Thursday, April 28, 2005

And the screen cracked

Back in September 2004, I was happily using the WiFi enabled Palm T|C. Then I dropped it. While the T|C survived many falls, this was the one that cracked the screen.

I've owned several Palm devices and dropped them too, although not as often as I dropped the T|C, and more importantly, none of those falls were fatal. I suspect it was the T|C's relative bulkiness that brought out the klutz in me. I was annoyed with myself, but this was a good excuse to upgrade. Back then, my choices were:
  1. Repair the T|C for $125
  2. Wait a few weeks for the upcoming Tungsten T5 for $399
  3. Buy the soon-to-be discontinued T3 for about $325
While repairing the T|C was the cheapest option, I felt I would eventually drop it again. I also discovered that WiFi wasn't all that important to me. I do have a wireless router for my home office, and it was cool, if not addictive, to get email and browse the web within a 200+ foot radius. But beyond that, WiFi wasn't useful to me; I'm simply not a regular at WiFi enabled cafes and airports. I also learned I didn't like the thumbboard much. It was useful, but I still preferred graffiti.

Having eliminated the repair option, for my next device, I knew enough to want a large screen. This narrowed my choices to the T5 and the T3. I considered the T5 despite the controversy swirling around it and passed on it because of its high price, because it had features I didn't need, and because it was missing features I wanted.

This left me with the T3, which I didn't embrace right away. When I saw the slider and the spring loaded stylus, I thought to myself "too many moving parts." I bought the T3 anyway.

Having used it for 7 months, my worries were groundless. The slider is OK. But I also found some nice touches that put the T3 in a class by itself:
  1. The stylus has a "standby mode"; it can sit in its silo, extended, and not fall out, even if you turn the T3 upside down.
  2. The reset pin is hidden behind the slider and can be triggered with the tip of the stylus -- no unscrewing or paper clip needed.
  3. Holding the center key down for 1 second will bring you to the applications launcher.
  4. Turning on the T3 using the center button will display the time.
  5. Metal housing.
In a more pedestrian sense, the T3 also preserved my investment in cradles because, unlike the T5 which has a new connector, the T3 comes with the same cradle that came with my M505 and T|C. Now I have more than enough cradles to spread around to different office locations.

Lastly, while I don't use the voice recorder much (mostly to entertain my 5 year old son), having an extra button is handy; I've reprogrammed mine to launch Avantgo.

Sadly, the T3 has been discontinued by PalmOne. Not really a review, consider this entry a requiem for a fine device.