Palm Tungsten C - Page 2

By James Alan Miller

May 09, 2003


The Palm OS 5 Tungsten C looks remarkably similar to the Palm OS 4.1.1 Tungsten W, except it is a lighter shade of silver and it doesn't have an antenna, which is interesting as it also has wireless capabilities. The Tungsten C is a 802.11b device, while the Tungsten W is a GSM/GPRS smartphone. The power buttons on both devices are located on the lower right side. The Tungsten's C's Secure Digital slot, which was right behind the power button on the Tungsten W, is back up to the top of the unit with the Tungsten C where it belongs. Also located on top is a two-way mono/microphone 2.5mm jack for a Nokia style headset, just like the Tungsten W.

The inclusion of a mono jack rather than a stereo jack like the Tungsten T or Zire 71 has been controversial, as it exposes one weakness of the Tungsten C, the lack of stereo support, which, in some people's minds makes it useless as a multimedia device. We feel this is an exaggeration, as one can still listen to mp3s with the Real One mobile mp3 player, which you download from the Palm website, or books for instance, they just have to be enjoyed in mono. And the Tungsten C also comes with Kinoma Player and desktop companion producer application for video. Nevertheless, the lack of stereo is a deal killer for some who otherwise might have snatched the Tungsten C right up.

There are advantages to a two-way jack, especially for Palm's target audience. With the right application, the Tungsten C could one day become a killer VoIP (Voice Over IP) device if you factor in its WiFi capabilities and powerful CPU, potentially saving a company a bundle of money on phone costs. Also, the jack makes the Tungsten C a good device for dictation, a feature very important, for example, to the medical community. One nice feature is that when you plug in a headset, it launches the Voice Memo application, which has been integrated into the Palm desktop for synchronization with a PC.

One glaring omission on the Tungsten C, however, is the lack of the memo button and built in microphone found in the Tungsten T. There's now doubt that Palm's intended market would have liked the ability to be able to quickly make voice memos without have to use a headset. And speaking of headsets, the Tungsten C does not come with one like the Tungsten W. For $500 you would think Palm could throw one in. The headset costs $14.95.

Reprinted from PDAStreet.

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