Palm T|X


A few months ago I bought a Palm T|X, as a replacement for my aging Palm m515. The new palm is lighter than the old, although it has a bigger screen and more features. It also cost less than the m515.

Overall, I'm very happy with it, and it's a good replacement for the m515.

Here's a quick roundup of the good and bad points about it:

Size and Weight

It's slightly larger but lighter than the m515, but it still fits in a shirt pocket. It's a comfortable fit in the palm of my hand.


The screen is 320x480 pixels, with a virtual Grafiti (or handwriting) area, which can be minimised to give extra screenspace. The screen can be rotated for both portrait and landscape orientations and is clear and bright.


Battery life is typical for a palm - charge it every few days, and never worry about the batteries anyway, because you'll never lose your data. All your data is backed up on your PC anyway. My appointments and addressbooks have followed me seamlessly from my first palm in 1998.


Compatibility with older apps is good, although there are a few which cause infinite rebooting cycles. I'm not sure which ones, but possible PocketC or Waba.

Older applications which don't understand the larger screen will bring up the grafiti area and revert to the square screen format of the older palms. At least they don't go to the original 160x160 size!


There is some small amount of multi-tasking (it can play music in the background), but this is not a machine for running Setiathome in the background while rendering frames for Peter Jackson's latest movie. It makes an acceptable personal music player, although you'll not get the kind of storage that an iPod has.

(The palm takes SD cards as external storage, so you could in theory have a 4 or 8GB card in there. I haven't tried this myself. A 1Gb card works fine. Palm applications are small anyway, so you don't need huge amounts of space.)

Wireless + Bluetooth

The wireless is good, although the range isn't great. My local, Carnegies, has free internet, but I can only get a signal in certain parts of the bar, even though I've seen people happily browsing with laptops in places where I can't do anything. (I can log on, but not browse or meaningfully connect with the WAP.) I would like to see an external antenna socket, or at least have the palm be clever and use the headphones as an aerial.

It's damn nice to be able to pick up a wireless connection when out shopping and quickly check emails and stuff though. (Most people don't secure their wireless routers. The number of accesspoints called 'linksys' is amazing. If I have a wireless scanner going, I can get a hundred access points on a short taxi ride!)

Built-in Browser

The built-in browser is called Blazer, but it should really be called Hoover because it sucks. It sucks cancerous Ostrich eggs through the syphilitic pores of a dead badger.

It can't handle large pages, there's no tabbed browsing, the cache is poor and can't redraw a page without trying to find a wireless connection again. This is very annoying if you've gone to the DateBook to make a note of something then want to go back and finish reading that web page. It must be reloaded from scratch, unless you've saved the page. To be fair, there is a facility for saving the page for offline reading.

I want Firefox for the palm!

Built-in Mail Client

Versa Mail, the built-in mail client is OK as an IMAP client, although it lacks folder subscriptions. There is an underlying assumption that you have only client side filtering on your email and not server-side filtering like many do.

No Mac Desktop

As of the time of writing, there was no Mac Desktop software available for the Palm T|X. There is an older version of the software, whichwould probably work as well. The palm will sync over bluetooth, so there's no need for nasty cables to touch your shiny Mac.

Installing applications

To install applications on the palm, you still need to have a Windows PC with the hotsync software on it. Now that it the palm wireless internet, surely some facility to download and install applications would be good? Why should I need to find a PC to hotsync too, when I can download the application to the palm directly? Palms have had the ability to read SD cards for many years now, why can't the palm install an application from the card?

Documents to Go

The palm comes with Documents to Go, a software suite which allows editing of Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. I haven't bothered with the Word or Powerpoint apps, but having a miniature spreadsheet on the palm is pretty nice. It only has a subset of Excel functions, though, and you can't have lookups to other sheets in the same spreadsheet, which makes it severly limiting for me. It also doesn't support Excel macros. It's ok for simple spreadsheets, expenses, etc, where everything is on one page, but it won't replace your desktop.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on February 24, 2006 9:00 AM.

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