capsule review

Palm Tungsten E2

At a Glance
  • Palm Tungsten E2 PDA (200MHz, 32MB, SD/MMC/SDIO Card, Palm OS v5.4)

PalmOne Tungsten E2
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Tungsten E2, Palm's replacement for the Tungsten E, now offers Bluetooth and data-saving flash memory. It's the cheapest and the least powerful member of the business-focused Tungsten lineup, so it's not ideal for power users--but PDA neophytes should find plenty to like here.

The E2 has a 200-MHz Xscale processor and 32MB of nonvolatile flash memory, so a battery failure will not cause you to lose your data. The E2 lacks Wi-Fi, but if you make the effort to get a compatible Bluetooth phone and data plan, the E2 can connect to the Internet and access e-mail remotely via its built-in Bluetooth. You can also sync the E2 wirelessly with a Bluetooth-enabled PC.

The E2 includes DataViz's Documents To Go, which lets you create and edit documents and spreadsheets that are compatible with Microsoft Word and Excel. You can also offload applications and other files onto SD, SDIO, and MMC flash media to save space on the handheld.

The E2's bright 320-by-320-pixel color screen looked good both indoors and out in my informal tests. And that's a positive thing, because the Tungsten E2 also has a fun side. If you need a little amusement between meetings, you can view digital images and movie clips as well as listen to MP3s using the installed RealPlayer software. Photos looked great, but the E2's integrated speaker sounded tinny. Tunes sounded only moderately better with my own headphones. (Headphones are not included with the E2.)

In my informal tests, battery life was good. One charge allowed me to use normal business functions for over a week. Once you start playing with those nice multimedia functions, however, you can almost see the battery monitor sipping juice.

The Tungsten E2's five-way navigator button lets you operate the device with one hand and reduces the need for the stylus, an object I lose on my desk every 10 minutes. But be careful: More than once I inadvertently tried to store the stylus in the headphone jack, which is a bit too close to the stylus storage slot.

This jack-of-all-trades PDA offers decent features for business and pleasure, but we don't recommend it for power users.

Anne B. McDonald

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At a Glance
  • Palm Tungsten E2 PDA (200MHz, 32MB, SD/MMC/SDIO Card, Palm OS v5.4)

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