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Palm launches Tungsten, Zire trio

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Palm today unveiled the consumer-oriented Zire 21, and enterprise-friendly Tungsten T3 and Tungsten E PDAs today, as expected.

The $99 Zire 21 effectively replaces the original Zire, upping the device's memory from 2MB to 8MB (7.2MB of which is available to the user) and building in a 126MHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor. Such an ARM-based chip is essential to run Palm OS 5 - the Zire 21 ships with version 5.2.1, which sports a tweaked UI and enhanced PIM apps. Palm has also expanded the software bundle slightly, with games, an e-book reader and one or two other items.

The T3, meanwhile, is confirmed as sporting the features we've previously noted: a virtual Graffiti text-entry area, 16-bit 320 x 480 transflective LCD that can be set to operate in landscape mode at the push of a button, integrated Bluetooth, 400MHz Intel XScale processor and 64MB of memory (52MB available to the user).

It's fractionally lighter than the Tungsten T2 - by 3g - and shorter and thinner, but slightly wider. In the main, it's a darn sight faster thanks to that 400MHz clock frequency.

Like the T3 and the Zire 21, the entry-level Tungsten E is based on Palm OS 5.2.1, this time running on the same 126MHz OMAP CPU as the consumer product. It sports a 320 x 329 16-bit transflective LCD - it has a fixed Graffiti area - and 32MB of memory (29.5MB available to the user).

Both Tungstens ship with an extensive software bundle featuring Documents to Go 6, which provides native Microsoft Office file reading and editing. Also thrown in are RealOne Mobile Player for MP3s, Kinoma Player for movies, Palm Photo for pictures, Acrobat Reader, Palm's own e-book reader, plus Web Pro and VersaMail for Internet access.

The T3 costs $399/£345, the E costs $199/£145. The Zire 21 is as yet unavailable in the UK. ®

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