Report shows Palm outperforming PocketPC


— 2:49 AM on May 21, 2003

VeriTest has published some interesting test results comparing Palm's new Tungsten C and Tungsten T handhelds with a couple of PocketPC devices from HP. The tests were commissioned by Palm, which is important to keep in mind, but results do echo what many Palm users have been saying for years. Here's a quick summary of VeriTest's findings:

  • The Palm Tungsten C lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes longer than the HP iPAQ 5450 in 802.11b wireless battery life tests.
  • The Palm Tungsten C was more than 2 times as fast as the HP iPAQ 5450 in wireless download speed tests
  • Palm, Inc. devices equaled or outperformed the HP devices in all tests
  • The Palm Tungsten C outperformed all other devices in our battery life tests
  • The Palm Tungsten T lasted 5 times longer than the HP iPAQ 5450 in our time to data loss test
If Palm didn't think the Tungstens would out-perform the iPaqs, they certainly wouldn't have commissioned the tests, nor would the test results have been publicized. However, given that the Tungsten and iPaq handhelds used in testing actually have very similar hardware specs, it seems quite likely that Palm's lean 'n mean PalmOS is a key factor for that platform's better performance. That bodes well for not only Palm's own Tungsten line, but also new devices from Sony, Handspring, and Palm's other partners.

Though it's not mentioned in VeriTest's report, which are performance-centric, it should also be noted that the Tungsten T is significantly smaller the iPaqs and indeed any PocketPC-based handheld I've seen.

Honestly, I'm a little surprised to see the Tungsten do so well against the iPaq in a performance-centric test. Previously, Palm-based handhelds have been at a huge hardware disadvantage when compared with their PocketPC-powered equivalents. Now, as Palm's new handhelds approach processing power parity with typical PocketPC-based devices, it looks like Microsoft's bid for handheld dominance may be in jeopardy.

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