Monday, January 01, 2007

My Palm T/X

I've had one of those frustrating weeks where my tech stuff has been letting me down. First, my mp3 player is 8 hours into a 13 hour audiobook when I try to pause it and accidentally restart it. (I have discussed this issue before.) Now it has to be started all over again. I did it, and when it got to about 9 hours, the battery ran out and restarted it again. So, I am listening to that book in bits and pieces on my PC, which makes me crazy.

Next, my Palm T/X, which is a marvelous device with plenty of storage, stops synching with my computer through it's USB cable. I think it's because the prongs are all exposed and sensitive little buggers which are persnickety at times about making a good contact. I consider this a serious design flaw. My previous, cheaper and less capable, Palm Zire 21 at least had sense enough to have all its sensitive parts covered, as do we all.

The Palm will still synch with my computer, but it has to do it through the wireless network. This is a great trick, and I love it for this, but adding sound files to your Palm though the network, for some unknown reason, takes forever. Why is it that I can download a 46 MB podcast over the wireless network and the Internet, but it takes about 50-100 times as long to get it from my own computer? This is infuriating. I suppose I could create a workaround by buying a cheap card reader, taking the 1 GB memory card out of the Palm, put it in the reader, transfer the files through that device's uncomplicated, simpleminded cable, and then just slip the card back into the Palm.

Another drawback on the Palm is that it's default music player, pocket tunes, will not play WMA files of any kind. So, when I rip stuff off a CD, I have to remember to set the options for mp3 output so I can play it on the Palm. I can get an upgrade of pocket tunes, but I will NOT pay $40 for an audio player on my Palm.

I got my Palm T/X, a $299 device at Best Buy, for $198 + about $6 shipping (more than offsets the no-sales-tax) from For another $40 bucks I got a total replacement warranty, which is a good bet for me that I just might destroy this device in a year. I did it to my mp3 player, so it was a good investment.

It's not all downside for the PalmT/X. I am just put out with a feature or two right now. It has a great calendar, contact management, imports Word docs, has a calculator, memopad, virtual keyboard that pulls up on screen, so when you don't need it, it give you more screen for games, web surfing, email, video (mpg support, but not wmv). The wireless network scanning is a snap. I can find open wireless connections at the library branches (I pull into the lot and get my email right there in my car!), and in many neighborhoods where people decided to skip password protection when setting up their wireless routers! (Thanks, guys!)

All in all, this is a 4 star device with a couple of 2 star drawbacks. As usual, it depends on what you got this for. If you dig audiobooks and podcasts, it will be hit or miss. If you have a wireless network at home, and you like to get your email on the road without having an extra paid account though a smart phone, this little beauty will make you very happy.

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