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Handhelds Hardware

New Treo Reviewed 237

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the pocket-this dept.
Bill Koslosky writes "Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal just posted his review of the new Treo. His initial review of the Treo 300 inspired many, including myself, to purchase this PDA/phone device. 'I prefer it to any RIM BlackBerry model I have tested, and it blows away any of the PDA/phones based on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.' The Sprint CDMA version should be available in the beginning of October."
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New Treo Reviewed

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  • Nails? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:28PM (#6996614)
    [A]t least one woman who tried my test Treo 600 hated the keyboard, saying it was incompatible with long nails.

    Well, there goes the slashdot user base.

    • [A]t least one woman who tried my test Treo 600 hated the keyboard, saying it was incompatible with long nails.

      See this is why I prefer the original Graphiti pad...

    • Re:Nails? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pmuellr (213665) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:51PM (#6996809)

      What really irks me with the Treo 300 device, and maybe the 600 has fixed this with it's 5-way toggle, is that you need to use the keypad AND a fingernail/stylus to run many apps that require some kind of tactile feedback. I get to the point where I keep the stylus between two fingers and shift my finger position so I can quickly use the stylus while texting. You have to text, because there is no grafitti. I would actually be quite happy with the graffiti area back and no keypad. Who needs a freaking keypad on a Palm? (Well, actually the Sony Clie's that fold out, with the keypads, are perfectly acceptable, since they have both keypad AND graffiti area).

      I didn't spend 6 years using graffiti to just throw it all away now!

      • Who needs a freaking keypad on a Palm? (Well, actually the Sony Clie's that fold out, with the keypads, are perfectly acceptable, since they have both keypad AND graffiti area).

        I didn't spend 6 years using graffiti to just throw it all away now!


        I actually e-mailed Handspring with the same sentiments (saying that I would be more inclined to buy it if it didn't have a keypad), and recieved the response that the consumer base that they were marketing the Treo to was the base that used Blackberry type devic
        • The Treo 180, 270, and 300 can use Graffiti. You need free third party utilities like Newpen [freewarepalm.com] to write in Graffiti without a Graffiti area. With the Treo 600, you don't event need that since PalmOS 5.2 allows you to write anywhere on the screen. Unfortunately, Palm changed their version of Graffiti with OS 5.2 so you have to relearn your Graffiti strokes.
      • Turns the whole screen into graffiti.

        init it by tapping twice in a corner et voila!
    • Re:Nails? (Score:2, Funny)

      by show me (696663)
      Actually, several steps of editing changed her comment. What she actually said was, "I tried to play a Nine Inch Nails MP3 and it didn't work."
    • Re:Nails? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Aetrix (258562) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:21PM (#6998185) Homepage
      Disclaimer: IAAGF (I am a geeky female)

      You bring up an interesting point about Technology nowadays. So many reviews of new gadgets are hideously male-dominated. The comparison that irks me is the "fits comfortably in a shirt pocket" standard that is somehow being held to all MP3 players, cell phones and PDAs. Frankly, I don't know many women that keep PDAs, Cell phones, or mp3 players in their pockets. Women don't mind carrying purses that hold their gadgets. And when you're stuffing your gadgets into a purse, the size doesn't much matter, but the weight does.

      And the thumboards... I would think they would give large-handed people issues, but all keyboards, thumboards, and other sorts of button-based input devices give hell to women with longer fingernails. Even if a woman's nails aren't raptor-claw length, the slightest length will fudge things up.

      Well I guess this is why I like Julie and Judie at The Gadgeteer [the-gadgeteer.com] so much. They strive to have a mix of male and female reviewers and they make sure not to laden their reviews with sexist bias.

      • I don't know any men who keep crap in their shirt pockets either, so settle down. Maybe they're not being sexist, maybe they're trying to describe the size of an object relative to a (commonly sized) shirt pocket.

        There are enough iniquities in this world that we don't have to go making up ridiculous ones like this. Product reviews are ALWAYS the opinion of one and only one reviewer. You read them critically with this fact in mind, and you glean data that might be relevant to your experience.

        That said,
  • by mikewren420 (264173) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:32PM (#6996642) Homepage
    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I gotta ebay it quick! :)

    Hell, if Mossberg loves it, it must be good!
  • eh, no thanks. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) * on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:32PM (#6996647) Homepage
    I prefer it to any RIM BlackBerry model I have tested, and it blows away any of the PDA/phones based on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.

