There are no side mounted buttons. The right side has a bay that houses the long and well weighted stylus. Thank goodness palm realises that a high quality stylus is essential. The left side has a slot into which you drop the hinging part of the provided screen protector. The protector easily wraps around to the back of the T|X and should do nicely in the short term, though I’d want to invest in a proper hard case to protect my Pride and Joy longer term.
The top is almost equally Spartan, with just the power toggle, 3.5mm headphone jack and SD card slot to play with – the infrared port, which completes the trio of wireless technologies, is also here though no etching on the casing marks it out. The bottom edge just contains the ‘Multi-connector’ arrangement that palm now generally uses for power and synchronisation. As is the norm you get a cable for synchronisation, and if you want a cradle it’s an optional extra.
The lack of side buttons makes for lovely clean lines, but it does mean you are left with few button-based ways of interacting with the T|X. The four application shortcuts on the front of the casing take you to the built in Web browser, your contacts, your calendar and the Home screen or Favourites screen.
It is now the norm for palm to provide both the traditional application launcher and a set of lists of ‘favourites’, arranged in four separate screens each able to contain eight items. You can set these up to link quickly to more than just applications – Web sites is one example. It’s a fairly clever way of getting over the button shortage and producing a highly personalised interface.
Another similarly clever ruse palm has used for a while is the row of icons that sits beneath the main display area. You can use this to access a range of features including flipping between landscape and portrait views, calling up the Graffiti area for direct text entry, turning on and off Bluetooth and WiFi, activating in-application menus, searching for content, and, at a glance, seeing the current time.
If you tap and hold on the time area you are told the percentage of power the battery has left, as well as how much of the memory is free - you can also change the screen brightness and toggle the system volume on and off. It’s very handy, but it does bring me to a couple of gripes.