Palm Foleo will be a serious miss

Just my prediction …

I was actually hoping that Palm would really go for it with this new Foleo device, but when I started reading the leaked PR last night one thing stood out which is that it has no connectivity options other than bluetooth which makes it 100% dependent on your phone. This is an interesting approach, but as someone who’s been using a Nokia N800 tablet for a long time, I can tell you that there are PLENTY of times when I just want to browse the web and use my local wifi connection simply for the speed.

(I now know that it does in fact have Wifi which is good.)

The Foleo’s primary mission seems to make it easier to view, edit and compose email and attachments which has always been a strong point of the Treo – the primary smartphone for which it’s been designed to pair. In theory other devices will also pair, though I’m sure the pure Palm path will be the ideal way to go. I like that this device is running linux and I suppose it’s close in look to what the eventual Palm OS / Linux version will be, but there’s not even a hint as to how it works or what you can do with it beyond the basic applications they’ve shared on the web demo.

I’m left thinking that the Palm Foleo is larger than any second device I want, does less and costs more. By my count, that’s three strikes. I’m not sure Why Jeff Hawkins thinks this will be so wonderful, when instead of a crippled machine like this a savvy user would choose from an increasing number of tablet, UMPC and soon MID devices…

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9 comments for “Palm Foleo will be a serious miss

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  2. 8/7/2007 at 2:42 am

    Laptops have almost always been built to run heavy operating systems: Windows, OS X or regular desktop Linux. Both consume considerably, but I want to be able to whip out my portable device and start typing at full pace, which I cannot with a laptop and cannot with a Treo. Small, relatively inexpensive, light, instant on, better battery life, these are things I want, so a Treo is not enough and a laptop is too much.

    Perhaps the Foleo is specced and priced a bit too high, this is nevertheless the sort of device I have been wanting for many years. Other contenders are the VIA Nanobook and the ASUS Eee PC. I will be getting one and from forum reaction to these devices so will many others.

    Incidentally, phone syncing is not enough proclaim the Foleo is a new class of device. They are picking up where Psion left off and about time too.

  3. 8/7/2007 at 9:59 am

    How is the Foleo better than a Nokia N800 or even the iPhone then? Both fit in my pocket, connect anywhere and are instantly on.

    If the Foleo was pocket size instead of something that makes me decide whether I want to lug it around, I might feel differently.

  4. 8/7/2007 at 10:28 am

    To create and edit documents in earnest I need a keyboard I can touch type on and a screen big enough to view maybe 500 words at once. Treo, N800 and iPhone are not candidates and I want something more portable than my laptop.

    I think your key point, which I agree with, is that the form-factor, whilst smaller than an average laptop, is still awkward. With a decent keyboard and screen it always will be, but that is the price of having this functionality, functionality which I believe is a minimum for real mobile computing. I also believe there is a market for this sort of machine, as they will not cost as much as an ultra-portable laptop, which are just regular laptops miniaturised at enormous cost. I guess sales figures will decide this one way or another.

  5. 8/7/2007 at 10:32 am

    I agree there’s a market for this product – just not how Palm has it designed. I really like the idea of the UMPC – but don’t want Windows. The Mobile Ubuntu and RedLinux teams have some interesting stuff happening and it should be interesting to see what the Intel MID devices will end up really being like…

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