palmOne Tungsten T5 Review
By: Ryan Kairer
October 13th, 2004

The Tungsten T5 is palmOne's latest Tungsten handheld. It features a large 320 x 480 pixel screen, 256MB of Flash RAM and Bluetooth wireless. Prior to the T5, every Palm Tungsten T series handheld featured the expand and retract slider design. The T5 departs from this tradition and borrows its design from the popular, lower end Tungsten E handheld. The Tungsten E has been a big success for palmOne, becoming the top selling handheld every quarter since its introduction over a year ago.

The T5 really impressed me when I first picked it up. Because it had inherited its appearance from the TE, I was concerned that it would have a similar light and plastic feel. Fortunately it does not, and the T5 has an excellent body and finish. Though it does have a plastic outer case, it is not quite easy to tell. The body is very rigid and the paint finish gives both the appearance and smooth texture of metal. The plastic case helps keep the weight down as well.

Overall the T5 has a very simple and smooth design reminiscent of the Palm V. The rectangular display makes up the majority of the front of the handheld, surrounded by a rounded corners and a clean silver gunmetal paint. A white painted palmOne logo and the Tungsten | T5 model name are pressed along the top. The sides are smooth and free of buttons with the left functioning as an attachment rail for the flip cover and the right rail doubles as a slightly open stylus silo. Two sets of silver customizable application buttons border the rounded rectangle 5-way navigator in the center. The buttons are flush with the case and have a decent feel. The 5-way is solid and has a smooth finish and is easily to pressed in each direction.

The top of the handheld is made of a glossy black plastic. On the left is the SD expansion slot, which unfortunately lacks a dust cover. To the right is the Ir window, the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and the power button. The bottom is slightly curved to the font and holds the new multi connector in the center, more on the new connector later.

The back of the T5 hides the center mounted speaker, behind a 5x5 grid of speaker holes. Above it is an embossed Palm Powered logo, and reset hole. In a backward step, the reset hole reverts back to the smaller type, so you must unscrew the top of the stylus to reveal the smaller reset pin. Below, is a slightly recessed position for the UPC sticker with the standard assortment of logos and numbers. Each corner of the T5 rear has a small exposed screw which presumably holds the T5 body together.

The T5 has physical dimensions of 4.76 x 3.08 x .61 inches (120 x 78 x 15.5 mm) and weighs 5.1 ounces (145 grams). It is just slightly larger and taller than a TE, and is slighly less tall than the Tungsten T3 extended. The build quality is solid, with no creaking when twisted or rattling loose parts.

The T5 comes with a pleather black flip cover. It has a white stitching border and an embossed palmOne logo on the bottom. The stylus is metal and has a nice silver barrel with a black plastic tip. The top quill is also a black plastic and unscrews for the reset pin.

The Tungsten T5 is powered by a 416 MHz Intel XScale (PXA270 family) processor and runs Palm OS Garnet v5.4.5. It includes a total of 256MB of RAM, of which 215 MB is user accessible, the remainder is used for dynamic heap memory space and to store the OS and applications. 160 MB of RAM acts as the Internal Flash drive, while 55 MB is used for general program and data memory. 16MB is alloted for the dynamic heap. The T5 also incorporates the usual SD memory expansion slot which can accommodate SD, SDIO and MMC memory cards.

Large Storage
Arguably, the T5's biggest innovation is the new storage drive ability. A DiskOnChip system from M-Systems enables the T5 to set aside 160 MB of RAM for the Internal Flash drive. This acts much like a built in SD card slot and is accessed in much the same way. But what is also unique, is that palmOne has included a new Drive mode, which allows the T5's Internal Flash Drive and Memory card, to me mounted on any desktop via the cable connection to any machine that supports USB removable drives.

While many PDAs have previously included this feature in the past, palmOne is the first to include a good amount of usable RAM to make this feature truly useful. You can hook up the T5 to any PC running windows 2000/XP or Mac OS X and be able to mount the internal drive without any special software or drivers, similar to how one would operate a USB keychain device. Transferring files is a straightforward drag and drop operation. A 10 MB mp3 file took 35 seconds to transfer over via drive mode. This is a great laptop replacing feature because not only does it allow you to carry around large office documents or files on your handheld, but you can also access and edit them while on the road with the included Docs2Go.

Another advantage of the new memory system is the fact that it uses NAND Flash Memory. NAND Flash is non-volatile which allows the handheld to retain its information and data, even when the battery completely runs out of power. It also allows the handheld to save on power consumption, as there is no power required to preserve the RAM contents. In simple terms, if you leave your T5 in storage and forget about it, you can come back to it years later, charge it up and it will still have all of your data and programs retained.

