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  1.    #1  
    I was the first person on this forum to post that I had received my Treo 300. I am now considering seriously sending the Treo 300 back (or ebaying it) for a Pocket PC. Here is my story:

    Got the Treo 300 the day that it was released by Spring. I am reasonably happy with it. It is a terrific PDA and the phone integration is fantastic. The ergonomics of the device are darn near perfect, and that thumboard is to die for.

    Problem: Palm OS and Palm hardware are just too underpowered for a decent "wireless web" experience. Web sites load slowly, and even if they weren't loading slow, I have a gut feeling that the Palm OS and the Palm hardware in the Treo 300 are not powerful enough to perform at a level that would make browsing seem that much faster. Case in point, several users of the SPCS wireless aircards report that their web surfing experience rivals that of a 56k modem. I have never had an experience on my Treo 300 that I would consider anywhere near 56k speed. I believe to a large extent this is a hardware and OS issue. In time it might be resolved, but I am impatient.

    Yesterday I went to CompUSA and purchased a Toshiba e740 Pocket PC. Specs: 64 megs of RAM, SD and Compact Flash card slots, Pocket PC 2002, 240x320 nice color screen (makes Treo look really bad) BUILT IN WiFi (802.1x)

    I figured, I could try out the Pocket PC platform on my WiFi network at home, and at least see how the OS performed and how the software was holding up. Now of course this is not a fair comparison because there is no way that 3g is going to compare to WiFi speeds, but I was more interested in the performance of the OS and the browser, even in absence of download speeds.

    From preliminary experience I can tell you that the Pocket PC hardware and OS are much faster than the Treo 300. Of course, this is a no brainer. It's a 400+ Mhz XScale processor. Even with the issue of WiFi aside, the web browser is more responsive (e.g. when scrolling, going "back" to a previously cached page, etc.) Not to mention the fact that I can go to ANY page on the internet (e.g. secure online banking sites, etc) which I could not do on my Treo in spite of using both Xiino and Blazer and any other browser I could get my hands on.

    Web pages are displayed much better with Pocket IE and it is actually much more akin to reading a web page on a real computer. There is an application I am trying tonight called Thundercat which allows you to rotate the screen and view web pages at 640x480. That should be nice.

    So, why would I replace my Treo 300 with this device? Afterall, it's not a phone right?

    Well, sort of. It turns out that SPCS will be releasing a wireless phone and data card for Compact Flash II compatible devices later this month:

    http://www.yisotel.com/eng/Company/company.html

    This device will allow both voice and data calls on the 3g network on any device that can accept CFII cards. Thus, I can enable my e740 to become a phone.

    Granted, I don't think the phone integration is going to be anywhere near as good as it is on the Treo. In fact, I expect it to pretty much suck. But for me, I primarily use this device as a PDA and secondarily as a phone. In fact, I almost never use the phone except for occaisionally. I think I could overlook this downfall. It remains to be seen how well the phone features will work.

    Major BAD points about the e740:

    1) There are several bugs and glitches in the OS that need to be worked out, which will require a ROM upgrade that is supposedly "in the works" by TOshiba. I am not holdng my breath, they are minor issues, but are annoying. I guess when you pay $500 for something it should be perfect, but as we all know it is not.

    2) Pocket PC OS is not as 'intuitive' as the Palm OS -- but it is much more powerful so I'm willing to overlook that

    3) Battery life. Last night I was surfing the net via WiFi (let me tell you it is pretty dang cool to surf the web at 11 megabits in the palm of your hand) and I got about 2 hours of use out of the device before battery warning came on (battery warning kicks in at 50% I think). Thus, I maybe would get 3 hours of use out of the device on full charge surfing the web. This is not bad, but not anywhere near what I could get probably on a Palm OS based device. To the credit of Toshiba, they sell an extended battery pack and most users are reporting about 14 hours of use while surfing web on WiFi and simultaneously doing other things like playing MP3 in the background. That is certainly impressive. No other device gets that kind of battery life, not even laptops. The extra battery pack makes the device about as thick as an Ipaq, which is a downer, but still not too huge.

