Tungsten W……odd

I purchased a Tungsten W off ebay the other day, it was only £25 plus postage and for those interested, the guy still has a few left. Mine arrived quickly and is in excellent condition, far better than the wreck that is the Tungsten C which was also bought from eBay.

TungstenW This is a supremely strange device and I don't know what to make of it, it's the same form factor as the Tungsten C but the specs differ wildly. It runs Palm 4 as opposed to v5 which is a pain as some of the apps I wanted to install, such as Resco Neeews, Resco Backup and Uninstall Manager, only work on v5. Stuff like ListPro, SnapperMail, BackupMan and TMP work just fine though. It only has 15mb of free memory whereas the C has 51mb and has a small processor compared to the C too. The Tungsten C flies through the menus whereas the W can be a bit laggy. And of course there is no wifi on the W (there is on the C) but it has the SIM card slot and thus can be used as a phone, if you were truly desperate, or more importantly you can stick a SIM card in and get the internet access needed to run apps like Snappermail and 4Cast without having to worry about wifi. The screen is hi-res but does not match up to that on the TH55, less crisp and bright and of course smaller.

I stuck a T-Mobile SIM card in, one with web'n'walk, and turned the mobile on, half expecting it not to work but it did and even in the black hole that is our office, held a consistent signal with 3 bars which is pretty decent….these old style external antennas must give better reception. I've not got the headphones that are needed to make calls with and even if I did I have no desire to try out the phone capabilities. The darn thing is just too wide and big to use as a phone without looking like a bit of a diddy.

Battery life so far has been excellent, I think it has a 1500mAh (?) battery which is a good size and with the radio turned off most of the time it should last the pace comfortably. Still, the nagging thought remains that it needs the quicker processor of the Tungsten C and os v5 to make it more useable. It is however good to have a Palm PDA (as opposed to a phone) with a keyboard and decent sized screen that has the ability to get connected anywhere without needing to hunt down a wifi hotspot. Makes me wish for a slightly bigger-screened Treo that does not feel about a foot thick. I don't think I will use it over the TH55 but it is interesting to have one if for no reason other than to compare it with a Treo 680 to see how far Palm had advanced, at the time. And the 680 was a big step up with a smaller form factor, better screen, os5 (and thus better apps), camera, better keyboard but worse battery life.

So, I'm unlikely to use this much I reckon as it is not as good as the TH55 although it is good to have a keyboard to replace my dodgy graffiti skills and the built in wireless is very handy. One more for the Palm "drawer of death"?


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