Friday, September 7, 2007

My little gadget -- Palm TUNGSTEN E2 review


060cd5db.jpg picture by linkai8424

I bought this device two years ago from bestbuy not long after it hits the market. Before that, I also briefly tried a Tungsten E during a Black Friday sale, but because of a minor screen problem, I returned it. Palm doesn't seem to put out new products now since this E2 has been on market for 2 years now without significant price drop, maybe due to lack of consumer interest. The market of these handheld PDAs are shrinking due to manufactures begin to push sales on new more powerful yet smaller portable notebook like those Samsung Q1 or whatever product. But I still found these handheld devices are the right size to carry, and powerful enough to keep your life organized. Spec wise, the CPU inside E2 is kinda out dated, but it can handle some intensive task such as mpeg1, xvid, divx playback and play 2D/3D palm games. Expandability, the SDIO slot only supports upto 1GB SD card, there are very few none standard 2GB SD card can be used on this machine. Personally I don't find any use for the Bluetooth, I have a mac which is Bluetooth enabled, but cannot manage to share internet with it after lots of reading on the net... The infrared port, you can use it as a remote control after installing 3rd party software, but that costs a fortune, and you can eventually buy an entry level Logitech Harmony remote for that price... or you can transfer files on infrared enabled computers, but the transfer speed is upto 4MB only... So the only good thing about the device is the organizer, address book, memo stuff, I found them really useful. The Graffiti input software is OK, need a bit memorization for shortcuts on cut, paste, change line stuff and some time to get used to the recognition errors. The office software suite comes with adobe reader and DataViz documents To Go. It's not very comfortable to read complicated format documents since you'll lose quite a bit info via conversion. Picture viewing is all right, you cannot expect too much on a 3.5in screen, all the functions you need are there and the loading time is OK. As an mp3 player, it gets the job done, but not on par with real players, the included realone player reads a specific location on the SD card... For videos, I'm using TCPMP, it's amazing at playing back xvid/divx files, but you have to convert them to a 320*320 compatible resolution and keep the framerate @15fps. There are some games worth playing, I have a sudoku game currently on it. The synchronizing software is dumb, it synchronizes everything every time even if you just want to download a PDF or *.doc file, my suggestion is synchronizing once after you set the whole thing up, avoid using the software, go get pilot install, that's much efficient in downloading software. Don't know what else to comment. I wouldn't recommend this kind of device to average people, since a cellphone and ipods seem to be dominant.

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