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New handhelds for fall: Zire 21, Tungsten E and Tungsten T3 offer affordability and power.

Three new Palm handhelds were introduced this fall, offering educators and students more choices than ever. The Palm Zire 21 is an entry-level model that appeals to students who want all of the basic functions at a great price. Students, teachers and K-12 administrators will like the Tungsten E, the most affordable model in the Tungsten family. The third handheld in the fall lineup is the Tungsten T3, which sports the breakthrough Stretch Display, providing 50 percent more viewing area. This model will appeal to anyone interested in powerful capabilities and built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

"The newest Palm handhelds meet the wide-ranging needs of students and educators," says Mike Lorion, vice president of Palm's education sales. "The Palm Zire 21 now offers four times the memory as the original Zire, yet at the same low price at $99. The Tungsten family continues to evolve and grow, enabling students, teachers and administrators to stay connected and productive."

The use of Palm handhelds in education continues to expand as these small, mobile computers become one of the most powerful tools for communicating and managing information, and for extending the boundaries of teaching and learning beyond the classroom.

Zire 21: Easy to Learn and Use

The Palm Zire 21 is an updated version of the original Zire, which made its debut last year. Now with 8MB--four times the memory of the original model, this model maintains the sleek and sporty design that has made it so popular with students. Even more popular is the $99 price.

Zire 21 features the intuitive Palm information management applications that allow students to keep track of critical information, like class projects, tests and extracurricular activities. Its calculator can help with math problems, while the Memo Pad and Note Pad allow students to take notes and create reports or stories. Entering information is easy: you can use Graffiti, tap the on-screen keyboard, or type information via the new Universal Wireless Keyboard.

Students and teachers can share files and applications wirelessly through infrared beaming. And with the increase in memory, there's even more room for educational software or eBooks. More than 18,000 commercially available Palm OS software applications exist, many created specifically for education.

Everything you need to get started comes in the package, including the rechargeable handheld, desktop software for a PC or Macintosh, and cables. In addition to the classic Palm personal management features, the Zire 21 also comes bundled with additional software, like Handmark Mobile DB, Handmark Magic Dogs, Palm Reader for eBooks and the advanced powerOne personal calculator.

Tungsten E: Media-Rich and Productive

Last fall, Palm introduced the powerful Tungsten family of handhelds. The first member of this family, the Tungsten T, provided educators with robust features in a compact design. The Tungsten W and Tungsten C followed, integrating the latest wireless technologies.

Now the Palm Tungsten E handheld, for just $199, offers an affordable way for teachers, administrators and students to take advantage of the productivity and multimedia tools that come with the Tungsten line.

Updated Personal information

Management applications offer a new Agenda view and color-coded calendar, making it easy to organize busy school schedules. You can also set reminders for important dates and events. If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can synchronize with its calendar, contacts, tasks, notes and e-mail, so all of this important information can now be stored on your handheld.

The Tungsten E comes with DataViz' Documents To Go, so you can create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint-compatible files wherever you go. Students can take notes and write papers right on their handhelds. Teachers and administrators can write reports, manage budgets and take their presentations with them to meetings or classrooms. Principals will find it easier to record their thoughts on a handheld while observing teachers and then share those thoughts on the spot.

Students and teachers will love the media-rich capabilities that the Tungsten E brings to the classroom. Listen to books, newspapers, magazines, MP3 music, and watch video clips or view photos right on the handheld. Its high-resolution, transflective color screen brings ultra-sharp clarity and vibrant color to presentations, photos and video.

The Tungsten E comes with 32MB of memory, so there's plenty of room to customize it with software. Teachers have access to curriculum solutions for all subjects, as well as applications for assessment and classroom management.

Applications for school administrators allow them to carry a snapshot of the school's student database on their handhelds, with records all in one place, accessible anytime.

You can extend the handheld's capabilities through the Palm Expansion Card Slot for SD, SDIO and MultiMediaCards.

Tungsten T3: Powerful with a New Stretch Display

The Tungsten T3 handheld also comes packed with power and boasts Palm's new breakthrough Stretch Display, providing 50 percent more viewing area than other Palm handhelds. This model is a good choice for educators and students who are looking for the most powerful capabilities along with built-in Bluetooth.