    4) Cost. I only paid $499 which is what I paid for the treo but it's going to cost another $250 for the phone card. That is about wha the Thera / TOsh 2032 will cost... but with this device I get the ability to add any other compact flash (e.g. 2 gig microdrive) or SD card (e.g. SDIO Bluetooth or 512mb SD cards or camera etc) to the device. It also has double the ram of the Thera.

    5) Size. As is, it is not really noticeably bigger than the Treo when in my pocket. It is about the same thickness, a bit 'taller' and the same width. Overall it is a very thin form factor for a PPC. You might even mistake it for one of the slim Clies if you didn't look closely. Still, it is bigger than a Treo (appears about the same weight though). By the time I am all done 'gunking it up' with the extra battery pack and the phone card it will be about the size of an IPAQ which I can live with though not thrilled about.

    6) NO KEYBOARD: Biggest bummer of them all. I pretty much hate the input method on this thing. The 'graffiti' on it is pretty sucky, even compared to some of the really old Palm OS devices. This is probaly 99% due to the fact that I am new to this device, but man do I miss the thumboard. To add insult to injury there are currently NO 3rd party keyboards as of yet that can be used (minus the option of getting the expansion module and using a usb keyboard). There are some in the works but none available yet.

    7) Software availablility. THere is always the argument that there is way more Palm OS software available vs. stuff for the PPC. I cannot argue with that except to say that probably 70% of the software for the Palm is not really that useful or is a duplicate of something else that has very similar functionality. Still choices are always good to have. I think the PPC software will only increase with time, and basically everything I need the device to do is built in.

    Advantages:

    1) Expandability: I can add an expansion bay to this thing that will allow me to plug into any USB device or even a VGA monitor or lcd projector. $99 and adds about 1/2" to the base of the unit. Fairly interesting option. Also any SD SDIO or CF device can go directly into this thing without the need for any 'expansion sleeves' Built in WiFi is just awesome.

    2) Speed -- this thing is just incredibly fast compared to any Palm OS device. It's quite impressive.

    3) Advanced OS -- hate Microsoft all you want (I do) but I really like all the other stuff I can do with this OS. Built in media player, built in Word, built in excel (granted you can get probaly all of this in the Palm OS with add ons) but it is a nice experience out of the box.

    4) Syncs with outlook very well. With Intellisync / Chapura my Palm based devices always synced very well and I have no complants, but this thing syncs extremely well with Outlook even to the point of syncing up all my individual outlook folders with Pocket Outlook. Also Pocket outlook is miles ahead of any Palm based mail client I have seen, allowing SSL IMAP etc right out of the box. I really like it (though Eudora for the Palm will always have a special place in my heart).

    5) WIRELESS Sync. It is pretty cool to be on the 4th floor of my house in the master suite at 11pm at night and do a wireless sync to the office server downstairs on the first floor, without having to get out of bed. Yes, I know you can do this via a Palm and modem or 3g service, but to do it with WiFi is very fast.

    6) WiFi -- I can't say enough about how cool this is. If you have a place of work that has wireless, or if you have a wireless access point or wireless at home, you can now surf the net in your handheld -- AND you won't be burning SPCS data kbytes. Save the data kb for when you are out in the middle of nowhere, and use the WiFi at home or Work to surf the net at amazing speeds in the palm of your hand. This was the cincher for me. If for no other reason I am keeping the device just for this purpose alone.

    So, I'm 80% sure that I will be keeping this device. It is becoming an easier decision all the time -- WiFi and better web experience, faster processor, fastr OS on the PPC vs. Very intuitive OS, better ergonomics and phone integration, and the oh-so-delicious-thumboard on the Treo.

    I'll post more here later. I just wanted to point out to some of the other Treo users who might be sort of 'frustrated' by the wireless web experience that there are some other fairly powerful (though there are some sacrifices) solutions out there that are kind of cool.