    At $550 I expect that this phone would be compatible with other software and hardware accessories out there already. Palm (while having a nice software base) is not even close to what is available for PocketPC.

    Digital camera, phone, PDA, MP3 player. I want this thing compatible with my CF cards (wlan and microdrive) - I want space AND wireless networking (so I don't have to be on the providers network at all times for connectivity).

    No thanks, at least not for now.
    • Re:eh, no thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TedTschopp (244839) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:38PM (#6996693) Homepage

      Palm (while having a nice software base) is not even close to what is available for PocketPC.

      Can you provide data to back that up? I've heard the exact opposite. I'd love to see your source?

      Ted Tschopp
      • Re:eh, no thanks. (Score:3, Informative)

        by ATomkins (564078)

        There are certain aspects of Palm OS software that could definitely use some work... I've never seen a decent photo editor [idruna.com] for the Palm OS...

        The Palm OS is also lacking in several neat features. PocketPC *dominates* on the multimedia [projectmayo.com] front... and last I checked, the only 2 (3?) Palm OS SSH clients didn't support Hi-res, so they were a bitch to read... I would love something as good as sshCE [movsoftware.com] on a Palm.

        And PocketPC games can't [ionside.com] be [pocketgb.com] beat [pocketmatrix.com] ;-)

        Oh! And don't forget ports of FTPD, Perl, Apache, XFree86, emacs and [rainer-keuchel.de]

    • Re:eh, no thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pmuellr (213665) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:44PM (#6996747)
      Sure PocketPC has the lead in interesting peripheral support, but Palm wins on software available. Bonus; Palm devices don't suck the juice like PocketPC. For anyone who really uses a PDA, and doesn't want to have the device in the cradle every day, there's no competition; Palm wins. The power usage of PocketPC is the ultimate killer for me, for that platform.
      • This is why I like the Clie models. They are the best of both worlds.
      • Portable computing devices were actually the big hit of emerging military technologies in the Iraq war, so far at least.

        Here's the interesting bit. Laptops were the real hit. The grunts love them. PDA's have gone almost unused. Why? Because the battery life is so short they're virtually useless in the field.

        The small, portable handheld device is useless as a small, portable handheld device. They're still yuppie toys that only work, to the extent they work at all, while you remain in the yuppie enviroment.
        • Here's the interesting bit. Laptops were the real hit. The grunts love them. PDA's have gone almost unused. Why? Because the battery life is so short they're virtually useless in the field.

          Sorry, but no. Even power-sucking PocketPC's last longer than a laptop -- eight hours is typical usage from a PocketPC, whereas three or four hours is normal for a typical laptop. And of course Palms last much longer than eight hours.
      • Re:eh, no thanks. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hey! (33014)
        Speaking as a developer, we went with Palms some years ago for our field data collection system for this very reason: battery life.

        However with battery situation has been steadily improving (along with price) on the PPC side of things to the point where we now recommend PPCs to our customers. The new XScale have good enough battery life for the majority of users. Most users coudl get away with a couple of days away from chargers (although not like in the good old days of Palms with AA batteries where you
      • " Bonus; Palm devices don't suck the juice like PocketPC. For anyone who really uses a PDA, and doesn't want to have the device in the cradle every day, there's no competition; Palm wins."

        Depends on the PDA really. The reviews I've read said that the Palms with color screens lasted up to 11 hours on a single charge. PocketPCs aren't very far from that. (Models vary, yadda yadda yadda.)

        Yes, you can get a low-power palm, and yes its battery life will be great, but you do pay a price for that. Readabili
    • We bought a few of the Toshiba PocketPC phones, and they were simply unusable; battery life measured in hours of standby and minutes of browsing, unable to use it without a headset, and enormously unstable firmware.

      As much as I love my Dell pocketpc (axim), I don't think the PocketPC phone combo is ready for prime time.
    • You want Wireless access? It's a phone! Memory expansion is there via SD cards.
  • by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton@nosPAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:33PM (#6996657) Homepage Journal
    ...for pr0n.

