Rival Tungsten T4 Rumors in Circulation

Which is correct?

By Ed Hardy | Editor-in-Chief
Jun 28, 2004
Two very different sets of possible specifications for palmOne's next high-end device are circulating on the Web. These contradict each other on numerous areas so they can't both be right. And, of course, it's possible neither is correct.

Both rumors agree about one thing: the next Tungsten is expected to use the "slider" design that debuted with the first Tungsten T back in late 2002. Brighthand has learned from knowledgeable sources that palmOne does have plans to release one more model in the T series, though they didn't confirm any of the other details in the two rumored descriptions.

If either of these two rival sets of specifications is correct, the Tungsten T4 will have a lot in common with the T3. It will use the same 320-by-480-pixel display with both portrait and landscape support and virtual Graffiti. It will also have Bluetooth short-range networking.

Another thing these rumored specifications have in common is Palm OS Cobalt, which is the newest version of this operating system. Although PalmSource released Cobalt to its licensees many months ago, it has yet to be used on any handhelds or smartphones. Some experts are blaming the lack of Cobalt devices on this year's slump in sales of Palm OS handhelds, though smartphone sales are doing well.

It is in the other details that the rumors disagree.

Dual Slots

According to one rumor, which has appeared on several web sites, the major change in the Tungsten T4 will be the inclusion of a second SD slot. The first slot will be only for memory cards, while the second will be able to use SDIO accessories like Wi-Fi wireless networking cards. This is the same expansion card setup the Tapwave Zodiac uses.

It was recently learned that palmOne is going to release a Wi-Fi SD card for some of its latest handhelds. It seems likely the T4 will be included on this list.

The next Tungsten will supposedly have 64 MB memory, though the processor isn't known at this time. Also included in this rumor is an ATI Imageon graphics controller.

The price is expected to be around $400.

Built-in Wi-Fi

The other rumor says the most significant improvement in the Tungsten T4 will be the inclusion of Wi-Fi. But this won't be 802.11b, which is becoming increasingly common in handhelds. Instead, this will supposedly be 802.11g. This offers a higher maximum data transfer rate than 802.11b (54 Mbit/s vs. 11 Mbit/s) over roughly the same distance.

If this rumor is correct, it will have a 450 MHz Intel XScale processor and 96 MB of memory, with 84 MB directly available to the user.

The Tungsten T4 will reportedly have a higher-capacity battery than its predecessor.

According to this rumor, the suggested price for this model will be $459. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.

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