Palm Spreads Its Wings With The Foleo

Palm Spreads Its Wings With The FoleoThink of it as a creative, natural move – Palm has just launched its own laptop, the Foleo, to link with the company’s Treo smartphone using aBluetooth connection.   The Foleo is mostly intended for editing email and documents on the Treo through Windows Mobile or the Palm OS. But theFoleo itself will run Linux.   In an interesting reversal, the laptop is seen as an adjunct to the phone, and at 2.5 pounds, and with a 10.2 inch screen and a five hour battery life, it’sdefinitely a tiny thing. According to Palm, it can synchronise with the phone and switch off and on instantly, using solid state storage rather than a conventional hard drive. Any edits made todocuments on the Treo will automatically be recorded on the Foleo and vice versa.   Palm has made sure connectivity won’t be a problem. In addition to Bluetooth, the Foleo is Wi-Fienabled, has slot for both SD and compact flash memory cards, a single USB port, and a video-out port. The new machine will also be quite versatile, running email and a Web browser, as well aseditors or viewers for Adobe PDF files, as well as the Microsoft Office suite.   The company sees this as the next step, according to founder Jeff Hawkins.   “Smartphones will be themost prevalent personal computers on the planet, ultimately able to do everything desktop computers can do. However, there are times when people need a large screen and full-size keyboard. Assmartphones get smaller, this need increases. The Foleo completes the picture, creating a mobile-computing system that sets a new standard in simplicity.”   Initial reaction from analystswas less that ecstatic for the company that pioneered PDAs and smartphones; indeed, there are rumors that Palm may soon be taken over.   The Foleo will retail for $499, including a $100 rebate.

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