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  1.    #1  
    I've been living a compromise for the last year now. In September 2003, I got one of the first Sprint Treo 600s out of the shoots and hit the ground running. As a phone, it does a good job. As a mobile email station, it's great. It took 6 months, but even the SMS is now good. BUT, I think I want more in a PDA than even the promised Treo 650 will offer me.

    I think the folks at palmOne would admit that the Treo isn't designed to be a PDA power user's PDA. It's designed for a less technically demanding audience (I think I read this is this month's Mobile PC magazine as a matter of fact.) The Treo is a great tool for many -- including me much of the time. But, after 6 years of daily PDA use, I teend to want more out of my handheld than the Treo is or will be designed to deliver.

    The first thing is the screen. 160 x 160 has been pretty torturous this past 12-months. 320 x 320 would almost be the same for me though -- I'm a visual person and I REALLY want the VGA resolution that the new Pocket PCs offer. Heck, I'd even take the smaller resolution of a Tapwave Zodiac, Sony UX50 or Tungsten T3. I see why the Treo has to incorporate that square screen in it's current and rumored iterations, but, the last year has been awkward none the less. I actually floated the idea that the Sony UX50 would have been the perfect prototype smart phone form. It had a great screen and wonderful keyboard. The Motorola MPx is the closest to that form, and it's anticpated to sell very well. The prospects of another year or so with a 320 x 320 Treo 650 just isn't getting me excited.

    Secondly, the lack of current Bluetooth and the prospects of future lack of WiFi on the Treos is a little less than optimum for me. Sure, I can live without WiFi if I get a data connection everywhere I go, but, that just doesn't happen -- especially at my house. So, I want WiFi as an option -- even if I don't ever have to use it but when I'm at home.

    Next -- the OS. I "grew-up with Palm" and like it alot, but, frankly, the PPC platform offers the power user quite a bit more I think. It's hard to pass-up many of the features a current Windows Mobile SE unit can give a guy. AND, I get to use Graffiti -- which I can't do with any new Palm OS unit without futzing with replacement files or add-on software. I wan to have multiple web pages open in browser windows and such -- like my laptop lets me do.

    Finally, while I have plenty of other little pet peaves (processor speed compromises, RAM compromises, etc...) the Treo is a great all in one, but, I like to upgrade my PDAs too often to get locked into and expensive all-in-one. If I split into a Bluetooth phone and PDA combo, I can upgrade the PDA or the phone independent of the other. I also don't have to compromise on features in the PDA area to get the converged device.

    So, I really thinking of getting out of my Treo 600 and forgoing the bling-bling of the Treo 650. I'm really thinking of trying out a combo system -- a Sony-Ericsson T637 and my HP iPAQ 2215. When Dell pops-out the new X50 or HP delivers on the next generation 2200 series unit, I'll probably go with one of them as my PDA. Or, I might just hold off and see what palmOne has to offer next spring in an OS 6 / Cobalt model. Either way, I will be much more flexible when that next "perfect" PDA comes around.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Mike Lohsl
    Mobile Evangelist

    From The Mind Of Mike...
  2. #2  
    To be fair, one has to recognize that the VGA pocket PCs have a 4" screen (or 3.8" at least). Is that the kind of form factor that you would like for a phone? I think I would not. The Wifi issue is a very annoying one, I agree on that. Same thing for the lack of file system and other things that Palm does not support.

    I used to have an ipaq 4155 coupled with a T610, I was able to connect with Wifi, and when Wifi was not available I was using the cellphone as a modem for the PPC. Great. The issues were: I had no keyboard (I kept forgetting the detachable one) and I did not like to carry two devices. finally, the PDA stayed at my home, most of the time. that's why I switched to the Treo 600. It does less, but it's here, with me.

    I'm not saying that having two devices will not work for you, but I wanted to shared my experience.
  3. #3  
    Mike,

    I think you will probably never be happy with a one-piece solution, at leasts not in the near future. You are too much a PDA user to tolerate the compromises of a smartphone.

    I have been to the "dark side" before, but I always came back to Palm OS camp. It is simply easier to use for me.
  4. #4  
    I guess it all depends on your definition of power user.

    A built-in "full" keyboard, to me, is the mark of a device that is made for a power user.
    I think the Treo 650 fits this fine.
  5. #5  
    I agree, it looks like a power PDA user (to your level at least) is going to have to have two devices until the day something amazing comes out to limit the form factor required for both.

