Palm Tungsten E2 handheld review: Palm Tungsten E2 handheld

Like all the new PalmOne devices, the Tungsten E2 now uses a multiconnector USB cable with one-button HotSync operation. Extras are sparse; there is no desktop cradle included in the box ($50 optional), but it comes with a faux leather flip cover, which slides into a slot on the left side, and a power adapter. With the added Bluetooth technology, you can take advantage of other accessories, such as keyboards and GPS receivers.

PalmOne wasn't shy when dishing out the upgrades to last year's Tungsten E. Building on that solid foundation, the Tungsten E2 is powered by a faster 200MHz Intel XScale processor and comes with 32MB of nonvolatile flash memory, 26MB of which is user-accessible. The latter is important: it preserves your precious data if your PDA decides to call it quits, and it increases the battery life in the same breath. This amount of memory will provide you plenty of storage for your PIM needs, but you'd better stock up on a memory card or two for storing music and videos.

Load up a memory card with music and video to get your entertainment fix.

Integrated Bluetooth also makes a debut with the PalmOne Tungsten E2, letting you Web cruisers, e-mail addicts, and mobile professionals make the most of your time on the road. There's a Bluetooth utility to turn on the radio and to set up compatible devices. We were able to connect to a Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PC and wirelessly beam contact information with no problem. Alas, there's no built-in Wi-Fi on the E2, but we're not quick to criticize this omission. Although there's no excuse for the lack of Wi-Fi on the Tungsten T5, the E2 is more of an entry- to midlevel gadget. If you still crave Wi-Fi, PalmOne says it will update the driver to its Wi-Fi card in May to support the E2, and the price will drop to $99. Another item worth noting: the E2 battery isn't user-replaceable. And once again, we're disappointed by the E2's lack of a voice recorder--generally a must-have in a business-friendly device.

On the software front, the E2 gets an upgrade to Palm OS 5.4, which includes DataViz's Documents To Go 7.0, though there's still no sign of Palm OS 6.0. The latest edition supports native Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (view-only on Macs) so that you can view and edit documents on the go. In addition, the program boasts an improved user interface and supports active Web links in Word documents. Also new to the E2 is the Favorites view, first introduced in the Tungsten T5. This gives you quick access to your most frequently used applications and files (up to 32), including Web links, while the traditional Applications view displays all the programs on your handheld. Other software goodies include Acrobat Reader, SplashMoney, Web Blazer 4.0, and Memos. And when you feel like a little break, you have RealPlayer for MP3 playback, Kinoma Player for videos, PalmReader for e-books, and of course, Solitaire for amusement.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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