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palmOne Tungsten T5 Review

Date: 2005-2-7

   PDAs have been around for a long time and though I have used a lot of different ones I have avoided getting too attached to any of them. My life consists, at any given time, of dozens of little...

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palmOne Tungsten T5 Review

palmOne Tungsten T5 Review

Navigation on the T5 is done using the including stylus or the 5-way Navigator which is composed of two buttons at the bottom, middle of the front of the PDA. The stylus is made of a hefty and lustrous stainless steel which is accurate and quick, so much so that the Navigator button does not get used as much as I would have thought. Even so, the button is quick and capable. Also on the front of the T5 are four hot keys, Home (Favorites, if pressed when at Home), Calender, Contacts, and Files. These are pretty useful though, like the 5-Way Navigation they are generally underutilized once you get used to navigation with the stylus.

One of the most interesting features of this product is the Drive Mode, whic is also sometimes known as "Guest Mode". When the T5 is put in this mode and then plugged into the computer it will be recognized by your OS as two additional drives. The first drive is the 160MB internal flash drive which you can store files in using the File Transfer program or the Drive Mode, they are basically the same thing save for the fact that the Drive Mode can be used on any computer. The second drive recognized by your computer is the expansion card, so the T5 acts as a SD card reader.

palmOne Tungsten T5 Review

It was a bit confusing at first but with some reading it has been made clear that the other 55MB of storage (the program memory) is updated during synchronization but it cannot be accessed using the Palm's Files application, Drive Mode, or the File Transfer program.

palmOne Tungsten T5 Review

Another new feature is the T5's Favorites view. This is essentially a second home page which allows for four tabbed pages, each holding links to eight separate applications. This way you can get to your favorite or most used programs as quickly as possibe. You can easily configure the where each application goes, though the purpose of this page is somewhat defeated by the fact that there are four pages, making the links not on the first pages just as inaccessible as they would be on the Home page. The best use I could find for this was to put my four or five most used programs right up front and then accessing them with this instead of sorting through the Home page. This would also be useful for quickly switching from a game of "Battleship" to reading a PowerPoint lecture when your boss walked in the room, to use a more realistic example.

Another improvement featured on the T5 is Docs to Go 7.0. This handy programs features native support for Microsoft's ubiquitious Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formatted documents. With this you can read, create, and edit Excel and Word files on the go. It should be noted that PowerPoint documents can only be viewed.

The T5 is powered by an internal, rechargeable Lithium Polymer batttery. This battery cannot be accessed without removing the backplate from the PDA, which would require a very small torx wrench and would void your warranty. The battery is rated at 1250mAh and is said to last for about a week of "normal handheld" use. This phrase is not too clear so we will be doing some investigating into this later on.

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