Changing the Battery on a Palm Tungsten T3

I have a Palm Tungsten T3 PDA which I bought in 2003. Three and a half years later and the battery is now showing its age. Most batteries start to deteriorate after a year, so it has had quite a good innings. Other than the battery the PDA is in great condition, and I’ve been very happy with it.

Rather than write the PDA off I decided to buy a replacement battery and update it myself. One of the great things about the Internet is that you can buy parts cheaply that you’d never have been able to get before and you can also get step by step instructions. Directions for the Palm were available both as a traditional web page and as a video tutorial.

I bought the battery and replaced it within about 30minutes. I was a bit apprehensive at first, having visions of springs and various other bits flying in all directions. I’ve had this in the past when trying to repair other electronic devices in the past. This was quickly dispelled.

There were no special tools needed. The battery did come with a special screwdriver, but that must be for a different PDA as it was note needed. What is needed is a philips precision screwdriver, a paperclip and something to lever the case off. I used a screwdriver to lever the case off which caused a little scratching but nothing too bad. A plastic lever may have avoided the scratching slightly.

The battery was bought from: GPS for less – Tungsten T3 battery.

The instructions (which went a bit further by actually removing the screen as well) are available from: repair directions for a Palm T3, and YouTube video guide to repairing a Palm T3.

Changing the battery meant that all the contents of the PDA were lost. However with Palm this is not a problem as a sync performs a full backup onto the computer, so it is restored almost exactly as before. In the main there are just a couple of preferences not saved, such as lock-up password and bluetooth status. There is one application that does lose some data, but I’ve criticised that already as it is very poorly written software. See my review of Via Michelin poor quality GPS software for PDAs. The Via Michelin GPS software has no way of syncing the Points of Interest (PoI) with the computer, which is a major limitation (on top of the bugs in the software).

The end result is that I have now extended the life of the Palm PDA and as the battery has a higher capacity than the original I even have a longer battery life compared to new.