WiebeTech FireWire Keychain Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
Macintosh OS 8.6-9.x, OS X

Mini USB file storage solutions such as the Q
Drive
have been around for a while now. They allow a person to carry large
files with them in convenient plug and play USB modules. These devices have been
available in memory sizes anywhere from 8MB or so to as high as 256MB or more.

USB is all well and good, but what do you do if you want a faster product
that you can actually upgrade as needed?  The solution is to go FireWire
with the FireWire Keychain from WiebeTech.
Available in pre-configured capacities from 32MB to 1GB, this product is special
because you can also buy it without any memory at all. Why is that a good thing
you ask? Because the FireWire keychain accepts any IBM Microdrive or CompactFlash module.
You just remove the back plate and plug in the card!


The module itself is made of a durable metal with an attractive blue finish.
It is a good size that can fit in almost any pocket and definitely any purse or
gear bag.

Size:
1.75 x 2.35 x .75in (45 x 60 x 19mm)
Weight:
2.4oz. (67g)

The FireWire keychain feels like a solid block of metal, but it is actually
just a shell that houses a circuit board and a full sized FireWire connector.
Two Philips screws on the back of the module can be removed to access the guts.
Doing so allows you to remove and / or replace the CF card contained inside.


To use the keychain, you just plug it into a FireWire port on your PC, Mac,
notebook or Powerbook. I did run into a slight problem when trying to perform
this task though… the keychain did NOT come with a FireWire cable! I had to
actually run out and buy one… argh! As a result, I think it would be great if
WiebeTech would consider adding a really short pig tail cable to the keychain,
or at least include a really short cable in the package.

If you happen to be running Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Mac OS 8.6 – 9.x or
OS X, when plugged into a FireWire port, the keychain will mount just as if it
was another hard drive added to your system. When I first plugged it into my PC,
I didn’t think it was recognized as I kept looking for it in the Removable
Storage section of the My Computer window. I’m used to CF cards showing up in this area
when using my CF card reader. I finally noticed that the keychain was showing up in
the Hard Drives section instead.

I should mention that the great advantage of this storage device is the fact
that it does not require batteries or an AC power adapter. It is bus powered in that
it gets the juice it needs from the host: your PC or notebook.

Moving files to and from the module works like any other hard drive on your
system. You can drag and drop files to your little heart’s content. It works great!
Another plus for Mac OS X users is the fact that you can actually boot from this
device.

The FireWire Keychain is rated at a maximum transfer rate of 400Mbps and real
world read rates of up to 5MB per second. Of course, what review would be
complete without a few speed tests? Using my homebuilt 800mhz Athlon (yeah, I
know that I need to upgrade!) in which I had just installed an OrangeLink USB 2.0 / FireWire PCI
card, I preformed several transfers to and from my PC and the keychain using a
26.2MB .mov file. And then, as a comparison, I also did the same test with a CF
card. The file that I used was the Harry Potter II movie trailer in QuickTime
format. Here are the results:

18 seconds to transfer 26.2MB file from the PC to the keychain
9 seconds to transfer 26.2MB file from keychain to PC

52 seconds to transfer 26.2MB file from PC to CF card
29 seconds to transfer 26.2MB file from CF card to PC

As you can see, FireWire is quite a bit faster. The speed increase alone may
not excite you about this product, but the fact that it has no moving parts, and
can be upgraded to larger CF card sizes anytime you want, makes it way more
attractive to me than the USB solutions out there. CF storage is dirt cheap
right now, so if you need a really portable way to transfer files to and from computers that
are equipped with FireWire ports, this is the ONLY way to go!