The T5 has an excellent, large 3.25 x 2.2" inch rectangular screen. It is a 320x480 pixel (HVGA) transflective TFT display that supports over 65,000 colors. It can easily be rotated either portrait (320x480) or landscape mode (480x320) with the touch of an icon in the status bar.

The T5 uses the exact same display as the T3. The display is very bright and quite vivid, even at lower brightness levels and I typically keep mine around 30%. The screen is consistently backlit and does a great job displaying photos and movies. It is quite bright indoors, but washes out and dims significantly in direct sunlight, but is still quite usable. There is an on-screen slider to adjust, but not turn off the backlight.

The Tungsten T5 is powered by a 416 MHz Intel XScale a member of the PXA270 family of chips. This is just a incremental speed boost over the 400MHz T3. The PXA270 chip offers more multimedia support and some better power management features. Performance on the T5 is pretty snappy, large websites render quickly and many complex games such as Snails, ran very fluidly.

The Tungsten T5 has built in Bluetooth v1.1 for wireless networking. The Bluetooth software has the same enhancements found in the Zire 72 which has been updated to make setting up connections to a mobile phone, computer or bluetooth access point much easier. With Bluetooth, you can dial out contacts from your address book, send and receive files, sms and photos wirelessly, hotsync, and connect to the internet from a bluetooth mobile phone, computer or a bluetooth access point. The software was able to automatically configure itself to recognize my Sony Ericsson T610 and use it's GPRS connection without any complicated setup procedures. There are also ways to setup a desktop computer with Bluetooth to work as an access point.

The Tungsten T5 is the first handheld to incorporate the new Multi-Connector, a new common connector for palmOne handhelds and future smartphones. The new connector adds capability and features that were not possible with the Universal Connector such as audio and video out. While the T5 operates at USB 1.1 speeds, the new connector is capable of supporting USB 2.0 speeds in the future.

Unfortunately, the T5 does not ship with a cradle. Instead it comes with a USB cable and a separate AC charger, that can plug directly into the handheld or into the dual USB cable connector. The supplied USB cable has a button on the connector that can be used to initiate a hotsync. The USB cable alone will not charge the handheld from the computer, you must attach the AC cord.

The T5 has a centered rear mounted speaker, which on this unit is a poor position for the speaker. The flip cover completely covers the back when folded over, which can directly muffle and lower the sound. Even with the cover removed, my hand covers a good amount of the speaker area by just by holding the handheld. However when unobstructed, the speaker is moderately loud and mp3's and sound effects are clear, though most will opt for using headphones (not included) for listening to audio. For listening to music files, palmOne includes Realplayer (formerly named the RealOne player), which can also play audio from the Internal Flash drive. Unfortunately, the T5 does not include vibration support for silent alarms and does not have a microphone.

And now my obligatory long-standing complaint... The T5 still uses the same DateBook alarm sounds that debuted on the original Pilot 1000 in 1996. While there are many third party replacements, these are long overdue for an update or add something to make it easy for the user to add custom alarms.

The T5 has a non removable 1300 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery. This is a good increase over the T3's 900 mAh supply. The Flash RAM in the T5 also allows for a greater keep alive time, as the handheld does not have to supply power to the RAM in order to preserve the memory contents. I've only had the T5 for less than a week, and its tough to draw conclusions from the limited time. I can tell initially that the battery life is improved over the T3, but not significantly. I was able to get about ~5 hours of time out of my first charge. (I will come back an update this section after I've had more time with the T5.)

What it doesn't include...
While I rarely discuss what a handheld doesn't include, for the T5 I have to make an exception. Many PalmInfocenter readers were very disappointed that the T5 did not include built in WiFi. Users were further dissatisfied to see that the latest version of the Palm OS, Cobalt not used as well.

Todays highly competitive PDA market practically demands that a high end PDA model include the wireless standard. Its absence on the T5 left many users scratching their heads in disbelief that it was not incorporated. I feel that this was an oversight, as a result the lack of integrated WiFI could negatively impact sales of this device. palmOne has announced that the WiFi SD card will be supported, but this is not the most ideal solution and adds additional cost. Many competing handhelds in this price range will already have built in WIFI standard.

According to palmOne, they chose Bluetooth because it is now becoming widely available on a variety of consumer products and on the latest cell phones. Adding a second radio would have increased size, weight and cost, which wasn't supported by the customer research palmOne has done.

