The Tungsten C is the company's first PDA to use Intel's latest PXA255 XScale processor, running at 400MHz; it is also its first device to offer integrated 802.11b wireless networking. The Tungsten C packs 64MB of memory (although only 51MB is free) and has a 320x320 TFT (thin film transistor) display. The screen is reflective to provide what Palm claims is its sharpest screen for both "indoor and outdoor viewing".
The device runs the latest version of Palm OS, 5.2.1 and the updated Graffiti 2 handwriting recognition software. It's bundled with tools to allow you to import and manipulate documents, spreadsheets and images, plus browser and email software, as well as all the usual calendar, contacts and to-do utilities normally found on a handheld.
Finished in silver, the Tungsten C weighs 178g — 21g more than its little brother, the Tungsten T. Expansion is via a Secure Digital/Multimedia Card (SD/MMC) slot.
The Tungsten C is available now priced £340 ex VAT. This makes it pretty good value compared to similar Wi-Fi devices like Toshiba's new e750 which costs significantly more at £425 ex VAT. In its defence, though, the e750 does feature extras like a CompactFlash Type I/II card slot.
Palm's second offering is quite a bit cheaper at £212 ex VAT, but the Zire 71 is intended for an entirely different market. Whereas the Tungsten range is aimed squarely at businesses, the cheaper Zire handhelds are strictly for consumers.
This fact is made evident by the features on the 71, which include a built-in digital camera and an optional digital audio player module. "Multimedia became the focal point of our new Zire handheld," explains Palm's Ken Wirt.
The slider design used on the Zire 71 both reveals and activates the digital camera, so users can take snapshots wherever they are. Photos can be stored on the 13MB of free onboard memory or on an SD card.
For those who prefer moving images, the 71 is bundled with Kinoma Player and Producer to play back video clips, while RealOne Mobile Player handles audio files. But to listen to music and audio books you will have to invest in the extra MP3 Audio Kit which will be available in May priced £68 ex VAT.