    Otherwise there are some PPC phones that seem like they'd be up your alley. Personally, I try to do everything I can to help out Microsoft's competition, especially when they have a competitive product. Helping out Microsoft to me is like hitting on 18 in blackjack when the dealer has a 7 showing. I think the casino has enough help on it's own.
  6. #6  
    MikeUnwired

    I own a T3 and it's gathering dust. I found myself in the last couple of weeks thinking about using it in conjunction with the Sprint Treo just because of screen resolution and screen size. And then I think about having two devices and the hassle of said.....I don't think it's worth it unless you are really trying to replace a laptop functionality.

    I think the near term ideal solution will be a Treo 650 to address the resolution coupled with a hopefully, WiFi SD card since it appears that the 650 won't have builtin WiFi. The replaceable battery option of the Treo 650 should also address power issues that I can say damper the ability of the T3 to be a true laptop replacement.

    I've used the Treo 650 for slightly more than 6 months and probably would have considered something to replace the T3 if PalmOne had come out with it.

    For me - I'll wait another month or so and hopefully the Treo 650 will have BT and maybe even WiFi and then I think, even with the smaller screen, that the next Generation will be close to the perfect device - at least for the short term.
    Moose Man
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    iPhone 3G, Treo 750, 680, 650, 600 and T5, T3, T, M515, M505, Vx, V, Prizm, Visor, IIIc, IIIe, Palm Pilot Professional, Palm Pilot (ok boys and girls a whopping 128k of memory - those were the days) and former Palm Beta tester.
  7. #7  
    with the anti-MS rhetoric.

    Palm pissed away their leadership in the PDA market. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    MS (inc their partners), has, and continues to improve their offerings. MS has made early miscues (like forcing screen dimensions), but has learned and improved.

    Palm, minus a networking stack, has not significantly improved their OS in over 7 years...the device I bought back in 1997 done essentially the same functions (again, minus network).
    (I guess you could say color, but that is just a natural ecolution).

    I love the Treo, but Palm can ill afford to be complacent. If MS puts out a better device, people will move.
  8. #8  
    I just offered my case on this the other day:
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ighlight=h6315

    But! I did decide several months ago to move back to a two-device system and went with a 2215 and an SE E715. I also bought the HP micro-keyboard, which I returned because it was too limited, too awkward, and too bulky. I have a better phone and a much better PDA, but I found that I can't do without a keyboard, so I went back to using my 270 weekdays and now regularly pull my SIM card in and out of it.
    You may be right; I may be crazy. But, the Treo may be just the device I've been looking for.
  9. #9  
    I'd also suggest that the original poster is one of those folks (not bashing here, just suggesting) who can never be truly satisfied with any technology. And I know there are many of those out there, and that trait often defines we techno-geeks. So - I'd suggest to that person that he or she might never be really happy with anything, and likely always seeing the grass os greener on the other side. I know this seems like I'm slamming, but I'm really not - I am just suggesting that even if he were to make a change to a 2-unit strategy, or whatever else catches his fancy, that after some time has passed, he'll begin looking around again. And that's not unusual - many of us do that. I think what separates the 600 users is that we've found (or we think we have) the device that delivers the perfect balance between usability and capabilities. Is it perfect? Maybe not. Does a perfect device exist? Ultimately that's up to each user to decide. I would humbly suggest that after drifting away from the Treo, you might very well find yourself looking longingly back to your 600 days, and eventually coming back into the fold.
    Bottom line is that no one device is perfect for everyone, and there's room for many players in the market. As the phrase goes - a rising tide raises all boats.
  10. #10  
    I'd like to throw my 2 cents worth in here (and that is all it's worth). I have a Treo 600 after previously having a Treo 300 and before that a Sony Clie and also a Palm M100. I also have a Dell Axim X3i (that has WiFi). Having used both Palm and PPC, Palm feels very, very dated to me. I can do thing with my Axim I can never do with my 600. I can sit up in my bedroom and stream mp3's from my desktop PC, I can listen to ALL streaming broadcasts not just Shoutcast. I can watch movies on it that I've converted from DVD (and they look and sound great). I can easily access work Word and Excel documents seamlessly without installing third party software. Accessing the web using Pocket IE blows Blazer away. With WiFi access it is very, very fast and rendering is great.