    I hope this info is helpful and is in no way to start a PPC is better than Palm OS flame war. I love them both for various reasons, but for my purpose I think (not fully sure yet) that the PPC is the way I will go.

    I guess, maybe this is a 'cry for help' heheh -- if anyone can possibly pull me back to the world of Palm OS speak now or forever hold your peace.. I'm looking for a good reason to NOT abandon my Treo at this point.

    And by the way, anyone interested in a 25 day old Treo 300 with a lot of really nice accessories?
  2. #2  
    Doctorc

    sorry to hear about your 'upgrade'. I used Pocket PC products for years, bucking the Palm trend, until this past January when I bought my Samsung I300. Now with the Treo, I've finally got just about everything I could want (except memory expansion, maybe). I hope you have a crash free life w/ your new toy. All the Pocket PC's I had were terribly unstable. I've been thrilled with the stability and ease of use of my Palm devices. As I've said, I've been on both sides of the palm/pc fence, and it's nice not having to reset and restore from backup like I did when using the PocketPC. That thing looks large, by the way....and back to 2 devices, huh? no thanks.
  3. #3  
    There's no question in my mind that web browsing on the Treo is hamstrung by the browser, rather than the data connection. Depending on which browser I use and the site itself, I have seen sustained 50-100kB/sec on the phone. On anything "complicated" (graphics, mainly), the processor/software just can't keep up. It's a shame, but I'm counting on newer hardware and better browsers solving the problem.

    I really love the Treo, for all of its (and Sprint's) flaws.
  4. #4  
    I had the 300 and 270 side by side for a few days...there was no comparison between the speed with which pages loaded on the 300's 3g network and the speed dialing-up on a 270. Is it near 56 k? probably not...but is it considerably faster than dialing into an ISP? yes...very much yes.

    And even though i returned the 300 and went with the 270...and even though it's slow (not upgrading to GPRS until its official), I love the fact that i can get to most web sites and see pictures on it. It still has the cool factor for me.

    And while i hope your new setup works for you doctorc, i have to ask...what sites are you surfing/browsing on these devices? I mean, i'll do a quick check of sports scores, stock quotes, and emails...maybe fantasy teams...but most browsing can wait until I'm in front of a computer with a full-size monitor and (if i didnt live in a god-forsaken area with no broadband options) high speed internet. 3G for those services was plenty fast in my opinion. but that is just my opinion...


    Adrian
  5. #5  
    3 to 14 hours surfing the net on your PDA?

    IMHO, you definitely have the wrong equipment!
    Ed
    Visor Deluxe, Prism, Visorphone, Treo 270, Treo 600, Treo 650, and am eagerly waiting for the next generation Treo...but wait...is that the iPhone????
  6. veroi's Avatar
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    #6  
    DOCTORC: I might have gone with a Toshiba E550G instead of the 740, but what the heck. Post your experiences with the Thunder browser.

    CLOGOODIE:

    I did not quite undertsand your post, with the 270 you do not use Blazer for web access. How can you access all sites in a 270 and not the 300???
  7. #7  
    2 years ago I was doing what you are doing now with the Toshiba. I purchased an @migo PPC. The Amigo has a built-in PC card slot so I could use any standard PC card (Wifi, modem, any compact flash with my PC card adapter, etc.).

    Surfing the net on the PPC via 802.11b was a novelty that wore off fast. Listening to MP3s was a novelty that wore off fast. I thought it would be cool to be able to edit Word or other documents in the palm of my hand. I even upgraded to PPC2002 because I thought it would be cool to use themes.

    18 months later, I decided the PPC world was not for me, at least at this time. I never used Word or any of those "pocket" applications on the PPC. If I wanted to edit a word doc, I used my laptop (Toshiba by the way). If I wanted to surf the net, I used my laptop. If I wanted to listen to music, I played a CD or turned on the radio.