Size & Weight: 4.76 x 3.08 x .61 inches (120x78x15.5 mm); 5.1 oz (145g)
Processor; OS: 416MHz Intel PXA270; Palm OS Garnet v5.4.5
Memory: 256MB Flash RAM; (55MB/160MB user accessible)
Expansion: SD/MMC slot
Screen: 320x480 pixel; 65k-color; transflective back-lit
Audio: stereo headset jack; rear speaker
Power: Built in Rechargable Li-Ion Poly (1300 mAh)
Connectivity: Multi-Connector, SDIO, IrDA, Bluetooth (v1.1)

The T5 runs Palm OS Garnet v5.4.5. This is the latest version of Palm OS 5 and is mainly a bug fix release from v5.2. The T5 includes palmOne's excellent Updated PIM application, which has been previously covered in the Zire 72 review. New on the T5 is support for background images in the Calendar and Launcher, photos for contacts and Time Zone support in the Calendar.

One Handed Operation
The T5 really excels at one handed operation. palmOne wisely took the One handed navigation code found in the Treo 600 and applied it to the T5. This makes for a vastly improved user experience. The 5-way navigator and new code make it possible to perform many tasks without using the stylus or needing to tap the screen. There is a light blue glow that highlights dialogs and form elements, that acts much like an on screen cursor. It really makes using the handheld with one hand easy and much more intuitive. It works well within many of the included apps and also works on many existing third party programs.

The T5 has a couple of new applications. First is a new media application that displays photos, videos and slideshows. The media application is quick and supports native gif, jpeg and mpeg movies. It was able to play every video I thew at it, but it does not expand the movie fill up the screen when possible and doesn't do full screen video.

The new Favorites is a simple application that acts much like a typical launcher. However, It allows you to setup a number of custom bookmarks on a single page. These can be links to programs, web sites or a file or folder. Bookmarks can be customized by simply holding down on the space. You can also configure a background image. By default, the app is linked to the home button. When pressed once it goes to the favorites app, and press again to go the regular Palm OS launcher.

The new included Files application is a basic files and folder browser. It allows you to navigate the contents of the Internal drive as well as memory cards. You can rename/copy/send/delete or move files and create folders. You can also select which program to open a file with, baring the program supports the new files application.

Palm Tungsten T5 ReviewThe T5 includes the palmOne Blazer browser v4.0. This is an excellent and very speedy browser. Blazer renders web pages significantly faster because it displays the text first, before loading the formatting and images. It has both an optimized and a widescreen mode and support javascript and VPN connections (with VPN software). The browser also has excellent support for bookmarks and offers proxy and proxyless browsing modes. For email the T5 includes VersalMail v2.7 that includes support for POP3 and IMAP mail servers.

On the included CD, is the Palm Desktop for both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. Bundled third party add on Palm OS software includes, Adobe Acrobat reader, AddIt eReader, Handmark Solitare and Audible Player. The T5 also includes a new Calculator with support for many advanced functions, which seems like a re-skinned version of Handspring's Parens. It also has an SMS client, Bluetooth dialer and a world/travel alarm clock.

Documents to Go 7
The T5 has the latest version of Dataviz Documents to Go v7 built into the device. Documents to Go is a superb Microsoft Office compatible application suite that support native office file format. Version 7 has a number of new features including a revised interface and support for native PowerPoint applications.

For data input on the handheld palmOne includes the standard Graffiti 2. The Dynamic Input area can also be used as an onscreen keyboard. Unfortunately, an old hack to restore original Graffiti no longer works on the T5, which will surely disappoint many stubborn long time palm users. Another minor annoyance I noticed is that the status bar frequently flickers when switching apps. It seems like the status bar is redrawn each time a dialog is presented or an app is launched, which causes the flicker which can be little distracting.

The Tungsten T5 is a simple and elegant handheld. It offers a solid organizational foundation, good multimedia abilities and a pleasant one handed user experience. The added memory is a welcome bonus, and the Drive mode storage capacity gives you another reason to leave the laptop behind. While not the uber device many enthusiasts had hoped for and slightly expensive, the T5 is a solid handheld with a great screen and a rich suite of software.

The Tungsten T5 is available for $399 with free shipping from the palmOne online store. It will start shipping and become available at retail locations around November 3rd. You can also search for the lowest price on the T5 with our price comparison service.

PIC Bottom Line

  • Excellent Screen
  • Bluetooth Wireless
  • Rich Software, One handed operation
  • 256MB Flash RAM
  • No WiFi
  • No Voice Rec, Vibrate, LED
  • slightly overpriced

RATING: 7.5 / 10
Design: 4 Simple Elegant Design
Features: 3 Large RAM, but No WiFi
Screen: 4.5 Vibrant, Large Display
Battery: 3.5 Standard Battery Life, non-volatile RAM
Value: 3.5 Slightly Overpriced, lacks common features

PriceGrabber Lowest Prices on the palmOne Tungsten T5:

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Tealscript? USB 1.1?

superwoman @ 10/13/2004 5:26:11 AM #
You mentioned the G1 hack doesn't work. Does Tealscript or other 3rd party tool work?