 

Price:  32MB $69.95 64MB $79.95 128MB $99.95
256MB $179.95 1GB $359.95 EMPTY $56.95

Pros:
User upgradeable
Plug and Play with the most popular OS versions

Cons:
A FireWire cable was not included

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48 thoughts on “WiebeTech FireWire Keychain Review”

  1. Im surprised this review was so luke warm. I think this unit is great.
    So what if you don’t get a camera (i have the Zire 71 and never use it). Bluetooth – got an iPaq with it – never use it. Vibrating/LED alarm – what’s wrong with one that makes a sound.? True a voice recorder can be useful, and the lack of a Universal connector is weird – but if you are upgrading from a V series or older, you aren’t going to miss it.
    I think this one really does hit the spot for business users, the one’s who got a V series a few years back, who want a new toy, but are jealous of the Pocket PC crowd, with their outlook synching, and word/excel/powerpoint capabilities. This Palm hits a home run in all these areas, it’s a direct competitor to the latest line of Pocket PC’s – even price wise. And if you are upgrading from an older model, it’s going to sync all your stuff automatically.

    I think Palm did some serious thinking about how to get people who are/were thinking about Pocket PC’s to stay with them, or convert them back.

    And BTW – Kinoma Producer can also makes Mp3’s to play on your Palm – which makes the multimedia capabilities second to none.

    I think for $200 (a great price point) you get a LOT of functionality. I think this will fly off the shelves.

  2. I am seriously considering a Tungsten E for my next PDA. But the lack of a collapsible screen area a la HandEra 330 (my current PDA since May 2001) is holding me back from going out to get one.

    My HE is still working, so I’ll probably keep using it and watching the Palm world for the next round of new devices. With three new devices released about the same time, Palm may very well have other new devices just around the corner. One of them, a Tungsten E2 with collapsible screen perhaps?

    🙂 😀 :wow:

  3. Thanks for the review. I’ve been thinking about replacing my m130 (yeah, I know, it’s not that old, but I’m quickly outgrowing it), and I’ve been thinking about either this or the T3.

    I agree that the lack of a Universal Connector is a deterrent to this unit, but I don’t need Bluetooth (but I’d love WiFi, for work), vibrating alarms or the somesuch.

    You’ve got me thinking now!

  4. Actually, crazy as it may sound, I think Palm’s doing a decent thing there. The port on the bottom there looks like a standard Version 2.0 MiniUSB port. In other words, it appears that they’re moving towards an industry-wide standard connection instead of one they and they alone regularly use, and that’s *definitely* a Good Thing – especially if other PalmOS devices start following suit.

    Of course, the frequent changes are annoying, but just imagine what it’d be like if you could use, say, most standard USB devices with your Palm…

  5. Yeah, it IS a usb port. That means you could go and get a cable in any half decent computer/electronics store, and NOT need to pay palm for a cradle/cable. It DOES make sense.
    I think Palm have dropped the ball basically on every iteration of Palm device and connectivity. Too many changes in too short a time.
    At least now they have their smrtest device in ages – a keyboard that links to a Palm device via the infrared port.
    http://www.palmone.com/us/products/accessories/peripherals/#keyboards

    Originally posted by viqsi
    [B]Actually, crazy as it may sound, I think Palm’s doing a decent thing there. The port on the bottom there looks like a standard Version 2.0 MiniUSB port. In other words, it appears that they’re moving towards an industry-wide standard connection instead of one they and they alone regularly use, and that’s *definitely* a Good Thing – especially if other PalmOS devices start following suit.

    Of course, the frequent changes are annoying, but just imagine what it’d be like if you could use, say, most standard USB devices with your Palm… [/B]

  6. I’d say that 90% of the handheld owners I know (and I know quite a few) never use any peripherals with their handhelds. A couple have keyboards, a few use charge cables and I know one guy who has a sync cable (besides me — I have all three, but I’m a power user). This is out of a sample size of about 100.

    I think most people who consider this model won’t be seriously deterred by the fact it lacks a Universal Connector… the point has already been made that with the generic USB connector and power connector, special cables are no longer required.

    The most popular peripheral add-on for Palms is a keyboard, and Palm’s latest model uses IR.

  7. About the only thing I liked about this PDA was the screen. All of the buttons are terrible, the material is too shiny and retains fingerprints and I cannot believe there is no universal connector. This is inexcusable and is clearly a marketing decision. Palm is so obviously trying to get people to spend another $100 on the T3. I guess they have forgotten about the Pocket PC competition out there. Typical Palm, one step forward, two steps back.

