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Second Tungsten T successor surfaces

Prototype pics pop up on web

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Fresh images of what's purported to be Palm's next Tungsten T PDA have surfaced on a Chinese web site.

The pictures - which you can see over at PalmInfocenter but no longer appear to be available to the original site, eNet - show a Tungsten T-style machine with a larger, 320x480 LCD. The extra screen space is used for a virtual Graffiti text-entry panel. The display can also be redrawn in landscape mode when the device is rotated through 90 degrees - a first, so far as we can recall, for a Palm.

On the machine's slider are the customary five-way navigator button and four application buttons, but this time all five controls are brought together into a stylish oval layout.

The PDA has the Tungsten name on the front, but no reference to model type beyond 'E2270' crudely placed on the front panel. The product number - if such it is - is out of alignment with the word 'Tungsten', which might suggest the pics are fakes, or simply that the coding has been hand-applied, as is often the case with prototypes.

The machine is said to run Palm OS 5.2.1 and offer 64MB of RAM, 51MB of which is available to the user. Like the current Tungsten T, the pictured model has Bluetooth built in. The back of the device shows a Texas Instruments OMAP logo, but it's not known specifically which CPU the PDA contains.

Back in June, pictures appeared on the Web of a model labelled the Tungsten T2. That device was identical to the current T, but little was revealed about its specifications. Both sets of snaps could simply be elaborate fakes, constructed using Tungsten T hardware and a little Photoshop. They could also show the T's successor - or, more likely, prototype designs. Even if the pictures are genuine there's no guarantee they will match final product.

That said, much the same was said of pre-release Tungsten T pictures, which were widely dismissed as fakes. We shall see. ®

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