Palm TX: Review, Software, and Configuration
Recently I got a Palm TX and so far I like everything about it. Except for the $300 price tag. Built-in Wi-Fi card and a larger screen that can operate in landscape mode are the two main features making the TX different from most other Palms. I also got a 2Gb SD card for about $60, which gives me enough capacity for my favorite MP3s.
Palm TX in landscape mode
Before buying the TX I also looked at the $400 Palm LifeDrive and the $200 Tungsten E2. My main problem with the LifeDrive (other than its price) is its weight. It has a built-in 4Gb hard drive that causes the system to run just a little bit slower than the TX. The Tungsten E2 lacks Wi-Fi and has a smaller screen.
|Palm TX (my choice)||LifeDrive (expensive, heavy, sluggish)||Tungsten E2 (no built-in Wi-Fi)|
Battery life is the main concern with any PDA. These devious machines manage to run out of juice just when you need them the most. The Wi-Fi feature in the Palm TX is a battery hog. Don’t expect to do any serious Web browsing. Also, the Blazer browser will not work properly with many Web sites.
I needed Wi-Fi mostly for email and that part worked out great. If you can live without Wi-Fi, my suggestion is to get the Tungsten E2. I would not go for the LifeDrive even if it cost the same as TX.
There are some folks out there who claim that MP3 playback is is low quality on Palms. This may be true for older models. MP3s play just fine on the TX, E2, and LifeDrive. The built-in Pocket-Tunes player works great. For some $30 you can upgrade to the Delux version and I recommend that you do; it gives you some nice options. I also suggest that you get the WinAmp skin for this player. It makes you feel at home if you are familiar with WinAmp.
|WinAmp skin for Pocket-Tunes|
The best way to transfer MP3s to your Palm is to plug that SD card into a card reader on your PC. This works much faster that running sync. If you MP3s are properly tagged, the Pocket-Tunes player will display your music by author, album, and name. This is great because you can just dump all of your MP3s into a single folder.
Using Pocket-DVD Studio for Palm you can convert video files or entire DVDs into a Palm-friendly format. A 2-hour long DVD movie with stereo sound will take about 300Mb at 400 pixels wide. I already ripped a bunch of my DVDs and keep them on my PC. When I have to do some travel, I just load a few movies onto a few spare SD cards and take them with me.
Palm TX does not come with a protective case. That’s too bad. There’s a leather case available from Palm. It costs $30 and the latch will break in a few days. I had to return the broken case back to the store and get an aluminum one instead. It’s a bit slippery, but a more durable than the leather case.
|Rhinoskin aluminum case (my choice)||Palm leather case (poor quality)|
|Rhinoskin leather case (expensive)||Silicone case (good alternative)|