As expected, Palm unveiled a new class of devices today. The Palm Foleo is a smartphone companion product that looks a lot like a sub-notebook. Once you have paired your Foleo to your Treo, the two work as one with synchronization keeping the two devices in sync at all times. The Foleo mobile companion turns on and off instantly and features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design, and a battery that lasts up to 5 hours of use. Its applications include email, full-screen web browser, and editors or viewers for common business documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. The Foleo stays synchronized via Bluetooth wireless technology and uses the smartphone’s radio or the Foleo’s built-in Wi-Fi radio for general Internet connectivity.
It comes with a 10-inch screen, a full-size keyboard, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 256 of Flash ROM, a USB port, a video-out port, a scroll wheel, and both SD and CF slots. It is powered by Linux and is capable of instant on or off.
While the Foleo has been designed to work with Palm Treo smartphones, Palm expects that it will work with most Windows Mobile smartphones with little or no modification. A modest software development effort would also allow the Foleo to support RIM, Apple and Symbian devices. The Linux OS will also allow third party developers to come up with new applications for the Foleo (a few like Avenue and DataViz have already done so).
The Foleo should be available in the US this summer and will sell for US$499 (with a US$100 introductory rebate).
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