Palm TX

GCN Lab review

If you're a sensible type who doesn't crave a flashy product such as the iPhone, and you don't need a phone as part of your mobile computing experience, there's no better device in this roundup than the Palm TX.

With Palm OS Garnet 5.4, the TX is simple to use and easy to learn. Powered by a 312 MHz Intel ARM-based processor and 128M of RAM, the $299 TX can hold its own against the $500- plus, 600 MHz monsters in the HP realm.

Despite having only 128M of RAM, the TX has 50M more storage space than the Palm Treo 750. And you'll want that extra room when surfing the Internet via the TX's built-in Wi-Fi or editing Microsoft Word documents in portrait or landscape mode.

Using the Documents To Go application, you can open and edit native Microsoft Word documents on the TX. The only problem we encountered was that it doesn't support some editing functions, such as multiple font sizes and spell check. However, you can save the revised document in a compressed format called Word To Go or as a universal .doc file. When you synchronize, your edits are copied to the desktop version of the document.

Although the TX is loaded with great features, the best has to be the long life of the built-in lithium-ion battery. I used the unit when it was bone-dry after eight days, and that was with near-constant use during work hours.

Unfortunately, its best feature is also its worst, because the battery is not removable. And as I mentioned earlier, batteries are the first things to go when these devices get old.

Another good feature of the TX is its shape and design. Measuring 3.1 inches by 4.7 inches by 0.6 inches and weighing only 5.2 ounces, the TX is the perfect size and shape to take to work or on a trip. With the expandable 4G SD card slot, you can have all your contacts, videos, e-mails and music or pictures on a separate disk leaving plenty of room on your hard drive.

The only other improvement we could suggest would be an upgrade in the operating system to include a more modern- looking desktop environment and the ability to have wallpaper. But for now, we're more than happy to accept the TX as it is.


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