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Palm Foleo Draws More Questions Than Praise

Network Computing's technology editors love shiny new gadgets. The Palm Foleo created instant debate among their ranks on the system's usability, use cases--and future. Read the discussion now on the NWC Blog.
Richard Karpinski
Editor in Chief, Online

Palm's new Foleo "mobile companion" device seemed to land with a thud this week, as bloggers, device watchers and mainstream IT press (including NWC's technology editors) wondered what to make of a product that--to say the least--seemed a bit outside the mobile mainstream.

For those of you who missed it, the Foleo (note the similarity to Palm's "Treo" PDA) was touted by Palm as a laptop-like companion to a user's existing smartphone. It sports a large screen and full-size keyboard in a small, relatively lightweight profile (10-inch screen; 2.5 pounds). Although the device does support Wi-Fi, the idea is to pair the Foleo with a 3G-enabled smartphone for uses where such a device comes up short -- such as with heavy e-mail or document processing. Unlike a laptop, the Foleo is instant-on, is easier to lug around and has better battery life (five hours plus).

The Foleo's built-in applications include e-mail, full-screen Web browser, and editors or viewers for common business documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. In addition to Wi-Fi support, it includes Bluetooth for synching to other devices. It runs on a Linux-based operating system.

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