New Treo Gets It Right
PDA/phone combo units seem to be getting better by the month, and the new best-of-breed in this class is the Handspring Treo 600 ($500 street, with service contract). Offered by Sprint, T-Mobile, and other major GSM and CDMA carriers, the Treo 600 packs a Palm OS PDA, phone, camera, and keyboard into a unit thats noticeably trimmer than previous Treos.
The 5.8-ounce Treo 600 measures 4.3 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches (HWD). Gone is the wide girth and see-through flip cover that made the Treo 270 a little too bulky to be used as a phone without looking geeky. The 144-mhz ARM CPU is paired with 32MB of ram, of which 24MB is available for user applications and files. Thats more than enough processing power for todays typical Palm OS applications. The display measures 1.8 inches square, which we found a nice size for normal operation.
The thumb-style QWERTY keyboard is smaller than on previous models (or, say, on a RIM Blackberry). But the domed keys made typing surprisingly easy; used in combination with the five-way navigation button, we hardly used the PDAs stylus. The new battery is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 10 hours of phone standby mode.
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