    I learned that I don't want nor need a personal computer in the palm of my hand.

    I purchased a Treo 180 and about a month later returned it for a 270. The palmOS based devices do everything *I* need. I need an appointment calendar and address book. I went with the Treo to get rid of my cell phone. I don't currently use the net access all that much, but when I do, its sufficient for my needs.

    I probably won't even use GPRS when its available. I've got enough voice minutes to cover my phone use and net use with hundreds left over at the end of the month.

    I still have the @migo PPC sitting on my desk. Anyone interested in buying it?
  8. #8  
    Doctorc,

    I find myself in a similar situation. The Treo although nice for appointments, contacts and email is not near a quality experience for web browsing and will not connect to my subnotebook to email attached files which is necessary for some aspects of my work. As a result I have the Treo and a Sierra 555 wireless card that I use in my 3970 IPAQ and my Vaio SRX87. I would love it if I could use the IPAQ as a *true* phone as well as a web enabled device and also send jpeg. files uploaded via bluetooth but... oh well just dreaming. As you can see no one device has the needed functionality but when one comes along I'll be the first beta tester (oh excuse me) I mean consumer. Till then I guess I'll just cary around the Treo and a Samsung A500 (for analog roaming) and play with the 555 aircard.

    PS: who makes Thundercat it sounds interesting. I'd appreciate a direction to the developer site.

    RICHARD
    2K-PLUS
  9. #9  
    I have the same e740 and Treo 300. I'm also going to get the Yiso card

    But as you pointed out, getting the Yiso card won't really give you a true phone. You can do data and make calls. But since there is no "always on" way to keep the e740 going, receiving calls just isn't practical.

    I have resigned myself to owning two devices. I'm keeping my e740, with USB/video expansion pack and extended battery. I also have a Treo 300, but I'm probably going to get that sweet-looking Kyocera 7135 when it comes out (I want that SDIO slot more than I need a keyboard). I also need a phone first and PDA second for my phone/PDA combo. Palm excels at just that concept - phone first, PDA second. The PocketPC is a PDA first and phone second. So it depends on what you want. It sounds like you need a PDA first and that's why PPC is a better choice for your phone.

    I also considered that T-Mobile PocketPC phone, but the PocketPC end of the specs aren't really that impressive. What I need is the ultimate device - a PocketPC phone with dual CF/SD slots, built in wireless, 64MB memory, 16 bit color and some kind of built in screen cover/protection. In other words, an e740 with a screen cover and a more practical phone in it

    Unfortunately, no one has come close to these specs. It seems like they always go with the lowest common denominator when creating the PDA end of the PDA/phone. Only Kyocera will come close with it's 7135. It's a pretty ultimate, high-spec PDA to go with the phone. Just as the e740 is a pretty ultimate PocketPC. So, it's two devices for me.

    Besides, I kind of like having the option of running both Palm and PocketPC apps. Each platform has some killer apps that I would hate to lose
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by veroi

    CLOGOODIE:

    I did not quite undertsand your post, with the 270 you do not use Blazer for web access. How can you access all sites in a 270 and not the 300???


    Both the 270 and 300 include blazer, and you can go to any site you want. The difference in their internet access currently is that the 300 has the always on 3g connection. With the 270, you must set up an ISP connection to dial into (i.e. if you still have dialup as the connection on your desktop, you can use the same #, username, and password, but youre dialing in from your 270 and not from your desktop). The speeds from doing this are much slower than the speeds of the 3g connection found on the 300. That was really the whole point of my post.

