Palm Foleo – my thoughts

June 4, 2007

I should’ve blogged about this last week, just when Palm announced the new Foleo. But better a wee bit late than never.Foleo logo

Last week, Palm made a big announcement: it will soon be releasing the Palm Foleo as a third new type of device from Palm. (The first being the original personal digital assistants (PDAs), and the second being smartphones that combine PDA functions with phone / data services.)

Just what will the Palm Foleo be?

The Foleo will be a companion to the Palm Treo smartphones (and probably several other smartphone types as well). So many people (including me) use their Palm Treo almost like a laptop computer — browsing the Web, writing documents and spreadsheets, keeping track of just about all their personal information, proudly displaying their photos and videos, handling emails, doing mapping and research, even doing some reading.

The Foleo would complement nearly all these activities by providing more of a small laptop feel with a larger screen than the Palm Treo, and at the same time stay in close sync with the Palm Treo. Changes to emails and documents appear also on the Treo, and vice versa. You can browse the web using the Palm Treo’s data service, or hook up with a wifi (say, in a Starbucks for a small fee or at many bookstores, airports, and other areas for free) with the Foleo’s built-in wifi receiver. It’d sell for more than $400 — a pretty hefty cost.

AND, you’d pretty much have to have the Palm Treo close to it at all times to make it that effective.

Foleo screenshot

Many bloggers are labelling it neat (especially its wifi and bigger screen) but ultimately unnecessary, and they predict that this would put Palm firmly behind the other smartphone companies.

But, what do I think of it?

I have to agree with many of the other bloggers. I haven’t tried it out, so I’m only speculating. But I use Chatter Email instead of Versamail on the Palm Treo — would that work with the Palm Foleo? I also use Natara Bonsai heavily to keep track of all the little bits of information, tasks, projects, cases, shopping lists, trivia, and much more in my life; I seriously doubt that would work on the Foleo as well.

The only thing I might use the Foleo for would be word processing and browsing the Internet. And I can do that very well from a regular small laptop for just $200-300 more than a Palm Foleo. And the Palm Foleo works best with a Palm Treo, which costs another $250-400, depending on the carrier’s plan you buy the Treo under. If the Foleo is expanded in the near future to be much like a mini-laptop, maybe, but just not right now.
So, probably not worth it.

Sorry, Palm. You gotta work harder. But I’d be happy to be proven wrong — I’ve been a faithful Palm user for nearly ten years.


6 Responses to “Palm Foleo – my thoughts”

  1. Bill Says:

    I guess what I see that I like most about it, is lightweight, instant boot. Granted, I rarely turn my laptop off, but I see a market for a laptop powered by a rom OS and flash memory for “hard drive”.

    I use my Blackberry for email, and web browsing when I am stuck somewhere without access to my laptop.

    But this type of device, with some limited Word/Email access a nice screen, a nice keyboard, wifi, and remote desktop capabilities, (and cheaper than current offerings) as a great substitute for carrying my full size laptop.

    Similar Concept: Cathena, but not the phone, and a little to big:

  2. DCABlogs Says:

    Hi there, I couldnt find your email to contact you. I am curious if you have any recommending which server we should use like tmobile, sprint, verizon etc?

  3. Proud Geek Says:

    Hi DCA! Depends on where you are, what you do, and where you go. If you live in DC and take the Metro, those with Verizon are the only ones that work in the Metro but the monthly fees are higher. If you travel internationally, you need a service that works abroad – certainly not Verizon. T-mobile and Cingular/AT&T seem to have the most devices that are “deaf-friendly,” and Tmobile’s monthly fees for data-only service are the lowest.

  4. twallclimber Says:

    at&t’s mobile service plan for deaf subscribers is called TAP(text accessibility plan) for pda(8525, 8125), treo devices(680,650,750), Samsung Blackjack, or nokia e62. It costs 30 bucks a month for unlimited data service with 5000 text msgs. one of them can be tethered to your laptop if you travel with them. unfortunately at&t hasn’t offered blackberry plan to deaf subscribers yet, but from what i heard, it is working on special BB plan for deaf subscriber. you can use these at&t GSM devices internationally.

    you can tether your laptop to blackjack devices. check this. –

    good luck…

  5. twallclimber Says:

    dang it ! sorry i put a wrong word in my response messege to bill – it should be blackberry, not blackjack. sorry.

  6. […] months ago, I blogged about the Foleo and said at the end, “Sorry, Palm. You gotta work harder. But I’d be happy to be proven […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: