PalmOne (formerly Palm Inc.) has announced several new handheld computers suitable for students, teachers, and school administrators.

The Zire 21 handheld is a $99, entry-level Palm that features 8 megabytes of memory, a rechargeable battery, a faster processor, and the latest version of the Palm operating system. While this device displays in black and white only, it does feature four times as much memory as its predecessor.

The Tungsten E handheld is a steal. For only $199, it features PalmOne’s most readable color screen, 32 megabytes of memory, and it now supports Microsoft Office files. Users can create and edit Microsoft Word, Execl, and PowerPoint files without doing any conversion. With an expansion card, the Tungsten E plays MP3 files, video clips, and still photographs.

The Tungsten T3 is PalmOne’s most innovative handheld yet. The bottom part of the device slides down to expose an extra inch of screen space, and users have the option of viewing in portrait or landscape formats. The Tungsten T3 also supports wireless access, records voice memos, and comes with a full 64 megabytes of memory.

The Tungsten line can run thousands of Java-based applications, now that these handhelds include IBM’s WebSphere Micro Environment software. PalmOne also has redesigned its portable keyboard to support the new Tungsten T3’s viewing options. The handhelds connect to the new keyboard through an infrared port and can be arranged either vertically or horizontally. Education pricing is available.

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