The Palm Tungsten E: Portfolio in Your Pocket
Have you ever been to a gathering and in the face of explaining what it is you do for a living, you were asked what kind of digital art you create? What was your answer? Did you give the interested party a URL to visit so they can see for themselves? Or a CD with samples of your work? Or perhaps you explained that your last project played at a local film festival, or you did some editing work on a music video making the rounds on the boob toob.
Otherwise, you couldn't just whip out your portfolio and show them, Or could you? With the advent of more powerful Palm based personal digital assistants, you can do just that. You can have your portfolio in your pocket, ready to show to all those interested, as well as those who you may be seeking work. Today's Palm PDAs are much more than just a glorified calendar and to-do list device. They can do all those tasks and then some. Play video, show off photographs, organize, communicate. As a matter of fact, if you can convert your art to QuickTime format, you will be able to take your art with you and show it to whomever wants to view it, all on your Palm, via Kinoma Video Producer, which is included with the Palm we looked at.
While there are quite a few Palm devices that can connect to the Internet, enabling you to surf the Web and check email, not everybody has a need for these devices. With that said, we took a look at the Palm Tungsten E, a $199 device that doesn't offer Internet connectivity, but does offer such features as the capability to play video and showcase digital photographs, which is a lot more than what these devices offered just a few years ago.
The Tungsten E
Built around the Texas Instruments (ARM) OMAP 311 126MHz processor, the Palm Tungsten E has the familiar form factor of previous Palm devices, as well as a stainless steel look to it. The cover is attached via an arm on the left side that sits flush within the device, while on the right side of the Palm is where the stylus resides, also flush within the device. At the bottom of the device is where you'll find the USB connector for syncing with a computer as well as the power outlet for recharging the internal battery.
The Tungsten E features 32MB of internal memory (28MB useable), a high resolution 320 x 320 transflective color screen that supports more than 65,000 colors, an expansion slot for adding more memory, a headphone jack for listening to music, and the capability to play QuickTime movies and view photographs and albums. Also, with the RealOne Mobile Player and an expansion card, you can play RealAudio files as well as MP3 files. Windows users can also create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, and synchronize with Microsoft Outlook's calendar of events, contacts, tasks, and notes. You can also view Adobe Portable Document Files with the included Adobe Reader that ships on the Palm Desktop Software CD.
The Tungsten E comes with a few creative applications that enable you to get your artwork into the device. With Kinoma Producer you can convert your video files such as DivX, QuickTime, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, AVI, and Macromedia Flash files into Kinoma files that can be played on the Tungsten E with the free Kinoma Player 2.
Palm Photos, enables you to store your images in folders on the Tungsten E. The Tungsten E is expandable via SD, SDIO, and MultiMedia cards. This expandability gives you the capability to bring more content to the table. For instance, you can store certain portfolios of images/video on several cards, while keeping the core 32MB (28MB useable) of memory for other tasks. You can also view Adobe PDF documents with the included Adobe Acrobat Reader. So, if you are an AutoCAD user, and you wish to have some of your AutoCAD projects in your pocket, and you have Acrobat 6 Professional, you could convert those AutoCAD files into Acrobat format, which you then can download to your Tungsten E. No need to lug around your notebook computer or PC. It can all be in your pocket.
In addition to having them accessible via the menu, the calendar of events, contact lists, tasks, and note pad are accessible via buttons on the bottom half of the device. In between each pair of buttons, in the center rests the 5-way navigator, which enables you to navigate through any of the applications with one finger. These being the most accessible items in the application library, Palm decided to offer access to them via hardware buttons. You can also reassign the buttons to have the Palm perform different tasks.
The Palm Tungsten E is a decent PDA for the $199 price. While it doesn't have web surfing capabilities or any of the latest phone technologies, or camera capabilities, you can do other things with it, such as view photographs and showcase videos. For the digital artist, the key features here are just that. The capability to showcase your portfolio in such a convenient form factor was unheard of just a few years ago. PDAs such as the Tungsten E opens the doors for those nwho wish to bring their portfolio with them, while keeping track of their contacts, appointments, tasks, and other accoutrements of their everyday lives. For more information, visit www.palm.com
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