Besides being bigger, the Stretch Display instantly rotates from portrait to landscape modes, to provide a view from every angle. Its 320x480 transflective TFT screen delivers ultra-sharp color to documents and presentations; photos and video clips also clearly benefit from the higher-resolution display. Teachers can create innovative multimedia lessons while administrators will appreciate the power and mobility when needing to present to school boards, faculty or parents.

Powered by an ultra-fast 400 MHz Intel Xscale processor and featuring 64MB of internal memory, the Tungsten T3 handles Word, Excel and PowerPoint-compatible files, wireless applications and multimedia tasks with speed and room to spare. Its enhanced Palm PIM applications will store more of your important school information while also offering better synchronization with Microsoft Outlook.

Students and staff can stay more closely connected--and even collaborate on projects--via built-in Bluetooth, a short range wireless technology. Now with real-time device discovery, it's faster than ever to find compatible Bluetooth devices and get connected. Wirelessly access e-mail, dial phone numbers, send text messages and even connect to the Internet with Palm's enhanced Web browser using a compatible cell phone (wireless plan, compatible Bluetooth phone, and e-mail account not included) or a Bluetooth hub. Bluetooth is also becoming an important tool for creating interactive learning environments.

The Tungsten T3's built-in voice memo button allows you to capture and organize your thoughts with a single touch of a button. This is a great feature for administrators when they're out on the school grounds, or anywhere they might need to go.

A new status bar provides one-tap access to battery and memory levels, Bluetooth status, menus and more from a single location. The Tungsten T3 also features the five-way navigator for easy one hand access to information. It includes MP3 and video playback software, plus the latest Palm OS.

The Tungsten T3's Expansion Slot allows you to add extra memory, or card-based content like a language translator or encyclopedia. It also supports SD, SDIO and MultiMediaCards. Add peripherals such as a battery pack or science probes via the Palm Universal Connector.

Overall, the Tungsten T3 will impress educators and students who want the highest level of performance available to help them stay organized, connected and creative.
Palm Model Comparison

Model Zire Zire 21

Palm OS v.4.1 v5.2.1

 Texas Instruments
Processor Motorola OMAP311 ARM
 16 MHz Processor

PIM
Applications Classic Classic

E-mail & Web
Browsing

Special
Connectivity
Features

Sync to
Desktop * *

Expansion
Card Slot

HotSync
Accessory Mini-USB Mini-USB

Universal
Connector

Weight 3.8 oz 3.8 oz

Memory 2 MB 8 MB

Rechargeable
Battery * *

Display Monochrome Monochrome

Headphone/
Headset Jack

Bonus Software *

Special
Features

SRP $79 $99

Model Zire 71 Tungsten E

Palm OS v5.2.1 v5.2.1

 Texas Instruments Texas Instruments
Processor OMAP310 ARM OMAP311 ARM
 Processor Processor

PIM
Applications Classic Enhanced

E-mail & Web
Browsing * *

Special
Connectivity
Features

Sync to
Desktop * *

Expansion
Card Slot * *

HotSync
Accessory USB Cradle Mini-USB

Universal
Connector *

Weight 5.3 oz 4.6 oz

Memory 16MB 32MB

Rechargeable
Battery * *

 320x320 320x320
Display Transflective Transflective
 TFT Color TFT Color

Headphone/
Headset Jack 3.5mm Stereo 3.5mm Stereo

Bonus Software * *

 5-way
Special Navigator,
Features Integrated 5-way
 Camera, Navigator,
 Multimedia Multimedia

SRP $299 $199

Model Tungsten T2 Tungsten T3

Palm OS v5.2.1 v5.2.1

 Texas Instruments 400 MHz
Processor OMAP1510 ARM Intel XScale
 Processor Processor