    On the other hand, I love the form factor and ease of use of the Treo 600. I love being able to read files and ebooks on it that I've downloaded from the web, while I eat my lunch. I love being able to easily check my email using Chatter anywhere I am. I like to listen to Shoutcast broadcasts anywhere I am. I also like to occasionaly use the camera to take pictures. The important factor to me is it's small size and easy one handed use. The main thing I don't like about the 600 is it's very poor screen.

    I am going to be looking very seriously at the Daxian when/if it comes out as well as the 650. If the Daxian has a small form factor and I can do most of what I can do currently with my Axim (except for WiFi), I will probably go with it. If the Daxian for some reason doesn't come out or is way too big; I will either just stay with what I have or go with the 650.

    Time (and Sprint) will tell, I guess.
  11. jglev's Avatar
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    #11  
    First let me say that I love my Treo 600, but I too am still on the fence regarding the Treo 650. I have said it before and I will say it again (so please no flames), The Treo 650 is what the Treo 600 should have been a year ago. Nothing in the 650 wasn't possible in 2003. Now, with the 650, I believe Palm made additional missteps. The most obvious is 32 Megs of RAM. I am sorry, but there is no excuse for this. The second is WiFi. Yes, you will probably be able to use the new PalmOne WiFi card, but that takes up your one precious SD slot which is being use for additional memory and programs because there isn't enough internal memory on the device. The third is OS 5. Garnet is obsolete and can not compete functionally with the PocketPC OS. Again, there is no excuse for the 650 to not have Cobalt. If the 650 is upgradeable to Cobalt, I hope Palm gives it away (but I doubt that it will be upgradeable). We finally have a 320x320 screen, but why not have a slider like the T3 for more screen real estate? Again, none of these things aren't available today (well, maybe OS 6, but that is coming soon) and I don't think it is asking for too much. I suspect that when the Treo 700 arrives in 2005 it will have most of these things and again be a year behind the times.
    Jeff
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodolfo
    But! I did decide several months ago to move back to a two-device system and went with a 2215 and an SE E715. I also bought the HP micro-keyboard, which I returned because it was too limited, too awkward, and too bulky. I have a better phone and a much better PDA, but I found that I can't do without a keyboard, so I went back to using my 270 weekdays and now regularly pull my SIM card in and out of it.
    I too have the micro-keyboard and I even have a Think Outside IR Stowaway that I've used with my Treo 600. I actually prefer Graffiti on the fly -- I'm faster at it. Not that Graffiti 2 crap -- real Graffiti! The Pocket PC offers the Block Recognizer -- which is as close to Graffiti as you can get these days out-of-the-box.

    The HP micro-keyboard is certainly no Treo 600 or Blackberry keyboard. I have a hard time reading the labels on the keys and it's not backlit. The ergonomics of the rumored 650 keyboard look to be better, and that's great. But, if any keyboard takes second place to your use of on-screen stylus entry with Graffiti, it becomes much less of an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by nrossner
    I'd also suggest that the original poster is one of those folks (not bashing here, just suggesting) who can never be truly satisfied with any technology. And I know there are many of those out there, and that trait often defines we techno-geeks. So - I'd suggest to that person that he or she might never be really happy with anything, and likely always seeing the grass os greener on the other side. I know this seems like I'm slamming, but I'm really not - I am just suggesting that even if he were to make a change to a 2-unit strategy, or whatever else catches his fancy, that after some time has passed, he'll begin looking around again. And that's not unusual - many of us do that. I think what separates the 600 users is that we've found (or we think we have) the device that delivers the perfect balance between usability and capabilities. Is it perfect? Maybe not. Does a perfect device exist? Ultimately that's up to each user to decide. I would humbly suggest that after drifting away from the Treo, you might very well find yourself looking longingly back to your 600 days, and eventually coming back into the fold.
    Bottom line is that no one device is perfect for everyone, and there's room for many players in the market. As the phrase goes - a rising tide raises all boats.
    No offence taken -- you're absolutely right. My techno-geekdom is only limited by my monetary budget. I am conflicted about leaving the Treo 600 however. I may find having a two-piece set-up too cumbersome or that I don't do the things I did with the Treo simply because I have to do a little more work to get set-up. I really think the screen issues are driving my lust to do something different. I also came across another reason why I like my 2215 better -- replaceable battery. Last night, after writing the original post, I went up out of my office (cave as the wife calls it) and took the PPC with me. As I played and puttered for hours, the battery warning came up. I swapped out the battery for the second unit I carry and I was going full steam again.