    The 270 is awaiting an official patch which would give it GPRS functionality...GPRS being basically a higher-speed, always-available connection similar to Sprint's 3G, but for GSM networks like Cingular and T-Mobile.
  11. veroi's Avatar
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    #11  
    If you have a pocket PC and do not mind switching to GPRS system, you might want to use the Audiovox RTM8000 it is a GPRS CF Data/Phone card.It is really a piece of cake to set up and only needs to have the SIM card purchased from your GSM provider.I would recommend T-Mobile.
  12. veroi's Avatar
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    #12  
    I forgot to add one thing in my last post,I been using IN BOX To Go from Dataviz to receive/open/edit/respond to Excel,Word and Power point and I can tell you it works really good.
  13.    #13  
    Originally posted by finadvsr
    Doctorc

    sorry to hear about your 'upgrade'. I used Pocket PC products for years, bucking the Palm trend, until this past January when I bought my Samsung I300. Now with the Treo, I've finally got just about everything I could want (except memory expansion, maybe). I hope you have a crash free life w/ your new toy. All the Pocket PC's I had were terribly unstable. I've been thrilled with the stability and ease of use of my Palm devices. As I've said, I've been on both sides of the palm/pc fence, and it's nice not having to reset and restore from backup like I did when using the PocketPC. That thing looks large, by the way....and back to 2 devices, huh? no thanks.
    Hi,

    Yes I am hoping that it will not crash much. It is tough getting use to the more complex, less intutive PPC OS as well, but the power is just so nice.... speeeeedy.

    As for size, it is about the same width as the treo, and a little bit thinner. The top of the unit sticks up about as far as the Treo antenna, so the overall footprint in my pocket does not really feel that much bigger or bulkier. THey are about the same weight. I think the PPC actually might be lighter than the Treo -- it feels lighter, perhaps because of the way it distributes its weight more evenly in my pocket.

    That being said, I am surely missing my thumboard. That was the greatest thing ever about the Treo. I Will miss it.
  14.    #14  
    Originally posted by clogoodie
    I had the 300 and 270 side by side for a few days...there was no comparison between the speed with which pages loaded on the 300's 3g network and the speed dialing-up on a 270. Is it near 56 k? probably not...but is it considerably faster than dialing into an ISP? yes...very much yes.

    And even though i returned the 300 and went with the 270...and even though it's slow (not upgrading to GPRS until its official), I love the fact that i can get to most web sites and see pictures on it. It still has the cool factor for me.

    And while i hope your new setup works for you doctorc, i have to ask...what sites are you surfing/browsing on these devices? I mean, i'll do a quick check of sports scores, stock quotes, and emails...maybe fantasy teams...but most browsing can wait until I'm in front of a computer with a full-size monitor and (if i didnt live in a god-forsaken area with no broadband options) high speed internet. 3G for those services was plenty fast in my opinion. but that is just my opinion...


    Adrian
    Hi Adrian,

    As for what sites I visit on the treo / Pocket PC -- really nothing important at all. In fact, as time goes by, I'll probably browse the web less and less on the thing. It's just a 'cool toy' but I wanted to have as close to a "real" web browsing experience as possible on it. After you have used the Pocket PC to surf the web and then go back to the Treo, you'll see what I mean. see if you can go check one out in a store sometime where they actually have it hooked up to the web.

    Also, I am using a broswer called THunderhawk which will allow me to rotate the screen on its side, and allows 640x480 display resolution (And it looks good too!) It is also very very fast compared to the browse experience on the Treo.

    I have to admit though -- the treo truly is a COMMUNICATOR -- I don't think there is any other device I have ever seen that even comes close to being so well designed, so intuitive, and so perfect for truly communicating.

    The Pocket PC's are exactly that -- a PC you can carry in your pocket. Powerful, fast (suck up battery life) and more cumbersome to learn and use than the sleek Palm OS. But I'm willing to take those sacrifices for the speed and performance of the PPC.
  15.    #15  
    Originally posted by DaleReeck
    I have the same e740 and Treo 300. I'm also going to get the Yiso card

    But as you pointed out, getting the Yiso card won't really give you a true phone. You can do data and make calls. But since there is no "always on" way to keep the e740 going, receiving calls just isn't practical.

