Because the Treo 800w comes with Windows Mobile Professional 6.1, it is ready out of the box to work with Microsoft Exchange mail systems for over-the-air synchronization of mail, contacts and calendars. It also supports over-the-air management and configuration via Exchange ActiveSync and will tie in to Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 deployments for Active Directory integration.
Web browsing was one place where I experienced sluggishness with the Treo 800w. I found that the device would occasionally lock up for periods of up to 30 seconds while pages loaded in the included version of Internet Explorer. I experienced these slowdowns on both the EvDO and Wi-Fi connections, and found that I could not do anything with the device until the page fully rendered. I also found that the browser would sometimes lock up completely on pages generating script error messages.
Palm has brought some nice touches to the familiar Windows Mobile Today screen. Users can dial numbers manually or speed-dial contacts by pressing a photo on the main screen, access the built-in Instant Messaging client (which supports AIM, MSN and Yahoo) or see if there are unread SMS (Short Message Service) messages right from the Today screen. Users can also locate and map businesses from the Today screen, as a search will fire up the included Maps application, basing search decisions on the location findings from the GPS receiver.
Unlike the iPhone, the Treo 800w offers full capabilities for reading and writing documents using the included Office Mobile applications: Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. In tests, I was able to read and write Word files in both .DOC and .DOCX formats, although I was not able to convert a document from one type to the other. I also found that I was not wild about the built-in PDF reader on the Treo 800w, as I found it inconvenient to zoom in and out on a page and to move from one page to another.
eWEEK Labs Senior Technical Analyst Andrew Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.