Milipitas, Calif. — PDA maker palmOne has introduced a new mid-priced Tungsten PDA as an upgrade to the leading PDA in the Unites States, the Tungsten E.
The new model, the Tungsten E2, doubles the memory of its predecessor and adds non-volatile battery capability so data won’t be lost when the battery runs down. It also offers built-in Bluetooth, extended battery life and an improved screen.
The E2 was released April 13 at a $249 suggested retail price. It replaces the Tungsten E ($189.95) which sold two million units worldwide in its 18 month life for a 26 percent market share of the U.S. handheld market, according to palmOne.
The new E2 is just slightly thicker and heavier than the E, says Tungsten product manager Raj Doshi, noting, “The No. 1 request for improvement was to battery life, so we’ve double the battery life.” Users can now listen to up to 12 hours of continuous MP3 on the unit, he said. PalmOne claims a 30 percent brighter screen on the E2 with 40 percent better color saturation, twice the battery life and double the memory, 32MB, of the Tungsten E.
For those users who want to add Wi-Fi, the unit has SD/SDIO capability and will accept a $99 Wi-Fi card. The E2 also comes with an e-mail client and Web browser for those who would use Bluetooth to connect to the Internet via a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone.
“The battery drain with a wireless headset is much more significant than we’d like. If you are listening to MP3 wirelessly, you don’t get the best use of the battery. The same issue is with Bluetooth keyboards. With a [standard] wireless keyboard you use two AA batteries and IR and that barely touches the battery,” said a spokesman.
PalmOne said that buyer studies on the Tungsten show that calendar and contacts are the No. 1 and No. 2 most-used features while photo sharing/viewing and use of Word and Excel are ranked three and four.
Other features on the Tungsten E2 include the ability to create and edit Word and Excel documents and view PowerPoint and PDF files. Users can also store and play back MP3 files, digital photos and video clips.