  8. Every heard of a cradle? Most people want one.

    Originally posted by Ben S
    [B]I’d say that 90% of the handheld owners I know (and I know quite a few) never use any peripherals with their handhelds. A couple have keyboards, a few use charge cables and I know one guy who has a sync cable (besides me — I have all three, but I’m a power user). This is out of a sample size of about 100.

    I think most people who consider this model won’t be seriously deterred by the fact it lacks a Universal Connector… the point has already been made that with the generic USB connector and power connector, special cables are no longer required.

    The most popular peripheral add-on for Palms is a keyboard, and Palm’s latest model uses IR. [/B]

  9. Business users want a cradle. Most corporate customers buy Pocket PC’s. This will not sway them.

    Originally posted by forrman
    [B]Im surprised this review was so luke warm. I think this unit is great.
    So what if you don’t get a camera (i have the Zire 71 and never use it). Bluetooth – got an iPaq with it – never use it. Vibrating/LED alarm – what’s wrong with one that makes a sound.? True a voice recorder can be useful, and the lack of a Universal connector is weird – but if you are upgrading from a V series or older, you aren’t going to miss it.
    I think this one really does hit the spot for business users, the one’s who got a V series a few years back, who want a new toy, but are jealous of the Pocket PC crowd, with their outlook synching, and word/excel/powerpoint capabilities. This Palm hits a home run in all these areas, it’s a direct competitor to the latest line of Pocket PC’s – even price wise. And if you are upgrading from an older model, it’s going to sync all your stuff automatically.

    I think Palm did some serious thinking about how to get people who are/were thinking about Pocket PC’s to stay with them, or convert them back.

    And BTW – Kinoma Producer can also makes Mp3’s to play on your Palm – which makes the multimedia capabilities second to none.

    I think for $200 (a great price point) you get a LOT of functionality. I think this will fly off the shelves. [/B]

  10. 😡 this pda is has dissapointed me alot. U might ass well throw your money down the drain. It doesnt even have a universal connecter.OMG
    dont
    buy the only ok thing is the screen.
    but the usb port might be a big step back!

  11. I agree with the other comments here about the lack of the UC. IMO this is a major mistake by Palm. Granted they are going after a slightly different user base and needed to keep the price under $200 but many of the upgraders will be coming from the M5xx ranks. A lack of both a cradle AND UC to me is just wrong.

    Mike

  12. I think you must have pasted some of this review from your T3 review because it mentions a “larger screen” and “landscape mode” which the E obviously doesn’t have.

  13. I’m an old time Palm user, coming from a III to my now-aging Vx. I would like to know size-wise how does this new device compare to the PalmV series, and if it’s possible for Julie to post a comparison picture of both devices.

    I don’t really care much about a cradle, since I’m always on the go. Universal connector is not a major consideration for me since I’ve never bought any sort of peripherals such as keyboards, cameras, etc.

    I would like to know about the following:

    – Is the screen viewable outdoors?
    – How (in)compatible is OS5 with OS4 apps?
    – Is MP3 playing on the device actually usable?
    – Can I run software off the SD card?

    I’d like to hear your comments about this device.

    Thanks!

  14. jnaazgul:
    I’ll see what I can do about getting a picture of the TE and Palm V (I actually still have my old Palm V).

    As for your other quesitons:
    – Is the screen viewable outdoors? Yes.

    – How (in)compatible is OS5 with OS4 apps? I’ve not had any probs.

    – Is MP3 playing on the device actually usable? Yes, sound quality is great!

    – Can I run software off the SD card? You sure can.

  15. I picked up a TE yesterday as a replacement for my aging M515. This really is an awesome unit!!! The universal connector complaints are semi-legit, but I didn’t let it stop my purchase. Bluetooth….don’t need it, don’t have anything else that uses it anyway. WiFi…great if I had it, but am I going to pay $100-$200 more for it….no, not for my use. Others may have different priorities. If price is a selling point, this one hits it. It has lots of the new features (faster processor, OS 5, screen) without the high-priced addons that are more niche items. $200…awesome!!! Great (but not top of then line) perfomance, great (but not top of the line) features, great (but not top of the line) price. Perfect match….it will sell like crazy!!!

