 used for pharmacy, but what's the deal with the non-UC connector? I really don't get it...and the wait goes on and on. And I thought the original post said E2 resolution at 320X480 not 320X320 as stated later. Which is it? The virtual Graf. area is what I'm looking for in next handheld.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
IndyDave @ 1/6/2004 5:01:01 PM #
Okay, maybe hoodoo was talking about the new Zire having 320/320 and cannabilizing TE sales. Now I think I'm more sickened by the lack of UC. WAHHHH!!!

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
hoodoo @ 1/6/2004 5:05:20 PM #
Yes I was.

It's called evolution
somas1 @ 1/6/2004 5:10:19 PM #
I don't care for the UC and hope it dies so that real universal standards (possibly usb or bluetooth) become the norm. If you are right in believing the uc is so important, then people won't buy non-uc handhelds. If you are wrong, then the uc will die its intended death.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
mr_yellow @ 1/6/2004 5:22:59 PM #
There is a small number of us PDA users that have invested probably just as much money in peripherials as the PDA itself.

the UC is a great idea for consumers because it lets us save money from buying yet another keyboard or camera or whatnot. the UC *should* be a good idea for the manufacturers since it lowers the cost of the upgrade allowing them to sell more newer handhelds.

BUT, the simple fact is, peripherials and accessories probably make more money than the PDA's themselves. sorta like Console gaming systems and thei'r overpriced games.

I personally am waiting for the next big thin UC palm so i can ditch my crappy HP1910 and come back home to PalmOS. My old stowaway keyboard is itching to be used again! But at the rate Palm is going, that'll never happen. the UC will probably be relagated to the tungsten line and will probably even be phased out of the future zires.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
somas1 @ 1/6/2004 6:04:48 PM #
I agree that a universal connector is a great boon for consumers. The closest we have gotten to a uc so far is infra red. The uc on Palmone and Sony handhelds so far have been a boon to peripheral makers and not consumers because these connectors need to be changed occasionaly so that new designs are possible. Bluetooth or usb accessories are more truly "universal" than the uc's we've been given so far.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
IndyDave @ 1/6/2004 9:06:01 PM #
I guess that is truly my issue with UC...either it's "universal" on palm stuff or it's not. Hearing both arguments, I don't have a problem replacing my keyboard IF usb is to be the new standard. I'm not keen on bluetooth or IR keyboards due to the battery requirements to maintain the connection. Mostly unfavorable feedback on IR doesn't excite me, and bluetooth isn't here yet is it?

Maybe TE2 will be the PDA I was looking for after all... Stupid question, but is the usb at least 2.0? (OK, stop wasn't a joke).

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
somas1 @ 1/6/2004 9:26:03 PM #
I doubt the TE2 will have usb. I was simply saying good riddance to the current form of uc and I am hoping something like usb will replace it.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
skennedy1217 @ 1/7/2004 12:42:54 AM #
I, too, would like to see the UC die. My UC Stowaway keyboard won't stay latched closed anymore (worn out), so I'm probably going to upgrade to an IR or BT keyboard soon anyway.

I do have a UC modem, but with BT and my cell phone, who needs it anymore?

Also, I have the Palm UC travel charger. Ever try using the charger and the Palm at the same time? You have to hold the thing at the perfect angle or it won't charge. It also pops loose very easily.

I much prefer the charging slot that the T|E has, plus it comes with a travel charger already...the cradle I can live without...the ability to travel is essential.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
hkklife @ 1/7/2004 9:27:49 AM #
People seem to think that the only things that need to plug into their Palms should be sync cables and/or AC adapters. That's fine and dandy but there *is* a small (albeit vocal) group of users out there who use and need a serial/usb/charge multi-function plug like the UC. GPS, battery sleds (I could not fathom using my T3 on anything longer than a daytrip without it), serial cables (yes people still use RS232 connectors all of the time) for NT/95x etc connectivity. I also would rather not have to worry about yet another device to charge/power, so I'm perfectly content with a UC keyboard instead of anything like IR or BT, which would also diminish my Palm's battery as well.
Also, I imagine a cradle with a little power plug and a mini-usb plug sticking up would not only be ugly, but a pain to get a Palm properly seated on.