    From the article:
    Unlike the older Treo, this new model can be operated most of the time with just one hand.
  • Battery! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neves (324086) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:34PM (#6996662) Homepage
    It looks like this Treo solved the greatest problem with pda/cellphones combos: the battery lifetime. Any portable device that you have to charge twice a day is unusable. Does anybody know the battery technology that is behind this new Treo?
  • headache (Score:3, Funny)

    by ajnlth (702063) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:34PM (#6996664)
    I wonder if it helps against headaches, because atleast in Sweden Treo is a headache pill. (or maybe the electromagnetic radiation causes headache so you will need a Treo)
  • bluetooth? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by viniosity (592905) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:35PM (#6996669) Homepage Journal
    I hate to be the guy who cried bluetooth but
    BLUETOOTH?
    • Re:bluetooth? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bhny (97647) <bh AT usa DOT net> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:52PM (#6996811)
      you should be able to plug a bluetooth adapter in the expansion slot

      from treocentral.com-

      The Treo 600 family also adds an SD/SDIO/MMC slot. This slot, located on the top of the device was also found on the Treo 90, and on all current Palm models. It enables the use of SD and MMC media for storage of more programs and MP3 audio or video and SD content cards like dictionaries, or game packs. More importantly it also is SDIO enabled, meaning that it will work with hardware accessory cards like Veo's SD photo card, Margi's SD presenter-to-go, or Sandisk's upcoming Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards.
      • Re:bluetooth? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by illumin8 (148082) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @03:49PM (#6997306) Journal
        you should be able to plug a bluetooth adapter in the expansion slot

        Yes, but what if I want to use the SD card slot for what it was intended: an SD memory card, and still use my Bluetooth wireless headset. I can't understand why they try to sell a $550 to $600 piece of kit that doesn't have a $5 Bluetooth interface in it.

        I own a Treo 300 though and this is the best phone I've ever used. I'm sure the Treo 600 with Palm OS 5 and longer battery life is much better.
  • by rtphokie (518490) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:35PM (#6996672)
    ... after rebates [amazon.com]
    • But this is a review of the Treo 600 [handspring.com]...
    • The rebates typically have you buying into internet data plans and a minimum service agreement which up your bill easily to $80 a month for your service. I pay $30 for my service, and bought my Treo 270 for $380. With a guarenteed contract of one year, that's $600 more.

      I just saved $400 bucks :)
      • > The rebates typically have you buying into
        > internet data plans and a minimum service
        > agreement which up your bill easily to $80 a
        > month for your service. I pay $30 for my
        > service, and bought my Treo 270 for $380. With a
        > guarenteed contract of one year, that's $600
        > more.

        I got my Treo 300 for $150 after a $150 Amazon rebate and a $200 Sprint rebate. I pay $50 a month for my service. That means you paid $220 more than me for the initial unit, and I will pay $240 more than you fo
        • I use T-Mobile, which gives me free roaming and long distance, and unlimited weekends. I can configure mine to use standard dialup service, which is what I use at home. So I'm not paying any more for internet access than I normally would and I'm getting the same speed and functionality.

          I personally like T-Mobiles plans best and I've had few problems with their service. We have comparable deals, and I did pay close attention to the deals. Your's gives you unlimited access for the internet, mine gives u
    • "The Trio 300 is going for $199 ... after rebates"

      Off-topic? $200 is a good price for a PDA/Cell phone combo. Not everybody wants to buy the latest and greatest when the price is at its highest.
  • VisorPhone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jooon (518881) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:36PM (#6996677) Homepage
    I have the forefather, one of those old VisorPhones that you put in springboard of a Visor. It's about 2 years old now I think, and quite big in my pocket, if you compare with these new models. Still, I wouldn't trade for any of those other "smart phones" out there, except for this new Treo 600 of course. Why buy a phone that also tries to act as a pda, when you can get a really good pda, that can also act as a phone? I mean, the gadgets of a cellphone are more important than the phone itself, right. :)
    • Re:VisorPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

      by avi33 (116048) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @03:03PM (#6996900) Homepage
      I agree completely. I recently squished my Visor, and after doing all the research for a new PDA/phone combo, ended up buying another Visor on eBay (though you can still buy reconditioned ones from handspring).

      Granted, I want nothing more than a Palm and a phone, in one device. I guess Samsung is coming out with one in Europe, but it looks to be expensive.

