Palm's new T|X sacrifices some of the storage and processing power of its predecessor, the Tungsten T5, in exchange for Wi-Fi and a lower price. The result: More bang for the buck.

Aside from its blacker case and slightly brighter screen, the T|X looks and feels like the T5 (both have the same 320-by-480-pixel screen resolution). The T|X is available online for £182.95 + VAT, about £25 less than the T5, and it has Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth. For a comparison, read our review of the T5.

On the downside, Palm chopped the T|X's total memory in half to 128 Mbyte , only about 100 Mbyte of which is user accessible. Like the T5, this unit has an SD card slot for expansion; but unlike the T5's memory, the T|X's user-accessible memory can store only Palm-supported files such as Palm OS applications and Microsoft Office documents.

Connecting Sans Wires
In my tests the T|X's integrated 802.11b Wi-Fi worked great. I connected to PC World's Wi-Fi network, hit the browser button, and surfed the Web at a reasonable speed - certainly, faster than I could using GPRS on my phone. With the preinstalled Palm VersaMail 3.1c, I could receive and send mail through my Gmail account, too.

Bluetooth worked well for sending images and documents to a Bluetooth-enabled Motorola v551; and when Wi-Fi wasn't available, Bluetooth let me use my GPRS service (from Cingular) to surf the Web.

The T|X lets you use Bluetooth to send SMS text messages via your mobile phone, but I had mixed results with this feature: I successfully sent a text message via an unlocked Palm Treo 650 using T-Mobile, but I failed at the same task using a Cingular-enabled Motorola v551. Palm says that some phones probably don't work with this feature of the T|X.

Multimedia Snafus
With the pre-installed Pocket Tunes application, you can listen to MP3 files (but not WMA files) on the T|X. There are two ways to transfer music to the device: using Palm's Quick Install to drag files onto an SD Card, or transferring music directly into the T|X's internal memory with Windows Media Player 10 or the Rhapsody jukebox. To use this second method, however, you must first install the Pocket Tunes driver from the Palm Install CD onto the T|X.

Windows Media Player 10 worked seamlessly with Pocket Tunes; Rhapsody did not. When I used Rhapsody's Transfer window to drag tracks to the T|X, I couldn't access those tracks from Pocket Tunes on the T|X initially. I had to issue the Actions, Open menu command before the interface would refresh with the new track list. Palm says that this is a bug between Pocket Tunes and Rhapsody.

According to Palm, the T|X's rechargeable lithium ion battery should last for up to five days of normal use between charges. My test unit's battery meter never ran below the halfway mark during my five days of testing with periodic syncing.

With the T|X, Palm offers Wi-Fi and a lower price in return for lower power and less storage. I think the trade-off works well.

OUR VERDICT

Stylish PDA has beautiful screen, Wi-Fi, and ample storage, though not as much as its predecessor.