Now, everyone has a right to criticize Palm on certain issues. They should be criticized for not paying enough attention to the original design of the UC so that it holds attachments or peripherals more securely. Palm can also be criticized for not sharing the standard with more manufacturers--but then again, if they cannot even equip a good chunk of their own product line with it, how do you expect them to share the wealth? The Zodiac (IMHO) really took one on the nose (courtesy of Palm) by not having UC connectivity.
All in all, it's a flawed design, yes, but it's a necessary evil and should be adhered to as an absolute stand on every P0ne device henceforth released.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
alexp @ 1/7/2004 1:42:01 PM #
Interesting take on the UC. I've experienced the same problems as described above with the UC USB cable/charger sold by Palm. Even just sitting on a desk, it sometimes won't charge unless the angle is absolutely perfect.

Sadly, this is one area where the iPaq is far superior, in my experience. The iPaq connector has not changed since the 3700 series (the backward 1900 series notwithstanding), and it's a very solid, stable connector.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see HP license the PalmOS?

Anyway, I, too, would like to see the UC eliminated in favor of a more stable connector like a USB.

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
hkklife @ 1/7/2004 3:13:31 PM #
Everyone clamoring for a USB/mini-usb connector, settle down for a moment. Imagine yourself in Palm's shoes just briefly. Think of how many tech support inqueries they get already from people trying to attach mice/USB keyboards/modems/scanners/digicams (I've personally witnessed this at least once) to their Zires. Now go around telling people that a T3/T4 is a viable laptop'll really have 'em trying to plug in flash card readers and everything else under the sun!

If anything, a revised "locking" UC would be nice. I keep thinking about the connector on the bottom of my Motorola v60 cell phone. It attaches so securely that I could plug in a charger and swing the phone around by the cord without it coming loose. Plus, USB & serial cables are available. Hey, come to think of it, imagine the genius of that concept--Palm and Motorola, the stalwarts of American portable electronics (*smirk*) teaming up for a multi-platorm, truly Universal connector! Carry one AC adapter to charge your cell and your Palm!

Palm's reluctance to cut off a nice revenue stream from aftermarked gadgetry ($50 illuminated mini cradles, for one) by omitting the UC on so many models is beyond me.

Additionally, as Palm and MDM continue to churn out titles pre-loaded on MMC, the non-expandable Zire and Zire21 continue to ring up sales. I think Palm could/should be crafty about this and have no Zire model with more than 8mb ram. That way, it'd practically force the purchase of expansion cards-potentially Palm-branded SD cards too, considering the amount of neophytes buying Zires to begin with!

RE: Yet *ANOTHER* non-UC Palm!
Altema @ 1/7/2004 4:49:45 PM #
It's physically possible to make a locking connector for the UC, the metal tabs are there in addition to the the guide holes. I have one cable that locks on so tight that I can swing the device around on it. Most manufacturers choose to make do with flimsy sheet metal locking tabs, which do not hold securely. I have a pair from Belkin which need to be held in place by hand to work because they fit poorly. One data cable from Mark/Space only has spring tabs, yet fits so well my T3 is dangling over the edge of my desk right now (co-worker is giving me funny looks, guess I'd better pull it back up :)

It's all a matter of design and how much they want to spend or save. BTW, I'm one of those who requires USB plus RS232 plus power for external devices, so the UC is a necessity, or something equivalent that provides the same services.

If you think about it, palmOne only has two connectors right now: mini-USB for low end devices, UC for everything else. Of course, the TE2 is hard to fit into the "low end" classification!

The Solution: A Bluetooth Cradle
robman @ 1/7/2004 6:23:58 PM #
I think Palm's next big move will be to make all Palms include Bluetooth, and have a Bluetooth Cradle be an optional accessory. The cradle would just be a combination Bluetooth adapter and recharge station for your Palm. It would otherwise be a shelf with a couple of contacts for the recharging. It will probably even be UC-comptatible (but just for charging).

Palm Enthusiast since 1998

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