      At one point (before they EOL'ed the whole line), you could get a Visor + VisorPhone for about $100. Now, 2 years later, you get them combined...for $400? (ok, it's $49/$199, depending on which company you sign your life over to for 2 years.)

      Plus mine is GSM...remember that whole "you can get a new phone, slip the GSM card in, and your phone works, without a new plan" selling point? Turns out the bastards want $600 for the Treo if I keep using my own GSM card! (For the record, I want to keep it, since around the time my 1-year obligation wore off, my carrier called me up and offered me some cheap month-to-month plan with free long distance, a zillion minutes, etc.)

      To top it off, they now want in on the data stream side of things, so they try to hardsell you a dialup account -- though you can get one on your own for next to nothing, if you don't already have one.

      So, just to recap, it was a non-expandable (if slightly smaller) version of what I had, for $600 if I keep my own plan, or $49-199 if I sign up for a new two year plan. or, buy a used one on eBay for nearly nothing.

      Break the upgrade cycle and maybe the bastards will start treating us like intelligent consumers.
    • That's my choice. It's truly the best PDA/Phone. It's big for a phone, but waaaay smaller than Treos, and I use it all the time. Symbian's a good OS, with better handwriting recognition than Palm.
      • I use the P800 and it's not bad, but the handwriting required is much more verbose than original Graffiti (more like Graffiti 2, I hear). It is generally stable, but friends who use the calendar/to-do features a lot find it crashes a fair bit (the OS, not just the apps).

        The killer app for the P800 is Opera, which is free and has an amazing small-screen rendering feature that ensures you *never* need to scroll horizontally. I find myself using Opera all the time, far more than I expected.

        The P800 is bulk
  • Flimsy Case (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shalunov (149369) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:36PM (#6996684) Homepage
    The case of the old Treo is made of low-quality flimsy plastic. To me, the resulting fragility is the biggest problem with the device. I wonder if the new one is any better...

    Why shouldn't it be possible to provide a titanium or lexan case at the price they are charging?

    • Re:Flimsy Case (Score:3, Informative)

      by da' WINS pimp (213867) *
      I agree the case feels flimsy, but my Treo300 has passed the drop test several times. I use the nerd approved belt clip and it takes a licking and keeps on typing... I hope this dosen't jinx it.
      • Re:Flimsy Case (Score:3, Interesting)

        by The Mayor (6048)
        Mine died after 13 months (read: 1 month after expiry of warranty). My brother has gone through 3 Treos. I hope this one is more sturdy (or is that sturdier?).
  • by Phoenix-kun (458418) * on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:37PM (#6996687) Homepage
    I've been using the 6035 for years and loving it. But I wanted so much more; color screen, real keyboard, camera. This 600 looks like it will fit the bill perfectly. However, Sprint needs to get the word out to their salesmen. I went into a Sprint store the other day to see when the 600 would be out and even the tech had no idea what I was talking about. All they could do was point me to the Treo 300 already on display.
    • Let's see, make a sale now and get you locked in for a year or tell you that we won't have this for ~2 more months and risk you buying another phone from someone else in the interim.....They just want to get your money (and if you buy the 300 now you might buy the 600 in 6-12 months and give them MORE money). I still prefer my 2032SP, it may not have great battery life, but it's got great features and the "transcriber" handwriting recognition it top notch.
  • PCMag.com Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by elid (672471) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dopi.ile)> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:37PM (#6996688)
    It's the beta version, but anyway... Link [pcmag.com]
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:44PM (#6996743) Homepage Journal
    Emacs.

    Emacs has all the software I need. It can remind me of appointments (The appointment Elisp code might need some tweaking to deal with hybernation,) it can be used to take notes, it can keep my contact list with BBDB. It'd be nice if it could synch up with EMACS on my desktop. I can't imagine that it'd take a lot of supporting code to do that. Yup, just give me a PDA with EMACS in ROM and figure out how to make its batteries last from 2 to 4 weeks and I'll be happy.

    • My PDA runs Emacs beautifully. Did I mention it's running Linux with a real (small) keyboard and the AA batteries last weeks?

      It's called a Psion 5mx. Look into it.
    • Emacs... I can't imagine that it'd take a lot of supporting code to do that.

