PalmOne Treo 600: First looks

by Volker Weber

treo600silver.jpgThe new Treo arrived today while I was at a client's site. The courier dropped it off at my neighbor's office and I was able to pick it up when I came back in the evening.

I unpacked the device and the charger and connected everything to a power outlet. Imagine me standing next to the outlet and playing with the new toy. I am never patient enough to let a new device sit there for the three hour initial charge.

Here we are a few hours later. Syncing all my data from the Mac was a breeze. I renamed the backup directory, connected the Treo via the USB cable and hit hotsync. 10 Minutes later everything was running as expected. I installed the few applications I need and the Treo was ready to roll.

I will need to get used to the tiny keyboard but I believe that is not going to take long. However, I was never able to adjust to Grafitti 2 from the Original Grafitti that I had used on all my Newtons and the Palms up to the Tungsten T. With the Tungsten T3, I had always tapped on the onscreen keyboard. The Treo does not have any handwriting recognition at all so I need to learn the keyboard.

The overall feel of the Treo is incredible. The five way navigator and the application buttons let you navigate and use the device without the stylus.

There are a few things that are less than optimal. First: there is no bluetooth, nor is there any Wireless LAN. So I have no good way to connect back to the net other than over GPRS. Which is a terrible idea in Germany with its metered GPRS plans.

Second: The screen is nowhere near the Tungsten. While the built-in camera takes nice pictures in bright daylight, you cannot really appreciate them on the device. You need to beam them to a Tungsten to get a better view. Also, there is no conduit to sync the pictures to a Mac yet. The Documentations says one should check the PalmOne website. Presumably they are working on a solution.

Third: The mail client does not support IMAP. Alas, I won't use it anyway over GPRS so that isn't too bad for me.

Fourth: I am badly missing the Tungsten World Clock. I used the built-in alarm quite often. Or I used the alarm clock of the SonyEricsson phone. I am not carring those anymore now that I have the Treo. So I need a solution here.

This is the end of my gripe list. The positive by far outweighs the negative, rest assured. You will hear a lot more in the coming days as I play more with the new toy.

Comments

I'm using "BigClock" (http://pdassi.de/product.php?prod_id=52) as world clock and alarm clock. Maybe it's the solution of your choice, too.

Markus Thielmann, 2004-05-05

In installed the special Treo 600 version.

Volker Weber, 2004-05-05

Soon you'll be able to use SnapperMail 2.0 which will support IMAP when released. For now, it's a fantastic POP client... you would have to buy VersaMail I believe unlike on the T3. I think it blocks install on other devices, but it might not hurt to try. ;)

I considered the Treo for avery long time, but ended up with the T3 + SE T610 which gives me smaller size, bluetooth and the great screen. Of course I miss the keyboard... Hopefully the Treo 610 will come with bluetooth and a higher res screen.

Jonathan Greene, 2004-05-05

Another vote for SnapperMail. It's excellent and has specific support for the Treo600. And yes, you'll get used to the keyboard soon, although I still struggle to find/locate chars like !,"#@ fast... and it is chubby-finger-friendly too, means if you press 2-3 keys at the same time, it uses the "mostly" pressed one and cancels out the others, instead of using them all. Helps. And while you're on a roll, install the PalmVNC client too: http://palmvnc2.free.fr/

Thomas Gumz, 2004-05-05

Slightly off topic: Is there an app for the T3/SE610 combination, that gives you callerID on the Palm. And one to pull the call-log?
;-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2004-05-05

"I am never patient enough to let a new device sit there for the three hour initial charge."
Hm, maybe you could make a deal with your neighbor... next time a device comes in, he opens the package and charges the device already until you come to pick it up ;-)

Ragnar Schierholz, 2004-05-05

No bluetooth ? No wireless ? Supersmall keyboard ? I've always been a fan of good keyboards a la Psion, and not having wireless connectivity in any way really puts me off.
I wouldn't consider it for me at all.
But then, it's good we aren't all the same, right ?

Alex, 2004-05-05

No Bluetooth can be a real showstopper. Still, this device appears to be so nifty that I would give it a try - if my provider offered it as an upgrade. 02 of course doesn't, as they have the XDA II, and I am not sure if I want MSFT under the hood of my assistant.

Haiko, 2004-05-05

I reccomend using PDANET it makes your TREO 600 work like a modem and supply your Laptop or PC with internet. Great for when you are traveling and not near a hotspot!

Brice, 2004-06-03

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