USB 1.1? Jeez... What's the write performance of Drive mode? Is it fast enough for files to be directly edited from the desktop in Drive mode?

RE: Tealscript? USB 1.1?
Strider_mt2k @ 10/13/2004 6:15:29 AM #
They HAD to mess with our ability to use G1, but couldn't get the datebook app right?

And yes, I'm also suprised that it's merely USB 1.1 with it being touted as a drive, but it will be far more compatible with older computers that way, so I can't cry foul there.

RE: Tealscript? USB 1.1?
cypher76 @ 10/13/2004 9:07:25 AM #
USB 2.0 is backwards compatible with USB 1.1, so there's no loss of compatibility by using standard USB 2.0. Also, Bluetooth 1.1? Every new PocketPC has the Bluetooth 1.2 spec already. And no drivers for the WiFi card 'yet'? That traditionally means Palm has no intention of developing them in a reasonable timeframe.
RE: Tealscript? USB 1.1?
Puppy @ 10/15/2004 2:03:08 AM #
You’re kidding. No Graffiti? I tried Jot (opps, “Graffiti 2”), and it’s just ignorant compared with Graffiti.

Add to that no voice recorder, and Palm has no sale. I *love* PalmOS, but it’s time for me to try out an Axim (and hope WinCE isn’t so horrible that I want to put up with palmOne’s failings).

RE: Tealscript? USB 1.1?
atrizzah @ 10/19/2004 12:15:15 AM #
You guys are 100% right. Uncustomizable Grafitti? USB 1.1? Bluetooth 1.1??? Come on now Palm, this is stuff people have wanted for years.

PalmOne needs to stop half stepping, because they're falling behind at an alarming pace. It used to be that Palm was the company you went to when you wanted to choose among the most innovative products, but I've seen nothing but slipups in the past 3 years.

I've been waiting ever since I bought my Treo 90 for a unit that's worth my hard-earned cash, and I'm still waiting. I would have loved to have bought the T|C, but the scaled back multimedia features as compared with the Zire 71 made me pause. I've been pausing ever since.

Instead of integrating features and releasing the killer handhelds they need to release, they've been holding back, counting on early adopters to buy the great new incrementally better (but in some ways worse) model and the others to either settle later or hold out. I wonder do they see what I see, because I see all the power users I know leaving Palm to buy the newest Pocket PC's, which have all the hardware features they want, but at a much cheaper price than the Palm unit that even comes close.

This model shouldn't even be called the T5. It's more like the T|E2. Why doesn't Palm just bite the bullet and release the killer machine they know they could? Many people have lost their patience.

I just hope that the OS 6 Cobalt vapor coalesces into the unit that I've been waiting for all this time.

Peace Out

The author of DateBk 5 apparently feels the T5 is crap
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2004 5:55:24 AM #
CESD (the well-respected author of DateBk 5) reportedly said this about the Tungsten 5:

Ok, I have now confirmed that yes, the reason the T5 is so slow is that their revised DM Patch DOES put the PalmSource database in Flash Rom. It is cached into Ram, but when the database is opened or closed, everything has to be copied into the much slower Flash Rom - hence the performance hit. And even simple requests for records end up going to Flash Rom - thereby
impacting performance. It also explains the bug that I have seen whereby you can get a:

VFSDBCache.c, Line:6761, DeleteRecord() called on invalid record

I was puzzled as to who was calling VFS since the DatebookDB database appears to be in RAM, but it apparently ends up calling VFS routines that access the internal flash drive, and there's obviously some bug whereby the DM Patch gets confused and messes up the record number for deletion.

At this point, it looks like the T5 may not be a good choice for those Palm Users who have an interest in running any third party software that accesses the standard PalmSource databases.

If you like the general form factor, you would probably be much better off with a Sony Th-55 and a 1gb Memory stick for around the same price.

I am of course revisiting the whole issue of supporting these undocumented, proprietary databases that PalmOne now seems determined on using, but this is not a trivial undertaking as it would require that support be added for all four proprietary databases - something that would require a parallel development effort and separate versions of the software. I have ordered a
T5 (another $400 only to look at device bugs) and will know more when I see this device in person.

I am disappointed that PalmOne is not only going against the philosophy of the Palm OS being an open platform by using proprietary databases, but that they also seem to think that providing support for third party applications (at least as good as older devices provided ) in this "compatibility mode" is no longer much of a priority either...

CESD, Pimlico Software, Inc.

> Anyone having a problem with their T5.

You and everyone who has bought one

> I had to get the update for the T5 because it would have Fatal Errors each time I would use DateBk5. But after the update I still have a problem with it locking-up after I put an appointment down in the calendar.