      I'm pretty sure the Emacs-on-a-PDA-support code is already in Emacs somewhere, if you look hard enough. You'll likely also find code to control nuclear reactors, and code to forecast complex weather patterns.

      • The only problem is finding a PDA with enough modifier keys. You don't want to be in a critical situation only to realize that "insert control rods" is Ctrl-Alt-Meta-Cmd-Shift-r and all you have is Fn and Caps...
  • cool, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nate1138 (325593) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:45PM (#6996754)
    The treo is pretty cool, but you can get a color sidekick now for 1/2 the price. And I can testify, this thing rocks. The only thing I don't like is the lack of ability to load new apps, but that is right around the corner. And it runs Java with a very active developer community. Good browser (uses a customized squid proxy to reformat for the PDA, I think), email, AIM, SMS, etc, etc. And when it is open, the keyboard is super easy to use. It can be a little awkward to use as a phone, but once you get used to it, it ain't that bad.

    The only downside is t-mobile service, but if you live in an area they service well, it's not bad.
    • The only downside is t-mobile service, but if you live in an area they service well, it's not bad.

      Well, that leaves out all of southeastern Pennsylvania then. A friend of mine has t-mobile and I've started refusing to answer calls from him on the grounds that t-mobile is going to drop any call in our area within a minute anyway.
      • Yeah, they aren't the greatest. They do have good customer service (unlike my last carrier, Sprint sucks ass). Thankfully I live in an area with very good coverage, and the only time I travel is vacation, when the gadgets get left at home.
  • by conan_albrecht (446296) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:47PM (#6996770)
    ...is included in this phone. I've got a Treo 300, and one of its greatest features is the flip cover -- something most other phones don't have.

    My flip cover is absolutely scratched up on the outside. My Treo screen is perfectly scratch-free. With the new 600 lacking the automatic cover, I'll have to purchase a leather cover or something -- essentially a useless hack that does nothing but cover the screen.

    The 300's cover is actually useful! Sure, it might look like a communicator from the original star trek, but it does three primary things: 1) protect the PDA, 2) extend the phone when in use as a phone (the earpiece is in the cover), and 3) the see-through nature of the cover allows some PDA functions to be done without opening the cover (for example, when reading a grocery list at the store).

    A typical leather cover does only one of the functions. If I upgrade, I'll sorely miss the other two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:48PM (#6996780)
    Seriously, I know the "Imagine a beowolf cluster of these things..." line is a total cliche and often used in the most ridiculous of situations, but... Imagine a beowolf clusted of these things. Better yet, imagine a whole connected world, with everyone owning a portable, wireless PDA/cell phone. Each device could be networked to every other device, and could be set to run important calculations in the background, when it is not in use. The processing power of each one is tiny, but imagine a New York City or Tokyo full of them. Who needs the earth simulator to predict weather, when you could have 5,000,000 wireless PDA's in Los Angeles automatically taking in satellite imagery, humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, etc, and then predicting the weather on the fly for their users!

    Must go drool now...
    • just don't look at pr0n while you're measuring the humidity level ...
    • "Seriously, I know the "Imagine a beowolf cluster of these things..." line is a total cliche and often used in the most ridiculous of situations, but... Imagine a beowolf clusted of these things."

      It makes one wonder... how do nerds reproduce?
    • Better yet, imagine a whole connected world, with everyone owning a portable, wireless PDA/cell phone. Each device could be networked to every other device, and could be set to run important calculations in the background, when it is not in use.

      ... And the battery dies in uh 1 hr!!

      Have you ever thought why your phone has a standby time of 480 hrs and talk time of 4.5 hrs ? These little devices conserve power by switching off the CPU (power guzzler) and the RF unit (only 'pinging' periodically). If th

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'd consider moving off my Handspring VisorPhone if there was a phone that also supported WiFi.

    Once it supports WiFi, someone (hell, I might be inspired to BE that someone) will author a VOIP (SIP, H.323) so the phone would be a PHONE. In or out of the office/home, it *IS* the phone.