PIM
Applications Classic Enhanced

E-mail & Web
Browsing * *

Special
Connectivity Integrated Integrated
Features Bluetooth Bluetooth

Sync to
Desktop * *

Expansion
Card Slot * *

HotSync
Accessory USB Cradle USB Cradle

Universal
Connector * *

Weight 5.6 oz 5.5 oz

Memory 32MB 64MB

Rechargeable
Battery * *

 320x320 320x480
Display Transflective Transflective
 TFT Color TFT Color

Headphone/
Headset Jack 3.5mm Stereo 3.5mm Stereo

Bonus Software * *
 Stretch
 5-way Display,
Special Navigator, Status Bar,
Features Voice Memo, 5-way Navigator,
 Slider Design, Voice Memo,
 Multimedia Multimedia

SRP $329 $429

Model Tungsten W Tungsten C

Palm OS v4.1.1 v5.2.1

 Motorola 400 MHz
Processor Dragonball VZ Intel XScale
 Processor, 33 MHz Processor

PIM
Applications Classic Classic

E-mail & Web
Browsing * *

Special Integrated Integrated
Connectivity Wireless Wireless LAN
Features WAN (802.11b)

Sync to
Desktop * *

Expansion
Card Slot * *

HotSync
Accessory USB Cradle USB Cradle

Universal
Connector * *

Weight 6.4 oz 6.3 oz

Memory 16MB 64MB

Rechargeable
Battery * *

 320x320 320x320
Display Transflective Transflective
 TFT Color TFT Color

Headphone/ 2.5mm 2.5mm
Headset Jack Mono/Mic. Mono/Mic.

Bonus Software * *

 5-way 5-way
Special Navigator, Navigator,
Features Built-in Built-in
 Phone Keyboard,
 & Keyboard Multimedia

SRP $419 $449


RELATED ARTICLE: New Universal Wireless Keyboard.

The new Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard offers a convenient and practical keyboard solution. This foldable keyboard connects to your handheld wirelessly via infrared. It's the one keyboard that works with all current Palm handhelds (using Palm OS 4 or higher). You'll get the comfort and feel you expect from a standard keyboard, but still fit it into cramped spaces such as an airplane tray table, student desk or even on your lap.

RELATED ARTICLE: Introducing enhanced Palm PIM applications.

Palm has now enhanced its Personal Information Management applications for the newest Tungsten handhelds. Keep track of your school schedules and stay organized with the following new features:

More Contact Information

* Multiple contact addresses for work, home and other

* New contact fields for more phone numbers, e-mail, and an instant messaging Web site

* More custom fields

New Personal Productivity Features

* Contact field and calendar appointment for birthdays

* Repeating tasks & alarms

* Larger memos & notes for entering and syncing more data A Better View into Your Schedule

* Color categories in all views

* Events spanning midnight

* Appointment location details

* Improved five-way navigation

* New multiple-month year view

* Beaming for multiple appointments

More Sharing with Your Desktop

* Greater compatibility with Microsoft Outlook

* New Microsoft Outlook synchronization conduits from Palm

* New fields that sync with new Palm Desktop and Microsoft Outlook

RELATED ARTICLE: Education Purchase Program.

The Palm Education Purchase Program gives schools a way to extend their technology budget and to enable equity among students by offering additional free handhelds for various levels of institutional purchases. The program is designed to assist schools in implementing Palm handhelds in classrooms, larger school projects, and campus-wide initiatives. It's open to all K-12 schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. and is available for all models.

Schools have the option of three purchasing levels:

* Classroom Level for schools beginning to integrate Palm handhelds into the curriculum. This offers 30 Palm handhelds and three additional handhelds for free.

* School Project Level provides schools that purchase 100 Palm handhelds with an additional 12 free units.

* Campus-Wide Adoption Level provides schools that purchase 500 Palm handhelds with an additional 72 free units.

The program is available from approved Palm Education Solution Partners and Authorized Palm Resellers. For more information, visit www.palm.com/education.

Gina Adams Palmer, is a freelance writer focusing on education and technology. She is based in Los Gatos, Calif.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:New Models
Author:Palmer, Gina Adams
Publication:District Administration
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:1963
Previous Article:By the numbers: a data bank on education trends for district leaders.
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