Handheld maker Palm introduced the latest iteration of their Treo line on Wednesday, the Treo 755p. It will be the first Palm device to support Microsoft Direct Push e-mail technology out of the box, as well as built-in Google Maps capability, an integrated antenna, and a mini-SD slot rolled into slim form factor design. Sprint will begin offering the phone in mid-May for $279.99 with a two-year service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate.
Using the newest version of Palm’s VersaMail client, Treo users will be able to see new e-mail messages instantly as they arrive, via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and the aforementioned Microsoft Direct Push Technology. Previously, SMS messages had to be sent out by e-mail servers to give mobile e-mail clients the trigger to sync up and download new mail. This arrangement ended up being expensive for the end user, who had to pay for all the text messages, and for the e-mail provider, which had to pay for new hardware to send out the texts. It also resulted in a lag time between new e-mail and user notification. The new method speeds up the process and cuts down cost at the same time.
Palm also put Google Maps, a commonly used mobile application, right in the Treo’s ROM. “By integrating Google Maps for mobile into the Treo 755p, we’re making it even easier for users to get directions, maps, local listings, and traffic updates for wherever life takes them,” said Steve Lee, product manager for Google Inc., in a statement.
Of course, the Treo 755p will be able to perform all the old Palm tricks, too. A color touch screen, QWERTY keyboard and 1.3-megapixel camera are all par for the course these days, along with the ability to use the Treo as a data modem for a laptop and 50 channels of on-demand television content from Sprint. The 755p comes with 128MB of memory built in, but the mini-SD slot makes it expandable up to 4GB.