    I just wish I knew Palm’s long-term plans. The universal connector was a great idea (key here is universal), but then they put out the TE with only mini-USB. Is that the direction they are headed, or was this a price point/manufacturing decision?

    Not sure, but I really love my TE!!!

  16. It’s a marketing decision and a stupid one at that. Plam just made sure that lots of people buy a Pcoket PC instead of a decent Palm for $199.00 Stupid, stupid.

    Originally posted by jimlat
    [B]I picked up a TE yesterday as a replacement for my aging M515. This really is an awesome unit!!! The universal connector complaints are semi-legit, but I didn’t let it stop my purchase. Bluetooth….don’t need it, don’t have anything else that uses it anyway. WiFi…great if I had it, but am I going to pay $100-$200 more for it….no, not for my use. Others may have different priorities. If price is a selling point, this one hits it. It has lots of the new features (faster processor, OS 5, screen) without the high-priced addons that are more niche items. $200…awesome!!! Great (but not top of then line) perfomance, great (but not top of the line) features, great (but not top of the line) price. Perfect match….it will sell like crazy!!!

    I just wish I knew Palm’s long-term plans. The universal connector was a great idea (key here is universal), but then they put out the TE with only mini-USB. Is that the direction they are headed, or was this a price point/manufacturing decision?

    Not sure, but I really love my TE!!! [/B]

  17. I dont get it – you just paid $200 more (okay – $150 more with a $40 gift certificate) for voice recording, bluetooth, a sliding screen and twice the memory. Oh, and of course, your universal connector. That’s fine and good for you, but there are people who don’t think your way.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/vbbs/showthread.php?threadid=512&goto=newpost

    I think there are plenty of people who whave enought loyalty to Palm to want to go out and get an updated Palm, see one with a LOT more functionality than their current unit for $200, and who dont want to spend $350, or $400 for those other features.

    I still believe that Palm will have a huge success with this one – it will be a big big holiday item.

    Originally posted by tthiel
    It’s a marketing decision and a stupid one at that. Plam just made sure that lots of people buy a Pcoket PC instead of a decent Palm for $199.00 Stupid, stupid.

  18. Forrman…that was exactly my point….for those who the features are important…great. But the TE for its features and price point is a winner. Is the lack of the universal connector a pain?…yes, but a minor one. ….FOR ME. For others, it may be more of an issue. I got the faster machine with the better screen for only $200. That’s what I wanted, that’s what I got. If you want more, you’ll have to pay more.

    Maybe the mini-usb was a mistake, maybe not. We’ll see.

    I still think these things will fly off the shelves.

    Lat

    BTW…is the mini end of the USB standard or proprietary? I’ve never used one, so I’m not sure if the funky shape of the mini end is standard or Palm specific.

  19. The mini end is NOT proprietary – i have a DMG Mpio MP3 player that uses the same connector. They aren’t the easiest of things to find, but they are out there.

    Originally posted by jimlat
    BTW…is the mini end of the USB standard or proprietary? I’ve never used one, so I’m not sure if the funky shape of the mini end is standard or Palm specific.

  20. jeez tthiel, stop trolling. If you don’t liek the darned thing, guess what, you DONT have to buy it!! wow! amazing, huh?

    Anyways, This is what a lot of people have been wanting a m5xx/vx sized, no frills os5 pda. This might end up being my next palm. I’m still using a handera 330 at the moment. And whats the big deal with no UC? If you want to use the few decent accessories that use the UC then get a different palm model.

  21. 199.00 price point, if you do a pricegrabber search on the tungsten E you’ll find that it can be had brand new for 174+shipping at the lowest, mine came to 181.98 dollars shipped. Funny some sites had it for 215 dollars or more and did not include free shipping. Palm is offering free shipping right now, so 199.00 is what you’ld pay there. Anyways saved 17.02 which is going to help towards paying for my new 55.99 128mb sandisk card 🙂

    Man got to love competition and resellers, same product yet hopes of selling things by quantity = more money as you sell by bulk = profit = bank!

