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  1.    #1  
    Imagine a Treo 4 times larger than it is today. Yes sounds crazy but consider this:

    High res. screen but as it is 4 times larger, the screen becomes low res but has 4 times the screen size. Imagine what you can do with Palm OS with a screen 4 times larger. As the device is larger, it can contain more battery and a larger keyboard. If it had GPRS, it can also have a retractable headset for the phone function. Or incorporate bluetooth for wireless features.

    Yes you can't fit it in your pants but I believe 80% of notebook users won't need more than what this 4XTreo device could offer.
  2. #2  
    I want one with a full size keyboard and maybe a disk and cd drive. Maybe it could have a seprate keyboard and we could plug it into the wall!
  3. #3  
    Why not just integrate everything into one.. oh wait because that would be a 12 inch powerbook, uing a t68i as it's modem through bleutooth.. ahh the joy of a amc.
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  4. #4  
    I'd buy a Mac ibook 12-inch screen laptop with wireless Wi-Fi or bleutooth capabilities before I increase the size of the Treo... I want my Treo to fit in my pocket and to be tiny so I could use it as a phone without an ear piece.
    m00se
  5. #5  
    Why not just get a Tablet PC?
  6.    #6  
    If you think that anything larger than the current Treo is worthless, then end of discussion.

    How about stepping out of the box folks and consider the usefulness of a screen 4 times larger (ie double the height and width). No rewriting of software required - just use high res software and you have low res output but 4 times larger.

    Spreadsheets with 10 columns are a possibility now. Handwritten notes are finally readable! Emails you can read and compose without scrolling. Web sites that you can surf with formats almost like the real thing. Imagine data gathering or using it with BrainForrest..

    And all this with the efficient Palm OS and truly low battery consumption.

    Laptop? Too large, heavy and power guzzling.

    Tablets? Too heavy and tries to do too much.

    4XTreo? None of the above, small, connected, truly functional. Does not try to be a PC nor should it. 80% of the usefulness of a PC can be handled by the Palm now and is only restricted by the size of the screen. So increase the screen size!
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by Abid
    If it had GPRS, it can also have a retractable headset for the phone function.
    Huh? So retractable headset relies on GPRS?


    BTW: I would not buy this, I got rid of my Newton for a reason. It was a brick.
  8.    #8  
    Can't see the woods because of the trees? Try grasping the concept, not the badly written sentence. What a geek!

    Ok, so its GPRS for higher data speed and retractable headset as there is enough space in the larger case.

    This thread is for people that is looking for a more functional pda and don't mind the additional size. There's life outside your pocket you know.
  9. #9  
    Well, you obviously posted this thread to get people's opinions. Now you have them.
  10. #10  
    Abid -- I use the Treo as a phone a lot, so anything larger won't work for obvious reasons.
    Thanks, m00se
  11. #11  
    So, you're saying that the Treo would make a good basis for a new product: an inexpensive laptop computer that is lighter in both weight and OS capabilities than a Windows or Mac laptop.

    I can see the possibilities. For people who just do email, word processing, spreadsheets on-the-go ... it would be a less expensive and simpler-to-learn alternative to a Win/Mac laptop.

    Have you seen the AlphaSmart Dana? Was that kind of what you were thinking about, except bigger high-res screen, GPRS and other mods?

    http://www.alphasmart.com/products/dana_overview.html

    There are a coupla limitations that would have to be worked out, that I can think of:
    • Web browsing - the Palm OS browser would need to be able to handle Flash, Java, etc. Currently the built-in Blazer app doesn't support that stuff (or frames)
    • Dang - I had another point but as I was writing up the first, I forgot it. I hate it when that happens. I'll think of it and come back. Uhhhhgh!
  12. #12  
    Just out of curiosity, do you mean four times the volume, four times the front plane area or four times the height?

    Because if it's the latter, then it's rather big. With the lid open, the device would be thirty inches (about two and a half feet or 762mm) tall.

    That's about 50% taller than your average notebook computer, which I think to most users would seem ungainly.

    I think that I agree with the basic idea of a Palm-style PDA in a notebook size. But a lot of things would have to change. For example, many applications would have to be written from the ground up to reflect the usability of the larger screen. And it would need to have at least some functionality that notebook users take for granted.

    + Blazer is right out. Two years ago, it was really great, but it's a barebones browser right now that can't do the things that a professional needs to do, like access secure servers.

    + PalmOS needs stable messaging programs. They need AIM for american users and ICQ for most everybody else. Conveniently enough, these two clients exist on PalmOS, but they cause the dreaded "datamgr.c: 8589" repeat crash bug on the Treo (and on other PalmOS devices, for that matter). There's a third party program in development that *might* fit the bill, but it's not here.


    The Treo's memory would have to be increased tremendously if the screens had sixteen times as many pixels (four times the height by four times the width). A 640x640 24-bit bitmap would take up 1.2MB (though pictures in reality are compressed). Still, icons (probably uncompressed) would take up sixteen times the space, as would controls and most custom program imagery would add a bit to the memory.

    Touch screens aren't as expensive as I thought. You can get a touch screen add-on to a 14" monitor for under $200. But it might be more expensive to have an integrated touchscreen. For 12.1", that costs probably around $800.

    More design changes from the Treo's setup would be necessary. We'd need a real 4-way or 8-way "navigator", as Palm calls it (a D-pad, that is), to navigate the menu system and the main app launcher.

    A "tab" button would be absolutely necessary. The button, which is extremely useful on PDAs such as the Sharp Zaurus, is annoying when absent on the Treo (and I'm not counting the Opt-Space that just inserts tabs into fields on the Treo), but its absence would be abhorrent on a 12.1" Handspring Treo Colossus. People do not like having to reach all over the place for every little app control. That's why the Tab key on most PC keyboards are double size.


