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Palm Foleo official, coming to iPhone?

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Wed May 30, 2007

Palm Foleo Official

Palm has at last unveiled the Foleo, one of the world's first smartphone companions. As hinted by a last-minute slip, the Foleo serves as a more powerful way of managing e-mail and work: a 10-inch LCD and a full QWERTY keyboard provide extra space for editing Microsoft Office documents or checking messages. Owners can regularly synchronize files back and forth to ensure that they stay current when the Foleo is left behind. New in the official release is the confirmation of Internet access. The Foleo can browse the web or check e-mail using a custom version of the Opera web browser and a mail client; the connection can be made using either a Bluetooth link to a phone with cellular Internet or through its own Wi-Fi. A USB port and an SD card slot provide room for peripherals and extra storage, while a headphone jack allows listening to media without plugging into the phone itself.

The Foleo additionally marks Palm's first Linux device and fully embraces the openness of the platform, Palm says. Though officially targeted at both PalmOS and Windows Mobile versions of the Treo, the notebook-like assistant can readily support other phones through a "modest software effort" -- including the iPhone, according to the company. While no discussions have been announced with Apple, Palm has said it will work to support "as many smartphones as possible" and is willing to include the iPhone in the list.

The accessibility also allows for relatively rapid development of third-party apps and extensions, Palm adds. A large-scale version of DataViz' Documents To Go is an example and will ship with the system to provide full Excel, PowerPoint, and Word editing.

As confirmed this morning, the new device should be available sometime during the summer at a price of $499 after a $100 discount.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. lpkmckenna

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Well now...

    An interesting idea. I wonder if it will catch on.

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001



    So, it's a low-end Linux laptop, with software to let it share a Treo's internet connection, and no media/drives?

  1. jcatma61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006


    L is for LOSER.

    Uh, that's why I do business with a smartphone and a PowerBook.

    At first blush, I thought Foleo would be a folding Treo, maybe with multiple displays. Now, that would be innovative.

    This is kind of like adding another hunk of tech that we'd be lugging around everywhere.

    Don't think so.

  1. chadpengar

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001


    call me dumb

    but I don't get it. Why would I want to lug that thing around? How is it a companion to a smart phone? Granted I am just reading the MacNN article and nothing else but it seems to be a very small notebook running Linux of some sort with maybe some fancy interface stuff to shield you from the Linux.

  1. pysan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    missed the mark

    When I first read the few top lines of this article, I thought, wow, they are on to something! But after seeing it all, it is basically a low-end laptop, and they have missed the mark they could have hit.

    If they made it a dumb terminal w/ a 10" LCD and a full QWERTY keyboard, that connected via bluetooth to a smartphone and acted like plugging in an external keyboard monitor to your laptop, I think they would have had a winner.

    Why would you want to lug around a laptop if you could just bring your phone everywhere, and when you needed it, you could pull this out and type longer emails or work on docs with a bigger screen and more full keyboard. But as it is, it just seems like a waste, as the device instead of being a dumb terminal, is trying to act like a semi-full featured, yet very weak, laptop.

    Too bad...


  1. chas_m



    Not so much

    $499 for an additional 2.5lb, up-to-five-hour sub-laptop that has no independent function?

    Sure, the screen is bigger and two-handed typing is nice, but other than that I see nothing here that an iPhone can't do for $500 less.

    If I need a laptop to sync with my smartphone, I'd get ... a full-blown laptop. The whole idea of the smartphone is to lose the laptop in most day-to-day situations. Checking email, composing short replies and looking at stocks/weather/phone numbers etc should not require a whole laptop, and certainly shouldn't require a $500 add-on to my smartphone!

    If it had been a $99 or $199 add-on I think a lot of people would have gone for it, but it just doesn't justify its cost and the extra bulk.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    yawn... now I have to decide which of 3 devices to cart around?... I think I would prefer a 12" powerbook G4...

  1. zac4mac

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999



    it's a new Newton - too big and too expensive. I have 2 Newtons BTW, a 120 and a 2100, neither bought new, both still work. Maybe the Foleo will get a cult following too, but I doubt it.


  1. HombrePhaty

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003


    Psst. Newton was murdered

    and I miss him (it). Ah, what might have been... the iPhone a decade earlier.

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Good Idea, Bad Execution

    OK, so I watched the speech. I get what this guy is saying; sometimes you need/want a larger screen and a full sized key board. But while I was looking at this thing all I could think of was what others have already mentioned, it's the size of a small laptop. It's like they didn't really put any thought into this so the next thing I wondered about was: How would Apple have done this? One that is obvious, the bulk, if you can't find a way to reduce the bulk, like some kind of folding or sliding or rolling out or something, even making it way thinner would have been a big improvement.

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