That's because the update does nothing to fix any of the bugs in the PalmOne DataManager patch. Just hold on some 24 hours or so as I will be posting a maintenance release VERY SHORTLY that talks directly to the proprietary calendar and memo databases thereby sidestepping their DataManager patch (several people have been testing this for me and all of them indicate it
eliminates all these problems on the T5 and also provides far better performance on the Tungsten T3, E, and Zire72/31).

With the T5, the Datamanager patch has moved IMHO from a designation of "kludge" to "worthless kludge" - it's basically unusable - not only because the performance is so bad, but because it was inadequately tested and has too many bugs to be considered a usable piece of software.

Among the very obvious problems when you try and use DateBk5 on a Tungsten T5 (or forthcoming Treo650) are:

1) Slow exit out of DateBk5 (One time, I clocked it at over 35 seconds!!).
2) Details dialog can take several seconds to appear
3) strange clicking noises and delays when executing simple functions
4) Unexpected crashes including ones with the message:

VFSBCache.c,line:6761 DeleteRecord()called and invalid record

The T5 is a nice looking device and has some nice features, but the testing was poor and this is by far the buggiest device that we've ever seen from a Palm licensee. I suspect there is a VERY good reason why PalmOne has announced the Treo650 (which uses the same architecture) but no carriers have started to make it available for sale(!).

I have to say that in ten minutes of testing after I got this device, I noted FOUR very obvious bugs, which leaves me at a loss to explain how a device like this could be released with such obvious errors - it does make you wonder if anyone even looked at this device before it was put up for sale...

Finally, while I may "Fix" DateBk5, this will not "fix" any other third party apps that use the built-in, standard Palmsource databases. So if you depend upon a third party addressbook app or memo app, or something like ToDO+, etc. you may well want to forgo the T5 (and the forthcoming Treo650)
as your experience will no doubt leave a bad taste in your mouth.

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

It's good to hear it's not a bad unit..........but....

m130fullbutcontent @ 10/13/2004 5:42:23 AM #
Not wishing Palm OS to get wiped out by Mr Gates pda OS type I'm glad to hear that this unit has much good about it.

It remains though astonishing that the T5 has been stripped of such previously established standard 'high end pda'features as the 'vibrating alert' and voice recorder and that
wi-fi has been all but ignored.

If palmOnes market research is right and these T5's confound the critics and sell huge numbers like the basic 'Zires' have then I will applaud them - and then hope they put their resulting profits into new more attractive models like the T3 & Zire 72 which attract rather more the enthusiam from the loyal & experienced Palm OS pda community.

RE: It's good to hear it's not a bad unit..........but....
G M Fude @ 10/13/2004 6:22:53 AM #
Excellent review, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on one for a test drive before making any further comments.

Ryan's observation, "The Tungsten E has been a big success for palmOne, becoming the top selling handheld every quarter since its introduction over a year ago," certainly explains much of Palm management's rationale.

Perhaps doesn't excuse the lack of a couple of high-end features that were expected and the surprisingly high introductory price -- but maybe the price will drop a lot when the "gotta have one first" geeks have spent their bucks.

RE: It's good to hear it's not a bad unit..........but....
PilotMad @ 10/13/2004 10:38:04 AM #
All this about the T5 being a result of the popularity of the TE just doesn't wash with me! The TE is a 'low end' model. It has been targeted aggressively with its pricing. Why wouldn't it be popular or fly off the shelves like the old zire. It does not mean that the design is therefor great for a high end model. Lack of voice recorder and slider is a real set back.

USB 1.1 (why not 2.0?) and Bluetooth 1.1 ... !!!!

From what i have seen on Tottenham CT road the TE is a favourite with many, in particular women. I myself have bought the girlfriend a TE. Men seem to be going for higher specified models (I have a T3).

I dont think the popularity of cheaper models and their designs/functions have necessarily anything to do with what makes higher end models more salesworthy.

Their popularity is due mainly to price.

Palm Nirvana or bust!


lwehrung @ 10/13/2004 7:56:32 AM #
Thank you for the best pictures of the device available thus far on the net!



Customer Research

Alpha1220 @ 10/13/2004 8:07:44 AM #
Excellent review, as always. Just one comment: "Adding a second radio would have increased size, weight and cost, which wasn't supported by the customer research palmOne has done."

All I can say is ... wow. I can only imagine the customer research being done inside palmOne. Perhaps ... darts at the wall? Maybe they have office pools and pick amongst themselves for the study ...

RE: Customer Research
mikecane @ 10/13/2004 8:39:39 AM #
>>>"Adding a second radio would have increased size, weight and cost, which wasn't supported by the customer research palmOne has done."