    🙂

    The expandability compared to a m105, even a m125, without color. And this one has color, julie/judie any good screen protectors yet for this one or recommendations? Prefer the stick on, bought one for my m105 and it wouldn’t fit so doing the stupid thing I popped the lid off/removed the case and pushed aside the little sponge separator, now the screen protector when it moves jams the power switch or something else so it doesn’t power off or freezes until I re-adjust it.

  22. I have been closely following the new handhelds released by Palm in the last year and, frankly, none of them have persuaded me to upgrade from my trusted M515. My Palm is loaded with third party applications and I have no problems with my 16MB of Ram. Of course, I also have a 128MB sandisk card to hold all of my e-books.

    The following are some of my thoughts.

    Tungsten|T3 : The form factor for this unit is horrible. It is heavy and bulky. The sliding mechanism takes away from the “solid” feel of the older V or M5x series Palms. Yes, it has a faster processor, built-in Bluetooth and a great screen. But, really, I need to be able to carry my Palm around with me at all times. I usually carry it in the inside pocket of my suit jacket. The T3 would bulge out and be uncomfortably heavy. Yes, the processor is faster, the screen is beautiful and, oh yeah, built-in Bluetooth. Although Bluetooth sounds great, I would have to upgrade all of my hardware. Hmmm, only really useful option there is the ability to print direct to my printer. But hey, if you’re near your printer then chances are you’re near your desktop and you could print directly after a hotsync.

    No way am I going to trade in a sleek, light M515 for a bulky T3 with a slider mechanism (although I would love to have that 320X480 screen and faster processor- damn it!)

    Tungsten|E : Now you got my attention. Appears that Palm duplicated the form factor of the old V and M5x series when it manufactured this beauty. Problem is that beauty is only skin deep and this applies to the Tungsten|E. Palm forgot all of the guts. Where’s the universal connector? What is the point of calling something “universal” and then not including it in your most recent model! Also, where is the 320X480 screen with virtual graffiti area. As always, can’t judge a book by its cover. Palm got my attention and then lost it, quickly.

    So all you Palm M5x series owners hold on a little longer. I strongly believe that the dream unit is just around the corner. What is the dream unit? Well, the dream unit is the Tungsten|E2 or Tungstent|E3. It comes with the form factor and lightness of the Tungsten|E but has the guts of the Tungsten|T3. That means universal connector, 320X480 screen with virtual graffiti, built-in Bluetooth, 64-128MB of RAM, along with the Palm essentials.

    Hmmmm, maybe they’ll call it the Tungsten|ET – coming soon to your planet.

    Those are my thoughts, I’d be interested to hear from others whether they agree with me or whether they think I should open my horizons and trade in my M515 at this time for something else on the market that would suit my needs.

  23. I understand that the Tungsten|E slides into its case from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Apparently, this was to prevent the unit from falling out when being held by its case or leather cover.

    As for the stylus, don’t know if it’s compatible with the m5x series but, knowing Palm, probably not.

  24. I have had many Palm devices over the years, I think the TE is fantastic! My last device was the 505, what a difference. The screen is 10 times brighter & much sharper. The speed is many times faster. The size weight & memory are great. I bought a Palm hard case for it, really nice. I love this unit! I can’t believe it was only $199. This has to be the best value out there. At first the lack of a UC was bothering me, but for me it’s really no big deal. The unit is so great that it doesn’t bother me. In fact, who knows, maybe they will standardize on this configuration.
    Mike

  25. PalmGeek, I agree with most of your comments. I’m currently using a m515 with a few 3rd party appls and hacks.

    I never did like the T form factor – I like to be able to use the PDA one handed & without having to opening anything else but maybe the protective case.

    The E seems almost there – I just don’t like the non-metal (?) construction & the lack of vibrating alert (I’ve found this very useful & essential during meetings). I can live with the current screen & processing power (& the price!).

    Here’s hoping that the E2 will get closer to the dream PDA.

  26. The Tungsten E almost has what I want but lacks the following, which I would pay an extra $100(CND) for:

    MUST HAVES:
    A SOLID metal, brushed (non shiny) case
    Good tactile feel to the 4 way button
    Connector to their keyboards… I gather the IR one isn’t perfected yet.
    Cradle
    Long battery life – being able to turn off the backlighting
    Remaining thin and using side mounted leather flip cover.

