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Palm Foleo and GTD

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  • Palm Foleo and GTD

    There's supposed to be a new product from Palm coming quite soon that's not quite a notebook PC and not quite an organizer. What has me most excited about this device is its "instant on" capability. I think having ready access to information will be very powerful, because I've found that in the minute or two it can take to boot a PC, the inspiration can be lost.

    Foleo's been soundly thrashed in a lot of the press because it doesn't have the raw processing power you might expect for a small PC, but that doesn't seem to be its intended function.

    Is anyone else following the Foleo?

    Regard,s

    Matt

  • #2
    I saw the product announcement for the Foleo, and I'm still scratching my head wondering exactly what problem Palm thinks the device solves. As near as I can tell, the Foleo isn't much of a standalone computing device at all. Rather, it's essentially a Bluetooth-enabled screen and keyboard that uses your Palm Treo to actually do the heavy lifting of working on stuff. It's not even clear to me whether you can run other Palm apps on it, or whether it only does the email and web stuff.

    If you want an instant-on, PalmOS-based portable device with a keyboard and a larger screen, this might be a better choice.

    -- Tammy

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    • #3
      I'll be publishing an extensive review of the Foleo after the product is officially announced (we're technically in a pre-announcement phase at the moment). By the time the Foleo is released, mDayscape, a third party Palm Desktop equivalent, will be available. Without an onboard PIM to sync to the Treo, it's currently not the ideal GTD platform, unless you keep your system in Word or text files.

      Without direct access to a Foleo, critics are trying to draw broad conclusions about the device based solely on its specs, which, due to its form factor, compare unfavorably to a laptop's. It's really a PDA in a subnotebook form factor, so there's no boot time, no shutdown time, no disk caching (it's solid state, sans hard drive), no need to manually save files in progress.

      The instant-on feature really is as great as Palm claims it is. There have been 10-minute windows of time that I would never dream of using with a laptop (half the time would be lost to bootup and shutdown intervals), but are great for the Foleo, where it's possible to process several emails or look up something online. The battery life is robust enough for an overnight charge to power the unit all day (6 hours of cumulative use got the unit down to 15% by the end of the night). You can leave the charger at home, just as you would your cell phone.

      Since the Foleo is Linux based and is quite different than most consumer laptops except in its form factor, adoption of the Foleo will depend on how platform-agnostic your general purpose computing really is. If 80% of what you do on a laptop is email, web browsing and document editing (Docs To Go is its native suite for Office-compatible files), there's a good chance you're in the target market for this device. If you need something more platform-specific, like Quickbooks, Revit or Illustrator, you'll probably need to carry a laptop throughout the day anyway, so the Foleo would be extra baggage. Palm is mainly touting it as an email solution, and though I was initially puzzled by the emphasis, processing email on the Foleo really is more efficient and satisfying than a handheld or a laptop. It's definitely worth testing one out for yourself when its released in the next few weeks.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wordsofwonder View Post
        As near as I can tell, the Foleo isn't much of a standalone computing device at all. Rather, it's essentially a Bluetooth-enabled screen and keyboard that uses your Palm Treo to actually do the heavy lifting of working on stuff. It's not even clear to me whether you can run other Palm apps on it, or whether it only does the email and web stuff.
        It is a standalone device, leveraging the Treo's Bluetooth for dial-up networking (DUN) and email synchronization. The Foleo accesses the internet through DUN or, more commonly, WiFi. It doesn't run Palm apps; it's a completely different platform, not a dumb terminal for the Treo.
        Last edited by Gameboy70; 08-12-2007, 10:20 AM.

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        • #5
          Palm needs Steve Jobs.

          Originally posted by Gameboy70 View Post
          If you need something more platform-specific, like Quickbooks, Revit or Illustrator, you'll probably need to carry a laptop throughout the day anyway, so the Foleo would be extra baggage. Palm is mainly touting it as an email solution, and though I was initially puzzled by the emphasis, processing email on the Foleo really is more efficient and satisfying than a handheld or a laptop.
          Incompatible laptop-like device that can do e-mail. Palm should hire Steve Jobs with his Reality Distortion Field to sell such device.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
            Incompatible laptop-like device that can do e-mail. Palm should hire Steve Jobs with his Reality Distortion Field to sell such device.
            Well, that's the difference between Apple and Palm: Steve is busy selling tons of iPods, iPhones, and iMacs. Maybe he could sell ice to Eskimos, but he doesn't have to. Palm is struggling to get the ice out the door, so they can see if anyone will buy some.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gameboy70 View Post
              Since the Foleo is Linux based
              Ooh, now that is interesting...I didn't realize it was a Linux-based device. I wonder if this is the reason why ACCESS has been working so hard to get the developer tools for the "next-generation Linux-based Palm" out the door in a big hurry. I wonder what sorts of third-party applications we'll see for such a device, once it hits the street.

              The pricepoint for the Foleo seems a bit high to me, considering that you can get subnotebook PCs for not a lot more money, but it'll be interesting to see what the marketplace does with such a device.

              -- Tammy

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              • #8
                My understanding is that the Foleo is no longer in Palm's product plans...

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                • #9
                  Yes.

                  Yes. http://blog.palm.com/palm/2007/09/a-message-to-pa.html

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