    Anyone? Buller? (Ignores Windows for pocket pool 2004 with its hand up)
  • by bugnuts (94678) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:54PM (#6996834) Journal
    It "looks more like a phone" but they removed the cover... this is bad. Anyone that's ever put a phone into a pocket with, say, keys doesn't do it again once they get a huge gash down the center of the screen. Other phones, without a touch screen, can handle it using mineral glass. But the palm-based phones must use a plastic touchscreen, which is much more sensitive to scratching.

    The old flip cover also fit your head nicely while talking, but the covers also broke off at the hinges... that was probably why it was removed. Instead they should've bolstered the hinge.

    Hopefully there will be an inobtrusive cover available aftermarket, which both protects and adds minimal bulk.
    • Hopefully there will be an inobtrusive cover available aftermarket, which both protects and adds minimal bulk.

      Hmmm... Someone's obviously never heard of duct tape.

    • I absolutely agree. The flip cover on my 300 is one of its very best features. I fear Handspring gave in to the "market" who probably thought the flip cover looked stupid and felt funny on the ear. I love being able to throw my Treo 300 around, in pockets, in briefcases, etc., and not worrying about it getting the screen scratched.
  • by Faw (33935) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @02:56PM (#6996844)
    The SPH-i500 (CDMA) [sprint.com] looks better. The SGH-i500 (GSM) [imobile.com.au] is also on it's way. It uses PalmOS 5.2 and has a SDIO port that can take wifi and bluetooth. It says it will be available for Q3 (it will be in Just-talk.com in 26 days, at least that what the website says).
  • This guy is such a knucklehead, he should do tech columns for People instead of the WSJ. I am suprised that someone would submit a story featuring him.
  • The problem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cassanova (578879)

    ...with these phone-pdas: If I want to refer to something in the PDA while I'm on the phone its a pain. Oh yea, I know I can connect a headset/mic to it but thats kind of very limiting.

    Personally Id prefer the PDA and cellphone to evolve independently, unconstrained by each others limitations, then have Bluetooth do the trick of integrating them both. Best of both worlds.

  • I was looking forward to it, but:
    - no 320x320 resultion (need it to use as an ebook reader)
    - quite heavy
    - no bluetooth?

    Apparently there is still no ideal smartphone.
    Currently I have a SE P800, but it is too heavy, and its PDA function is not well thought out. Therefore I was looking forward to the Treo 600, but it has some fatal deficiencies as well.

    So I have to conclude that, for the time being, it is still best to have a small and simple cellular phone with bluetooth and GPRS (for data) and use it optio
    • As a P800 owner myself, I have the same complaints about the Treo. I've got quite attached to using bluetooth to connect to my office machine as well as use wireless headsets (which I love).

      The 160x160 resolution is just pathetic - some of my coworkers have been buying palmOS devices and I've steered them towards the Sony Clie units because they actually have a respectable screen resolution.

      I don't find the 800 to be too heavy, however the PDA function isn't as well-developed as the PalmOS versions. Tha
    • I was looking forward to it, but:

      • no 320x320 resultion (need it to use as an ebook reader)
      • quite heavy
      • no bluetooth?

      Perhaps you would be interested in a Palm Tungsten W, then. It has 320x320, isn't really heavy, and Bluetooth can be added (an aftermarket retrofit [pda-cdr.com] puts it inside. The same site offers to intergrate a microphone and speaker, or one can use an "audio flip cover" available from palm.com.)

      I have the Tungsten W, and while I can think of various things I'd like to see changed, overall it's

  • If it had Bluetooth built in (rather than as a future option via the expansion slot) I'd trade in my Treo 270 as soon as it became available here.


    I want to become a wanker with a wireless hands free set.

  • The two owners of this company need their gadgets in order to... well, I would assume impress others or something since they barely know how to actually use them.

    One guy has the Nokia 6800 and it is pretty cool. Fortunately, it is new enough that he is still trying to figure it out and doesn't ask me about it.

    The other guy has a Treo (I think the 270, but I'm not certain on that). He was using it with an ACT! database of contacts and calendar, but that kept crashing it and it was starting to get annoying
  • Aux battery? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by steveha (103154) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @03:35PM (#6997206) Homepage
    I still carry an old StarTac phone. When the battery is low, I can pop it out and pop in a new one. That's nice.

    I guess I can understand the new device not having an exposed, swappable battery; they would have had to make the thing bigger. But I hope they have some kind of auxiliary battery. Perhaps something you can connect to the HotSync cradle connector.