    I'm going to do a fourteen day trial. I'll get back to you all and let you know how it's going.

    What's "perfect" for me won't be "perfect" for you -- that's why there are so many models to choose from in so many product lines.

    As for not feeding the M$ monster...

    When they built Oriole Park at Camden Yards, many Marylanders were unhappy that they paid for the ballpark with tax dollars and that they didn't approve the funding by reformendum or through the state legislature. So, when it was built, many people -- even to this day -- refused to go see an Orioles game at that ballpark. Well, in the mean time, regardless of the Orioles record, Camden Yards has become the home of many fine baseball memories and is seen as one of the best ballparks in the country. Those that refuse to go aren't hurting the politicians and such they wanted to hurt -- they're just missing out on one of the best venues to watch a baseball game in America. While they're sitting home stewing, they are missing out on the fun and excitement.

    I could refuse to use M$ products, but, then I'd be missing out on all the benefits I can get from them. I don't see this as a moral or ethical point on which I want to make a sacrificial stand. It's ok if "you" want to do that, but, I want to go to the "game", see the "action" and eat a hot dog -- all while using my M$ product to make it happen. Frankly, if Palm had protected their market, I could be using their product instead -- an maybe will again. OS 6 might change all that for all of us -- we just don't know because they haven't given us anything to try-out yet.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Mike Lohsl
    Mobile Evangelist

    From The Mind Of Mike...
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by jglev
    The Treo 650 is what the Treo 600 should have been a year ago. Nothing in the 650 wasn't possible in 2003.
    I agree completely, and while all these things you mention should be available in a top level device, they just aren't in a converged device. I look at an iPod and say that it should have a phone, but it doesn't, still many consider it the best at what it does. When it comes down to it, I'm going to buy the best device for the money which will likely be the Treo 650. Am I upset it doesn't have WiFi and 32MBs, you betcha, but it's still an upgrade and if the price is right, I'm buying.

    I can see two excuses for the Treo 650 to be the way it is. First, Handspring and Palm had to merge their companies, merge their software collection and get on the same page. It's difficult enough to do that without managing to switch to a new OS too, especially if that OS is only ready halfway through your merging of apps.

    Secondly, you have to remember that all the devices that have those things are bigger and often don't include something like a keyboard.

    I think when you ask for a slider and the newest OS (given the circumstances) you are asking for too much in too short a time. It's not practical to make a converged device with all the best specs or it would sell for $1000 and few would buy it.

    To WolfPackFan, I think the Treo does all the things you mentioned except that it might not stream music (probably because it doesn't have WiFi, but I don't know if the software is there). I know you can watch DVDs on it (TreoCentral has an article on how to do it). I can see why the Palm OS seems dated. It's probably because it is essentially the same over the last 7 years as MikeC mentioned. To me it's a "very good thing" when something can look the same and functionality can increase. Windows XP isn't too much different from Windows 95 in the looks department (especially if you choose the Classic look). The thing is that an OS should be just that an OS. It shouldn't have Word, Excel or anything else on it. I think Palm now includes those apps with it's new devices, in which case you get them anyway.

    When it comes down to it, PPC can probably do a few extra things that the PalmOS can not, but I can't think of one. I'm sure someone could come up with a list. I'd bet there isn't one thing that the average user would use once a quarter.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeUnwired
    I've been living a compromise for the last year now...
    Ah the dilemma....I've had the Treo 600 for a few months now, and I'm still popping my SIM card between it and a T616 phone (to be used with an Ipaq 4150). While I like the integration of the Treo, my (very) over 40 eyes have a real hard time with the screen. I also miss WIFI and Bluetooth as both my wife and I have integtrated BT in our cars. Pocket IE isn't that great, but it blows away the Palm based browsers when using something like ATT OfficeOnline for access to email behind the firewall.

    I miss the lack of a mulittasking, multithreaded Kernel that allows me to keep an email and web browser (among other apps) active at the same time. I'm a little tired of the save state, restore state operation of the Palm OS. Which brings me to a REALLY big gripe. A converged device is a perfect candidate platform for a multitasking OS, and PalmOne will not be using Cobalt in the Treo line. Yes, there is some limited Thread spawning, but its pretty primative (in the context of other embedded system OS) I'm not going to get into a p****ing contest here as to which OS is "better" but having spent the last 30 years writing operating systems, I have my opinion. BTW....what Marc Blank has done with Chatter is truly impressive given the OS restrictions he is dealing with. Beautiful piece of coding Marc!