    WOULD LIKES:
    Voice recorder.
    Some style. V’s and 500’s led the way and continue to have style other PDA’s don’t. Probably not enough to dissuade me if everything else was there though.

    TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM T3:
    No Bluetooth and other additional stuff.

    Im a lawyer and I think most of my colleagues I’ve talked to agree about what is missing (many think style is very important, perhaps more than me). We all want to pull it out and enjoy using it (tactile, feel, heft, etc.) and the keyboard is very very useful. The cradle is one of the most useful things Palm ever invented for those of us who work by a computer. In and out. In and out…easily. Palm are you listening?

    I’m going to wait a little longer to update.

  27. Has anyone seen the new advertisement for the Splash Photo v. 4.0?

    http://www.splashdata.com/splashphoto/index.htm

    That’s the dream unit I was talking about. Looks like a Tungsten|E with a 320×480 screen, sleek looking unit without a slider!

    Wonder why SplashData decided to use a photo of a unit not yet available on the market….unless they know something we don’t!!!!!

  28. Looks like a mock up to me.
    I dont think this is available anywhere but Photoshop.

    Originally posted by PalmGeek
    [B]Has anyone seen the new advertisement for the Splash Photo v. 4.0?

    http://www.splashdata.com/splashphoto/index.htm

    That’s the dream unit I was talking about. Looks like a Tungsten|E with a 320×480 screen, sleek looking unit without a slider!

    Wonder why SplashData decided to use a photo of a unit not yet available on the market….unless they know something we don’t!!!!! [/B]

  29. I agree its a mock in the picture but it may be based on something more substantial. All other advertisements by SplashData have used real units. Why use a mock now?

    Just a curious (and a little hopeful) mind.

  30. Julie,

    Think you could post a picture comparison between the Tungsten E and the Palm V? Size is rather critical for me, and I would like to know about the subjective size comparison.

    Measurements are one thing, look&feel is quite another.

    J.

  31. Unfortunately, I can’t as I no longer have the PDA. It went back to Palm. I do still have my Palm V though, and I would say that the TE does feel a bit thicker and longer. But not be a lot.

  32. As you can see this pda is still relatively new, got a lot of apps installed etc. but my big complaint is the casing. Its getting a bit scratched. Wish I had a camera but plastic as shiny as this one once it gets a scratch it stands out big time. Proporta better ship out my hard case quick or deliver my neoprene case a little quicker.
    Also does anyone know how palm hooked up the little speaker in back,,, funny thing is that everyonce in a while no sound comes out until I tap the back. THis has happened like 3 times since I bought it. Think I’ve dropped it like twice on my carpet but nothing major no hard thump I think.

  33. I’ve been on this site for years so I’m hardly trolling. This is a disucssion board, that means people DISCUSS things back and forth. Understand now? The big deal with the UC is there’s no cradle which is really stupid and because they only did it to get people to buy the higher priced versions. Also Palm promised a Universal connector for the next five years. I guess they lied.

    Originally posted by helf
    [B]jeez tthiel, stop trolling. If you don’t liek the darned thing, guess what, you DONT have to buy it!! wow! amazing, huh?

    Anyways, This is what a lot of people have been wanting a m5xx/vx sized, no frills os5 pda. This might end up being my next palm. I’m still using a handera 330 at the moment. And whats the big deal with no UC? If you want to use the few decent accessories that use the UC then get a different palm model. [/B]

  34. I just bought the TE as an emergency replacement for my tired m515.
    So far, I’m quite pleased.
    A few good and bad points below (some of them have already been discussed, I know), but my overall feeling is GOOD.

    The screen is good. It is difficult to read outdoors with the sun on your back, though, as the silver casing is then very shiny, whatever your angle. I also find that the contrast in a bright outdoors lighting is fairly poor (dark grey fonts on light grey background quite of effect). This might be also due to the protection screen I use, which lessens unwanted reflections, but takes a bit of the screen clarity.
    Oh, and I heard lots of people complaining about screen more bright than others, but what about “too bright”? I like to read in bed, and I wish the lowest setting would allow me to do this comfortably. But it is a little bit too bright for this…

    About the silver casing, it is a little bit too shiny, and like it has been said a lot, it is a shame it shows fingerprints very easily.