    When I got a Treo 90, I also got an aux battery that plugged in to the HotSync connector, and uses AAA cells to power or recharge it. For my Tungsten T, I got one that uses AA cells. I'm wondering if there is a charger like this that can charge the new Treo, and whether AAA cells would have enough power to allow you to make phone calls when the main battery is dead.

    I wish that someone would make a lithium ion or lithium polymer aux battery, with built-in folding prongs for a wall outlet so you could recharge it anywhere. I use rechargeable NiMH AA cells for my current emergency charger, and I think that a purpose-built aux battery would be more convenient. The NiMH AA cells only give 1.2 V each, rather than 1.5 V, and I think they still have a lot of power in them when the voltage drops off below useful and the Palm stops charging.

    Right now, when you plug in an aux battery, the Palm device thinks it is in its cradle, connected to wall power. It would be nice if you could plug in a battery pack, and the Palm knew it was a battery pack and could tell you how much charge is left on that battery pack. (However, that feature is not by itself worth another redesign of the HotSync connector!)

    steveha
  • Urban use only (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steveha (103154) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @03:44PM (#6997259) Homepage
    One potential problem with the new combination PDA and phones: they are digital-only.

    Someday, in the bright happy cheerful future, digital cell phone service will be everywhere. Meanwhile, there are still places where there is only analog phone service, and I actually go to those places.

    My battered old StarTac phone has two bands of CDMA, plus a fallback to analog. I can use that phone pretty much anywhere in the USA that has cell phone service at all. The same cannot be said of the new combination ones.

    There is a cable I have to connect my PDA to the digital connector on the bottom of my StarTac, and then I can use the StarTac to call up my ISP. This does not require buying any special "data" features, only using my phone minutes. Depending on where I am, my ISP might be a long-distance call, of course (buy my ISP has a toll-free number I can call and use for ten cents per minute).

    I think that the combination of a really nice PDA (mine is a Tungsten T) and a really nice phone (battered old StarTac) is better, for my purposes, than the new all-in-one gadgets. It might be different if I lived in a big city and spent all my time there.

    steveha
    • One potential problem with the new combination PDA and phones: they are digital-only.

      Funny, buy my 7135 [kyocerasmartphone.com] also has analog.

      There is a cable I have to connect my PDA to the digital connector on the bottom of my StarTac, and then I can use the StarTac to call up my ISP.

      How quaint. For me, no cable since it's the same device.

      This does not require buying any special "data" features, only using my phone minutes.

      First, this is carrier-specific independent of whatever equipment you are using. Second, in

      • Looks pretty slick. I still think I'm happier with my Tungsten T (320x320 screen, 144 MHz processor) and a separate phone.

        I'm looking forward to a StarTac-like phone with Bluetooth so I can use the Tungsten T without needing a wire. Meanwhile, I don't really need PDA web surfing that often, and I'm content with what I have now.

        steveha

    • My battered old StarTac phone has two bands of CDMA, plus a fallback to analog. I can use that phone pretty much anywhere in the USA that has cell phone service at all. The same cannot be said of the new combination ones.

      I'm with you. I had a Treo 180, but dumped it due to the terrible T-Mobile GSM coverage. Fortunately, I held onto my trusty CDMA StarTAC, and I'm still using it today. (It's too bad, though. I loved the Treo except for the cell coverage, and it came in handy on trips to Europe, too.

    • This is a bit US-centric - amost everywhere in the world other than the US is already all-digital...
  • by Ed Avis (5917)
    Does it run Linux?
  • by geekotourist (80163) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @04:37PM (#6997734) Journal
    W.M. likes the new design that looks more like a phone if you hold it up to your ear. But why would anyone want to? The Treo will never be a lightweight, sleek phone, so why waste design time trying to make it that way? With my Treo I hate using it like a cell phone- holding a box up against your ear seems so... so... 20th century. I like being able to write notes as I speak, or otherwise not having to hold my hand by my ear for a whole conversation.

    Its like trying to make an RV more like a sports car: all you do is lose the benefits of an RV.

    That said, the Treo has been a joy to use. Sprint's network upgrades have made for great phone quality and reasonable data quality. The only drawback is the 'dial-up' time for making data connections- it feels like going back to a modem.

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