They've got to get a better pool of customers to ask, dammit!

Put ME in that pool!

And, geez, the hp 41xx (47xx?, the numbers all bleed together after a while...) that had BT *and* WiFi wasn't exactly a brick!

RE: Customer Research
EricHC @ 10/13/2004 10:00:39 AM #
Plus we are talking about a technology they fit onto an SD card...

We can't honestly be talking about adding the kind of size and weight that would have the folks interested in this kind of feature saying, "Man, I wish Palm had left out the Wifi so I could carry around a separate Wifi Card that sticks out the top of my machine when I use it..."

Ever since the First Tungsten I have found Palm's refusal to include BT and WiFi on one machine downright frustrating...

I was waiting for a T5, but I have a feeling I'll be buying the T3 since it will be cheaper and is a bit smaller when not extended...

Eric Hausmerman Carroll
a.k.a. EricHC

RE: Customer Research
mikecane @ 10/13/2004 10:11:21 AM #
>>>Plus we are talking about a technology they fit onto an SD card...

Banging my head against the wall: Why do I keep forgetting that bit?!

RE: Customer Research
Mausoleum @ 10/13/2004 10:15:38 AM #
Well, actually, I think they are right. I find it upsetting how Palms have gotten larger and larger. Especially see the comparison! I really liked the Palm Vx (own one for many years). The T|T (also got one)... too thick already! Now comes the T5... same thickness but even longer.... Definitely, bigger = worse.

HOWEVER! Palm makes a big wrong assumption: That adding a second radio would increase the size? How come we get Palm V-sized Pockets PCs with Dual wireless?!?! I have a feeling that the hardware development department has been cut a LOT at Palm... The Tungsten T5 hardware is definitely NOT competitive.

OTOH... that whole flash drive IS pretty cool.... No more lost memory every.... nice!

RE: Customer Research
RAMd®d @ 10/13/2004 10:22:16 AM #
I wasn't a fan of Wi-Fi on a PDA, but now that the battery is a bit more robust, I have to ask "WTF?!" An SD chip hanging out of the slot just doesn't appeal to me.

The T5 appears to be about the size of my old iPAQ, and that's just a bit big for my taste. Perhaps it's a little thinner.

I'll look for it in the stores, but I don't feel my wallet working its way out of my pocket.

An armed society is a polite society.

RE: Customer Research
Foo Fighter @ 10/13/2004 10:27:07 AM #
>>> "Adding a second radio would have increased size, weight and cost, which wasn't supported by the customer research palmOne has done."

That is a load of horse poop. Does PalmOne not realize that other PDA vendors are doing this now, and for less money than they are charging for T5?

Confucious who says it cannot be done should not interrupt man who is doing it.

Contributing Editor,

RE: Customer Research
Gekko @ 10/13/2004 10:44:16 AM #

Confucious also say... "Excuses are like as$holes, everybody's got one."

RE: Customer Research
Alchemist42 @ 10/13/2004 10:49:11 AM #
Palm really needs to take a look at what their doing and where their going... The T5 sounds like a fairly solid machine by all accounts but its a T-E2 not in any sense a high end T-3 replacement.

Palm announces the T5, and a week later Dell comes out with their latest Pocket PC with 192mb memory (between flash and ram) dual wireless (Wifi/Bluetooth), dual expansion slots (SD, CF) removable battery with a 2200ma extended availabe, 624mhz CPU, and the real kicker their high end model ($100 moer than palm) has a 640x480 display!

Palm needs a wireless PDA with a 320x480 dispaly.

RE: Customer Research
kevdo @ 10/13/2004 2:48:16 PM #
Ed Colligan recently noted that the Tungsten C has only been a modest seller, implying that the market for integrated WiFi wasn't that big.

Of course, there are a lot of people who have avoided the Tunsten C due to a couple of "deal breaker" reasons:
* Mono headphone jack
* Integrated keyboard (a plus for some, admittedly)

Now, if PalmOne released a T5 type device with WiFi and then it didn't sell then I would back them on this line of argument. But until they do...

-Kevin Crossman, Palm Powered Software Champion

RE: Customer Research
plm922 @ 10/13/2004 3:37:36 PM #
I too had been waiting for this new machine to come out. I'm long past due to upgrade (Sony T615) but I was so disappointed when the T5 came out that I started to look at the T3 again, couldn't they even put a voice recorder in the T5? Well, with the price drop and a little bargaining, I was able to pick up a T3 at CompUSA for $336. I wish it had wi-fi in it, but I can live with the card sticking out for now. In a few years when I upgrade again maybe Palm will have the right machine out.