    I have a problem with the down button. I have to press it from above to make it work, so it is a) unnatural and b) makes me press the middle button accidentally. I suspect this is a problem with this specific unit.
    The other buttons feel a bit “cheap”, but fine. I miss the feel of the m515, though.

    USB vs. Universal Connector: I would say that USB is bound to be more “universal” than the UC!?! However, I have a couple of charging/syncing cables from my m515, that I won’t be able to use with the TE.
    Actually, the TE might only be a temp unit. I was actually thinking of getting the T3, and the TE would be for my wife. We will then have to carry to sets of charging accessories when we travel.
    One last pro for the TE on the charging side: I hate to need a separate charger for traveling, or to carry the bulky desk cradle with twice the amount of cables (power + USB) in order to use the charger bundled with the m515. I guess the T3 will be the same…
    I really think the USB connector would be the way to go, but what’s Palm’s long term decision on this???

    All in all, I am very pleased with the TE’s specs. I am still considering settling for it. I am just greedy for the little extras the T3 promises… 🙂

    By the way, I have crackling sounds when using the earphones. I’m still not sure if it comes from the software or the TE’s connector or the earphones themselves. Has anyone had this kind of problems?

  35. Nice review, two quick questions:

    Does the T|E ship with an updated version of Palm Desktop? (to handle multiday spanning appointments, larger memos and tasks with reminders)

    Is there a 220v travel power supply? Or could I buy a standard power supply at the correct voltage? Does the USB cable charge the unit also?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  36. Mterk,

    I don’t use Palm Desktop. The Calendar app on the Palm is updated, but I haven’t found out all the enhancements.
    About multiday appointments, I have just made a test for you. I created an appointment in Outlook, from Monday 8 AM to Wed 10 AM. I got the following message in the Hotsync log:

    [B]Outlook Calendar
    The multi-day repeating appointment titled test app. beginning 11/17/2003 08:00:00 AM has been split into individual appointment on both Outlook and Handheld.[/B]

    I then checked, and yes, I then had three appointments on both, with I could modify individually, but not as a whole.
    I’m not sure if this answers your question, as there is no Palm Desktop in it.
    Having said that, would anybody know of the main differences between the OUtlook and Palm Desktop PIMs, including compatibility with the Palm PIMs?

    The power supply is 100-240 V, and that’s good. It has a changeable plug, as did the m515, but only came with the standard US plug and the UK plug. I am French, so I will need to add a US>France adapter when I go back (small and cheap). No big deal, but why this choice???
    FYI: I live in Taiwan, so my model is a Chinese version for the Taiwanese market, and we use US plugs here. I don’t know what the TE comes with in US or European versions.

    The shop told me the USB cable didn’t really charge, but it seems it does: although the battery icon doesn’t figure the lightning symbol in the launcher app (meaning “charging”), I have noticed that the charge level goes up when I’m just plugged on USB.
    I is probably much slower than the charger, though.

    I hope this ansers your questions, Mike.

    BTW, about USB vs. UC: although I appreciate not needing the cradle when I’m moving around, I miss the cradle:
    – one single and simple gesture and you’re ready to charge and hotsync
    – only one cable on your desk
    – no need to look for the cables under the mass of papers on my desk (maybe not a standard issue for everyone 😮 ) or on the floor, as it happens
    – and finally, the cradle is a good stand for all these quick uses next to your PC.

    Ben

  37. Originally posted by jnaazgul
    [B]Julie,

    Think you could post a picture comparison between the Tungsten E and the Palm V? Size is rather critical for me, and I would like to know about the subjective size comparison.

    Measurements are one thing, look&feel is quite another.

    J. [/B]

    You can see a comparison between the T/E and the m500 in this Brazilian forum thread:

    http://www.palmforum.com.br/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=72

  38. I am thinking of buying Tungsten E, but PalmDirect european store has a very good offer. Zire71 plus the 64MB SD card and a card reader only 100Euro more than T|E…

    I would buy Z71 only because it has a better battery life, faster processor and UC (don’t really care about the camera). Z71 has better looks than T|E.