    Hmmm. There would be massive engineering concerns with moving a PalmOS device to a notebook form factor.

    Actually, I have a counterproposal. Although I very much like the Treo and plan to purchase one to replace several existing handheld devices in my possession (HandEra 330, Visor Prism, Samsung SCH-8500), I must say that Sharp's Zaurus seems much more tailored to a 4xPDA form factor than the Treo. Here's a rundown of the differences:

    + Dual Expansion: Zaurus has both a Secure Digital and a Compact Flash expansion slot. Expansion is very important in PDAs and absolutely necessary in devices as large as laptops. I don't need bluetooth, wifi, gps, etc built-in, but I want the option to cheaply add it in later. Also, I want to easily save those 640x640 bitmaps to my MMC. Treo misses this important feature (frankly, this is my only major gripe with getting my target Treo, the 300).

    + Fast Processor: The newest Zaurus has a 300MHz XScale chip, which is a lower power version of the 206MHz StrongARM (which my current Z has). When you're dealing with apps that write to so many more pixels, you need to blit a lot faster. Plus, the 33MHz Dragonball on my Prism has proven to be a limiting factor on downloads from the internet (such as through Blazer).

    + Launcher: Without PowerJog or some other third party program, you can't easily launch apps without using the touch screen. The larger the screen, the more you're going to want the ability to use a D-pad or scroll wheel or something to select apps. Qtopia, the Zaurus's built-in launcher, is ideally suited to this task, given that the Home button is hardware and the d-Pad and Select button (this is a godsend) works in perfect harmony with the launcher environment.

    + Messaging: Zaurus has several different messaging programs for ICQ, AIM and even less important ones like MSN.

    + Web Browser: I used to want to have Blazer's baby, until the world advanced around it. Blazer 2.x is the same as Blazer 1.x except for the branding and the fact that the controls were moved from the bottom to the top of the page. Oh, and the bookmark system got *worse*. I can choose between two browsers on the Zaurus: Opera, which is a really fantastic browser that supports Javascript and most of the applicable functionality of its desktop brother, and Konqueror, a port of a popular Linux/KDE browser that supports secure browsing and (best of all) multiple open windows.

    + Static Storage: This is a biggie. With such a large device, power will be used much more aggressively. The battery could be made larger, but how many pounds do you want this thing to be? Since the Treo has no external flash, you can't back it up unless you have a PC handy. The most recent Zaurus SL device sets it up so that you store data on internal flash. I have a similar setup going on with my old-school Zaurus SL-5000D, thanks to an open source hack of the ROM. I will pretty much never lose my data. I'll never have to re-sync after a hard reset. I could rip the battery out of the device (see below), let the PDA sit for about six weeks, then hook it up, wait for it to cold boot, then proceed as if nothing bad had happened at all. This is rather nice for a notebook-sized device.

    + Battery: I can rip the battery out of the Zaurus. Can't do that with a Treo. That's not a PalmOS problem. My HandEra could do that, too. But Handspring fell asleep there.



    There are other things. And, yes, Handspring could fix all of these shortcomings. But it would be an immense effort to change every one (or even most) of them.

    Keep in mind that I'm not trying to troll for Sharp or those slashdotty people who like Linux so much. I am a little bit of a Linux mark, but I am also a Handspring fan. I so very much want a Treo that it overrides my desire to not be shockingly poor. And I trust the PalmOS to keep my data uncorrupted more than I trust my Zaurus (primarily since I used a third party contact app on the Zaurus when it was buggy, so it ate my list, heh). But for a largified PDA, I think the Zaurus would make a better transition than the Treo.

    Oh yeah. I forgot. The Treo does have the phone capability, which the Zaurus lacks. I'll grant you that.

    Oh, btw, just for those interested: The Palm emulator (QPOSE) that I'm playing with on the 206MHz Zaurus seems very solid but very slow. It might be because I'm running the whole thing from flash, though. I could probably allocate some of that RAM to the storage to see if it speeds up, but I've been too lazy for that and my SL-5000D (a prerelease developer model) has very little memory to start with.

    -JC
    (and don't get me started about WinCE<g>)
    Last edited by jcholewa; 01/21/2003 at 01:08 PM.
  13. #13  
    Adib:

    I am with you. I want a bigger PDA. I am not sure a Palm OS Tablet is a bad idea. One of the things I like about Palm OS is that it does not have to boot up. Once you have a larger unit you have more room for more memory, more room for a power source (whatever it is).

    Is it for everyone, no. But it is for me.

    SPG
  14. #14  
    Not to dwell on this issue too much, but the beauty of the Treo is that it is a phone/PDA combo! Anything larger would not work as a phone. Period.
    You can create perhaps a larger size Palm OS gizmo, to compete with laptops or notebooks, which might appeal to some, but a phone has to be small and practical. The Treo, mind you, is smaller than the Visor because it is also a phone.
    m00se
  15.    #15  
    Just to clarify my idea - I think I many not have been clear about the larger screen concept. It is this that makes the whole idea possible.

    Since high-res Palm screens are 320 x 320, my suggestion is that we make a LOW-RES screen that is twice as wide as the standard Palm screen and twice as high. This gives an area of 4 times larger and is around 4 inches high and 4 inches wide (based on Treo screen size of 2x2 inches).

    Any program that is high-res enabled will show as low-res on this larger screen. Thus more space to work!

    No changes of programs required - only that they are high-res enabled. Not much (I believe) electronic hardware changes required also - just a larger screen.

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