I had been looking at PPC, but no matter how impressive the hardware is, I could NOT bring myself to do it....

reformed lurker

RE: Customer Research
tooele @ 10/13/2004 9:54:30 PM #
They claim that addinging WI-FI would add size weight and cost. With the price they are selling it for it should have had WI-FI anyway. As for size the palmone WI-FI card is only 3mm thick and how much can a technology that fits on an SD card really weigh? A tenth of an ounce. I think Palmone is being cheap and just trying to sell more WI-FI cards.

RE: Customer Research
twizza @ 10/14/2004 9:52:45 AM #
They claim that addinging WI-FI would add size weight and cost. With the price they are selling it for it should have had WI-FI anyway. As for size the palmone WI-FI card is only 3mm thick and how much can a technology that fits on an SD card really weigh? A tenth of an ounce. I think Palmone is being cheap and just trying to sell more WI-FI cards.[/quote]

Because it was probably not the wifi card itself that he was talking about but the size of the device after you add a larger battery so that a person can use the wifi for at least a few hours a day and not be pissed off that they need to charge it again, like the TC does. A battery that does that will make the device larger and less able to stay at a lower price point.

RE: Customer Research
emceephd @ 10/14/2004 11:31:40 AM #
As someone who has worked in customer research for over 10 years, I can speak to this topic with some experience.

It is clear that they need a new company to do their work. From the outside looking in, you can tell that either the research company was given a microscopic budget by PalmOne to do this (possible) or that the company did some key things wrong (more likely).

First, you want to interview the likely market for the T5. As we can all agree, the T5 customer is very different from their TE customer -- by design. Therefore, palmOne needs to do a distinct study with only the highest end consumer, one crazy enough (like me) to spend almost $400 for a handheld computer. You could interview current T3 users (most likely to buy a T5) or PocketPC users (who might switch, not now of course).

My guess is that the research company interviewed all potential PDA owners instead of the high-end folks.

Second, you need to ask the right questions. Simply asking someone in the abstract would they be more/less likely to buy a handheld if it had a larger body/Wi-Fi tradeoff is elementary grade school research. It doesn't mean anything.

You need to find out what the top features are that people want (expectations), what they have now that they like (satisfiers), and what they would be mad about if it changed (dissatisfiers).

It's clear that Wi-Fi and OS 6.0 were expectations, the large screen was a satisfier, and the potential loss of vibrating alarms (standard on any cell phone) is a dissatisfier.

Elementary, my dear palmOne biz exec.

Third, you need to test the product on a storyboard or -- better -- with a prototype. Yes, this would have tipped palmOne's hand to the general public (even if they lawyer the respondent to death, it will leak out). But, frankly, I would be encouraged that they were reaching out to customers and trying out ideas instead of zapping millions from their bottom line.

The big lie is that it takes a bundle of money to do good customer research. It doesn't. If palmOne wanted to spend millions on developing a T5, they could have spent 1% of their budget on customer reseach and found out what we all know now -- this thing is a dud.

Sad, but preventable.

-- Michael, VP at a U.S. customer research firm.

RE: Customer Research
Beavis @ 10/15/2004 2:01:28 PM #
"According to palmOne, they chose Bluetooth because it is now becoming widely available on a variety of consumer products and on the latest cell phones. Adding a second radio would have increased size, weight and cost, which wasn't supported by the customer research palmOne has done."

My Fujitsu-Siemens Loox 720: 4.8 x 2.8 x 0.60 Dual Slot/Dual Wireless (Bluetooth v1.2)

palmOne Tungsten T5: 4.76 x 3.08 x .61 Single Slot/Bluetooth Only (v1.1)

PalmOne, Don't insult our intelligence.

Excellent review

Calroth @ 10/13/2004 8:14:31 AM #
This is a great review. I was going to write something about the reviews on PalmInfocenter getting better, but I just realised that they've been consistently good for a while now (I also recall the Zire 72 and Clie TH55 reviews, also excellent). So keep up the good work!
RE: Excellent review
JohnM @ 10/13/2004 8:45:36 AM #

About halfway down the review, the following sentence appears:

"The new Favorites is a simple application that acts much like
a luncher."

I think this might be a typo that you may want to correct. OR, I
am not familiar with that slang, in which case "Never Mind...".

I wish I had a T5, my IIIc is very limiting,

John Miskinis

Independent Palm Software Developer

RE: Excellent review
Strider_mt2k @ 10/13/2004 11:23:29 AM #
No it is actually a luncher, as the unit bites.

(bah dum bum)

Still can't sort

iiixe @ 10/13/2004 8:29:50 AM #
You complained about the ancient DateBook alarm, but what about the fact that you still cannot sort the Contacts by first name? And you still can't sort the ToDo list alphabetically.

I should be able to sort on any field. How hard is that? Am I the only one who likes to sort stuff different ways?