    A converged device is going to be a compromise for a long time. The question is whether those compromises are worth carrying one device vs. two.
  15. #15  
    In my own standards I would consider myself a very heavy PDA, Cellphone, and Laptop user. As a Realtor these devices help me make a few bucks. If I lose one of them I would lose a few deals very quickly. I had a Treo 270 before the T600 came out and I decided at some point to get a Sony T610 for my phone and dedicate the T270 for my PDA. This lasted 2 weeks.
    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????
  16. gator12's Avatar
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    #16  
    Wouldn't the IPAQ 6315 solve your issues?
  17. #17  
    Maybe the Treo 650 with it's better screen and removable battery get you at least closer then.

    As for the MS monster, it's a good story, but I think it's a bad analogy. The building of Camden yards didn't threaten to destory all competition in baseball. Microsoft's domination (often though questionable or illegal tactics) already has destroyed competition in OSes, office applications, server software, browsers, and they are working a number of other outside areas such as steaming video formats (integrated into DVD players), financial software, portals (MSN), etc. It gets to the point that if Microsoft enters your market and throws it's $30+ billion in cash from it's windows and office monopolies, your business is toast. All this said, I also will use Microsoft for things of which there are no good competitors or the competitor's products lack something major I need. For this reason, I'm using Windows. However, if it's a tie, I'll give it to the competitor, just like I'd help out corner store vs. a Walmart if the prices are close. (The above are all my opinions only and are probably off topic, I apologize.)

    I think Bostonnerd had it right, the converged device is going to have some negatives vs. a combo off the best devices in the market.
  18. mgauss's Avatar
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    #18  
    A two device solution is perfect except that one leaves the PDA at home.

    The issue here is that the MS PPC crowd has simply not come up with a with it phone yet. But they will.

    The 650 is a miracle in that Palm One went through the politics of making Donna and the crew lazy millionaires, antagonizing their own castrated engineers that were rewarded for the T3 accomplishment with bosses that made them use 160 x 160 devices...

    But the fact that the 650 came out, even as the 600 is selling, shows that we are still in the race. Now cannot ignore the number of people reading the 650 forum is 3 times the number of people reading the 600 forum, But also the numbers are much smaller than last year.

    Many all in one got their solution and now live with it. We can't wait to go back to the big computer but we appreciate the email on the go. We are the wizards on te street, we can find the movie, but we don't see ourselves carrying the 10 ounces PPC MS devices require us to carry. And to plaster an Alien device to our face robs us of our self respect.

    As the 650 goes to the 660, now that the Palm One engineers are now done licking their wounds, the MS crowd will see the 650 and emulate, just like Gates copies Jobs. It is a race towards the first competent portable device.
  19. joele's Avatar
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    #19  
    I feel exactly the same hence my leaving palm after MANY years (I bought a Palm Personal within months of their release and have been using Palm PDAs ever since) but Palm just didn't offer what I needed anymore I wanted a full PDA with phone functions, not half of each. The Imate (XDA II) meets my needs, it is a full fledged PPC and a mobile with bluetooth, pefect, although I am considering getting the new Imate 2k (XDA IIs) as the slide out keyboard would be cool, and it has handsfree profile and not just headset profile like my current imate. But it all depends on what kind of deal I get from Telstra (phone provider here in Australia) as its a corporate contract phone, and I am happy with it as it is!
  20. #20  
    Agreed that most PDAs today (Palm of PPC) are heads and shoulders above the T600 or T650. I have had plams (my original was the original Palm Professional), and sever PPC (Jornada 820 and 548). I have also owned Kyo6035, Samsung i300, and the Treo 300. When I had the PPC device, I missed the symplicity of the Palm. The converged 6035 brought be back to Palm, because of one simple fact, I could turn 3 devices (pda, phone and pager) into a single device I could always have with me. That is the bottom line for me. Through all the compromise, I only have to carry a single device. the Treo is about as big a device I want to carry with me all the time. If I need to do "real computing", I bring my laptop. Smartphones are never going to compete with pure PDAs, and I think they are geared towards a different market as well.
    Carl
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