TRG Products may not carry the clout of a name such as Palm or Sony nor the buzz of Handspring, but this company's TRGpro handheld has the power and simplicity of the Palm OS, along with a CompactFlash slot, which lets businesses use handhelds as more than just electronic organizers. TRG Products may not carry the clout of a name such as Palm or Sony nor the buzz of Handspring, but this company's TRGpro handheld has the power and simplicity of the Palm OS, along with a CompactFlash slot, which lets businesses use handhelds as more than just electronic organizers.
The TRGpro looks nearly identical to the Palm IIIxe, although the CompactFlash slot makes the TRGpro a tad thicker. Inside the device are the Palm OS and 8MB of RAM, plus the standard Palm applications, including Address Book, To-Do List, and Memo Pad.
The TRGpro isn't the only Palm with an expansion slot; the Visor Deluxe from Handspring features a special Springboard slot. However, since many digital cameras, MP3 players, and Windows CE handhelds use CompactFlash cards, these cards are less expensive.
Less expensive expansion options are important both for users who require access to large amounts of information and for the IT departments that support those users. Hospitals, for example, can provide doctors and nurses with reference books or patient databases on CompactFlash cards so that these workers can immediately access necessary information on their rounds. Add to that functionality an array of existing devices that can connect via CompactFlash slot, such as pen scanners, modems, and Ethernet cards, and it's easy to see the advantage of using an industry standard.
TRG includes a few simple-but-handy utilities for managing data on both CompactFlash cards and on the system's 2MB of flash ROM. CFPro and FlashPro, both Windows-Explorer-like tools, allow you to move files between the 8MB of system RAM, a CompactFlash card, and the flash memory, which ordinarily stores just the Palm OS. Because flash memory is not vulnerable to dead batteries, it makes a safe place to store critical data. A third tool--and a more practical solution--CFBackup, allows quick system backups to CompactFlash cards. A new application, AutoCF, is available for download from the TRG Web site. This allows applications run on the CompactFlash card, whereas without AutoCF, you must transfer an application to the system memory in order use it.
The TRGpro has a much better internal speaker and is much louder than other Palm devices, making alarm features much more effective. It can also play mono WAV files and DTMF (touch-tone phone) tones.