When I show off my pda to non-pda users and tell them that it is not possible to sort Contacts by first name or the ToDo list alphabetically, they think I'm joking.

Everyone else is worried about the lack of wifi and the missing voice recorder -- I just want to sort my contacts by first name. (Yea, I know third party pim replacements can do it, but that's not really my point.)

RE: Still can't sort
mikecane @ 10/13/2004 8:42:54 AM #
I don't understand the need for this. Can you provide examples of how it would be handy?

RE: Still can't sort
iiixe @ 10/13/2004 9:29:08 AM #
Hmmm, maybe I AM the only one who likes to sort stuff lots of different ways.

I was stunned when I got my first Palm because the first thing I did was try to sort stuff, and the sort options were laughably limited -- and they still are.

Now I use Supernames, which not only lets me sort by any column, it also lets me have each category sorted differently. So some of my categories are sorted by last name, but others, such as my poker buddies are sorted by first name -- it's not a big deal, it's just the way I like to view them. Also, all my neighbors are sorted by street address, because that's just easier for me.

In Outlook, Contacts can be sorted by any column. In fact, sub-sorts are also possible. I also use sorting for quality control. It's easier for me to make sure I didn't miss anybody if I can sort my lists a few different ways. What can I say -- I just like to sort stuff -- it's one reason I love computers.

I just can't believe I'm limited to two sort options in Palm, "Last Name, First Name" or "Company, Last Name". Maybe that would be ok in version 1.0, but after all these years, why couldn't they add some other sort options?

RE: Still can't sort
mikecane @ 10/13/2004 10:06:23 AM #
I see your point now. Thanks.

>>>Maybe that would be ok in version 1.0, but after all these years, why couldn't they add some other sort options?

Now I wonder if PalmSource has added anything like this to the Cobalt version of the Contacts program? Maybe you should email them!

RE: Still can't sort
Bobbert @ 10/13/2004 10:22:37 AM #
Sorting todos alphabetically....

This is the most important thing for me, but even 3rd party apps don't do it. If one did, I'd buy the app immediately!

The reason is that I want to be able to order within a priority. E.g. If there are 10 things to do today, I rank them as priority #1, but they are not ordered according to what I want to do first, or at least see first on the list. I could fix that by putting 1_Shower; 2_Put on pants; 3_Put on shoes; 4_Tie shoes; 5_Go to work; 6_Sleep; 7_Go Home from work. Sort by priority/alpha and it's more useful to me.

But I guess I must be one of the few people that cares or we would have seen it in some 3rd party todo apps.

P.S. Now I feel like I'm following you Mike! But it's good to see people active on the forums.

Check out for some great mobile computing info!

RE: Still can't sort
RAMd®d @ 10/13/2004 10:27:24 AM #
I'd like a First Name Sort option too.

In fact, I've been entering contact info (and even my Artists info for CDs) by first name for years. For me, it makes it much more intuitive.

If I had several (or even a few) first names that were similar, it *might* be a different story.

An armed society is a polite society.

RE: Still can't sort
beneden @ 10/13/2004 12:08:01 PM #
Can't but agree - as I have voiced here previously, PIM features are still very lacking. It seems though that most users are fine with that. Personally, I'd expect close Entourage/Outlook functionality now that the handhelds have the display and power. Instead, the focus seems to be on video playback..


Photographer, using Palm M515 and can't decide on what next..

RE: Still can't sort
Ou_Boet @ 10/13/2004 2:18:17 PM #
If you really want to use the todo idea and have sorting based on more than one option, check out Shadow Plan. It does all you describe above and more.

Similarly with other 3rd party contact managers, DateBK and Agendus. Check them out.


Any device can have one more useful feature added.

HandEra Moderator at [url=""]PalmVenue[/url]

RE: Still can't sort
Gekko @ 10/13/2004 2:31:20 PM #

AddressPro 6.6

RE: Still can't sort
pd_workman @ 10/13/2004 3:02:23 PM #
Keysuite can sort the address book various different ways, and has recently added an alpha sort to the tasks, which I agree is very useful. And of course multiple categories on any items!

KeySuite uses its own databases, not the built-in ones, so it does not interface directly with things like Datebk5, Lifebalance, and Shadow.


RE: Still can't sort
svrontis @ 10/14/2004 11:23:58 PM #
According to the manual, the Tasks program lacks the 'show only due items' filter. I can't believe this. They INCLUDED useless junk (eg BT radio and MP3 player) but they EXCLUDED the single most useful function of the old To Do List.

RE: Still can't sort
svrontis @ 10/14/2004 11:31:08 PM #
Bobbert, you might wish to try CanDo from - it sorts tasks alpabetically and does other nice things too.
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