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palmOne Tungsten T5: the Mixture as Before


Touch screen

Resolution of the T5 touchscreen is 320x480 pixels. The number of pixels is twice as low as in new Pocket PC models. But even half-VGA (hVGA) is a good achievement for palmOne. With the virtual area Graffiti 2 the display is square. As in Pocket PC, you can use the keyboard or graffiti recognition, or you can minimize this input area to increase the usable display area.

Display looks good against Tungsten E. But it's far from the high quality of HP iPaq hx4700 or LOOX 720. Moreover, the display of the older model, T3, is brighter and more vivid! Colors on the T5 display look subdued.

Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX 720 display is on the left. palmOne Tungsten T5 is on the right. Click an image to enlarge (400 Kb)

The backlight is controlled within narrow limits. Interface does not allow to switch it off completely. The difference between the lowest and the highest brightness is not large, but this range is quite enough to work comfortably.

Sensitivity of the touchscreen is average. In order to protect the expensive device from scratches, you'd better buy a screen protector right away (T3 protector will do). I want to note the low processing speed of screen touches (the lines appear with some delay). It's quite possible that the previous models worked in the same way, but their Graffiti area was not virtual and the delay was not visually noticeable.

As a brief summary one can say that there is nothing special about the display in Tungsten T5. The new model does not support VGA, the display quality is subjectively only satisfactory.

Audio System

Traditional description of the audio system will be as brief as possible. Speaker – present. It's located on the rear panel of the handheld. If the device is lying on a soft surface, the sound is muted and the reminder melody is hardly audible in the loud environment. Considering the lack of vibra alarm and LED indicators, chances to miss an alarm are not that low. If you put the handheld with its display down, the speaker volume is impressive. It goes without saying that it cannot be used to listen to music.

The sound in headphones is loud and clear. Results of output analysis using RightMark AudioAnalyzer are very similar to those demonstrated by Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX 720. However several users noted noise in headphones when no sound was played. Long operating time and 160 MB of user available memory make this device a good replacement of an mp3 player even in its basic configuration.

This model does not have a dictating mac. No voice recording at a price of almost 400 USD is insulting. This function was available even in inexpensive Zire 72!


We express our thanks to palmOne for the provided handheld.

Maxim Fedorov (dane@ixbt.com)
December 3, 2004

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