Palm has just released a Linux-based 2.5lbs “mobile companion” called Foleo. It is capable of running basic productivity software such as email, web browser, word processing and so on… It is an “instant-on” (no boot) device with a full keyboard and a 10.2″ display. The manufacturer claims that it has a battery life of 5 hours. It connects to the internet via WiFi or via a phone (Foleo>(Bluetooth)>Phone>(phone network)>internet).
Palm presents it as a “new category” of devices but I don’t think that it is so new. There were various attempts in the past at providing a lighter, instant-on platform connected via Wifi or BT modem. However, this one has a good design, I have to admit. The question is: is there a market for this? Without a native Microsoft Exchange capability (I mean mobile outlook – there’s an Exchange support via Versamail), it’s going to be hard to convince professionals (and their IT departments) to use it and at $499, it’s hard to get consumers to buy it. So it all depends on how much value it really adds and how easy it is to use. At the moment, I doubt that Palm can turn this into a commercial success but I’d love to get my hands on one because it looks so sexy.
Second opinion on PCmag
- 10.2-inch color screen (1024×600)
- SD card slot
- CompactFlash slot
- VGA out (1024×768)
- USB Port
- 256MB of RAM