    On the other hand T|E has 32 main mem and it is cheaper and with these 100E I could buy some nice peripherals…

    Can you help me decide??

  39. Well, I’ve just picked up one of these of my own (after having owned – most recent to least – a Palm m130, Handspring Visor Deluxe, Palm IIIx, Palm III, and a Pilot 5000 with and without the Professional upgrade), and I have to say I love this thing to death. It’s my new baby. *cradles* 😉

    Some comments:

    * On the lack of UC: I honestly don’t think this is nearly as big a deal as so many people are eager to believe. The standard USB port’s Really nice; my audio player (a Neuros HD, which has been reviewed here) uses the same type of port, so that’s one less cable to carry around. And I found a second AC adapter (for work) at a Radio Shack down the street for under $10 – nowhere near the $30 I had to pay for another “Universal Connector” cable that wouldn’t stay hooked onto the bottom of my (dearly departed) m130.
    (And before you claim I could have gotten a better deal online for the UC cable – I’m talking about walking down the street and picking something out of the store in both cases. If I ordered an AC adapter online, I prob’ly could have gotten a lower cost too. Having a nearby brick-and-mortar store to get spare parts from is MASSIVELY convenient.)
    I used to be a nut for portable keyboards, but after having seldom ever had reason to use them ever since I started using a laptop frequently, they’ve begun to strike me as more of a way of chaining down your PDA rather than getting serious work done.
    Oh, and as for certain trolls I could name who posit that this is some huge conspiracy by Palm to force purchases of more expensive hardware – dude, step back and take a few deep breaths for a bit; not every company out there exists to screw over their customer base. :rolleyes:

    * On the collapsable Graffiti area – I honestly have yet to find a use for this, but (as I mentioned in the T|T3 thread) I have hopes that it’s finally going to be a stable feature of PDAs to come now that Palm’s starting to come out with it. Beyond that, how is this somehow something that makes this PDA “suck”? I suspect jealousy. 😀

    Short version of all of the above: Just because you are not part of the target market for a device <u>DOES NOT MAKE IT SUCK</u>. It just means it’s Not For You.

    That said, I’m also waiting to see this hypothetical “Tungsten|ET” (as one poster put it), just so some of these folks will SHUT UP. 😀

  40. Originally posted by jimlat
    [B]Forrman…that was exactly my point….for those who the features are important…great. But the TE for its features and price point is a winner. Is the lack of the universal connector a pain?…yes, but a minor one. ….FOR ME. For others, it may be more of an issue. I got the faster machine with the better screen for only $200. That’s what I wanted, that’s what I got. If you want more, you’ll have to pay more.

    Maybe the mini-usb was a mistake, maybe not. We’ll see.

    I still think these things will fly off the shelves.

    Lat

    BTW…is the mini end of the USB standard or proprietary? I’ve never used one, so I’m not sure if the funky shape of the mini end is standard or Palm specific. [/B]

    Yeah,i just wanted a replacement to my laptop which is too heavy, or a desktop when I’m not at home. there’s no wi-fi in my country yet, and bluetooth is just catching up. So the lack of these functions in the Tungsten E arent a problem.

    anyway, mine has “made in China” at the back. is there a difference where it was made?

    It also has a buzzing sound sometimes.

    Ilike the usb ’cause it’s not bulky like a cradle. but this is my first time to own a PDA, and i don’t know the difference… As for the mini-USB question,i have a Nokia 5510,,and it has a mini-USB connector too. Works pretty well. It’s not exactly the best in technology but you get what you pay for.

  41. I’ve never owned a PDA, but my wife’s outfit just equipped their entire staff with Tungsten E’s and I was seriously considering buying one for myself.

    However, in reviewing the user posted reviews on Amazon and a few other places, I note that many people are reporting problems including complete product mortality after 3-6 months use.

    I am wondering if any of the people who posted here and were excited about the Tungsten E before have changed their minds?

    I would appreciate reading follow-up comments from any of the posters who have previously responded to this thread, or from anyone else who has been using thier Tungsten E for a year or so.

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