    I have resigned myself to owning two devices. I'm keeping my e740, with USB/video expansion pack and extended battery. I also have a Treo 300, but I'm probably going to get that sweet-looking Kyocera 7135 when it comes out (I want that SDIO slot more than I need a keyboard). I also need a phone first and PDA second for my phone/PDA combo. Palm excels at just that concept - phone first, PDA second. The PocketPC is a PDA first and phone second. So it depends on what you want. It sounds like you need a PDA first and that's why PPC is a better choice for your phone.

    I also considered that T-Mobile PocketPC phone, but the PocketPC end of the specs aren't really that impressive. What I need is the ultimate device - a PocketPC phone with dual CF/SD slots, built in wireless, 64MB memory, 16 bit color and some kind of built in screen cover/protection. In other words, an e740 with a screen cover and a more practical phone in it

    Unfortunately, no one has come close to these specs. It seems like they always go with the lowest common denominator when creating the PDA end of the PDA/phone. Only Kyocera will come close with it's 7135. It's a pretty ultimate, high-spec PDA to go with the phone. Just as the e740 is a pretty ultimate PocketPC. So, it's two devices for me.

    Besides, I kind of like having the option of running both Palm and PocketPC apps. Each platform has some killer apps that I would hate to lose
    I'm confused about your "always on" comment -- don't you think that the CF phonecard would have a way to 'wake up' the PDA to receive an incoming call?

    I hope it does, as that would be a MAJOR disadvantage if it did not.
  16. #16  
    If the PDA turns itself off (for instance, by power management), then there is no power going to the CF card. It would be like turning your phone off. The CF and SD slots only run if the power to the PDA is on. They could add an option to the driver software to disable power management and keep the PPC always on, but even with the extended battery, your standby time would be probably not much. Figure, with no CF cards, you are getting 16 hours out of the ext battery. Add a CF card and that number would plummet. You'd probably be lucky to get a few hours.

    It is also possible that they could add a tiny internal battery to the CF card that keeps the CF card in an ultra-low power mode when the PPC is off. It could give the CF just enough juice to kick on the PPC when it receives a call. But there is only so much space inside a CF card. I doubt they could do this. Maybe in a PCMCIA device, but not a CF one.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see how it actually works. It would be cool to be able to use it as a full function phone and receive calls just like a regular cell phone. But I'm having doubts.

    Still a cool device, but not a phone replacement.
  17. #17  
    I have:

    PalmIIIe (used for a year, collecting dust now)
    Kyo6035 (at my side always)
    Toshiba Laptop (has all my docs on it, don't surf on it)
    Athlon XP 1800+ Desktop (dsl surfing)

    I want:

    Samsung Bluechip (64mhz palmclamphone)
    or
    Kyo7135 (whichever Verizon releases first)
    Webpad w/WIFI (will give my laptop away to my mom)
    All in Wonder Card for my desktop (for PVR capabilities)
    Projector for viewing widescreen DVD's on a wall (luxury item$$$)
    New truck (but paying the mortgage is more important)
    David
  18. #18  
    Clearly you love the journey of setting up the perfect device more than you like the covenience of living with it.

    I think it speaks very well for the strength of the Treo 300 platform, that your current attempt at beating it is so far afield. Trading the keyboard you love, and the ability to carry less gear, and the ability to make and receive calls when you want so you can browse on the internet faster from within your corporate office? Doesn't seem like making progressto me. Trading one priority for two or three others is more like it. Frankly I think your current attempt will prove to be a "dry hole". But keep on drilling Doctorc because being on the path to making progress seems to be the goal and it doesn't appear you ever want to get to the destination.
  19. #19  
    Some people prefer data support more than they need a voice cellphone. For those people, the Yiso device might work well - get data with some basic voice capabilities. There's nothing wrong with that.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by rvwink
    But keep on drilling Doctorc because being on the path to making progress seems to be the goal and it doesn't appear you ever want to get to the destination.
    Sounds like you've read Carlos Castaneda's "Journey to Ixtlan" :-)
    David
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