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Comdex 2002

Last Updated Thu Nov 21, 2002 - 2:19 AM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson


TreoCentral's staff is now back from our trip to Las Vegas, and we hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Comdex 2002. Please don't forget to check out our insightful streaming video interviews that complements our other content.

Treo Related

US GPRS Release next week

We have now confirmed that Handspring will release the US GPRS updater early next week. The updater will be slighly different from the current 1.1 release, but no major changes have taken place. A Handspring representative also stated that echo reduction is a major feature of the currently available GPRS releases. eWeek this morning first reported that "Palm OS licensee Handspring Inc. later this week will announce U.S. availability of GPRS (general packet radio service) support for its Treo device."

New Treo for China

Handspring will later this week announce a modified Treo 270 for the Chinense Market. The Treo has been modified in partership with CEC Telcom, a leading Chinese cell phone manufacturer. The device features a new white/light silver plastic shell, along with a white backlit keyboard. The CECT Treo 270 has a custom tailored Chinese version of Palm OS and all the various Treo applications. We got to see a pre-production unit and it looks great! View Photos.

Photo Traveler turns your Treo 90 into a camera

Turn your Treo 90 into a camera with Veo's new Photo Traveler. This tiny SDIO camera can capture images up to 640x480 in resolution and features a swivel lens with adjustable focus. Since it is an SDIO camera, the only Treo it works with is the Treo 90. The camera comes bundled with Windows software for managing images and transferring to the PC, and is available now for $99.99. View Video.

Seidio keeps your Treo powered

Seidio showed their second generation PowerPack, which offers multiple ways to keep your Treo charged. The new PowerPack features a redesigned case, a 9V emergency charger, an eight-inch USB recharging/sync cable, an airplane adapter, and a slim combined car/travel charger. Available now for $49.95 and a 20% discount is offered during Comdex. View Video.

TreoMail comes to Europe

European users will finally be able to purchase the TreoMail service. It comes with a free 90-day trial (60 more days than in the US).

Keynotes & Seminars

Handspring User Group Meeting

On Tuesday morning Handspring sponsored a Users Group Meeting where Peter Skillman, Director of Product Design Engineering, gave a short presentation on Treo's development process, and Ed Colligan, President, participated in a Q&A with the audience. Ed stated that "Our next generation product is going to be such a radical breakthrough from where we are today, [that] you guys will be pretty floored by it." Ed also commented on the decision to shift Handspring's focus from organizers to communicators. View Video.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates in his annual Comdex keynote speech on Sunday night showcased a wide range of new devices, innovative software and industry partnerships that he said will bring exciting new benefits to consumers. You can read about his speech here and here.

Noteworthy Devices

Fossil Palm OS Watch

Fossil is previewing their new WRIST PDA, the worldÂ’s first Palm powered watch. The watch is a truly wearable Palm powered device that provides access to information while on-the-go in a sleek and compact form factor. The WRIST PDA is fully compatible with the Palm OS platform and will run all Palm OS applications (the lack of some buttons might be an issue). "We believe consumers want the functionality of a handheld with the style and portability of a wrist watch", said Donald R. Brewer, vice president of technology for Fossil. The Palm OS enables Fossil to provide customers with a fashionable wrist-worn device that is incredibly useful, yet lightweight, small, and powerful. The WRIST PDA features an illuminated touch screen with a stylus integrated into the band for Graffiti input, 2MB internal memory, Rocker switch user interface, infrared port, and rechargeable battery. The WRIST PDA should be available in stores by mid-2003, ranging from $199 to $299. View Video.

Sony Ericsson P800

Sony Ericssons' new P800 is a very impressive piece of electronics - it combines a phone, PDA, digital camera, music player, and Internet access point into one very small package. The phone is powered by the latest version of Symbian OS, which means third party applications can be written in both Java and C++. The PDA features are very robust and syncs directly with Microsoft Outlook and several other desktop-based PIMs. Among the phones' features we find a high resolution screen, Bluetooth connectivity, Triple-Band GPS/GPRS, a Memory Stick Duo Slot, Jog Dial, MP3 player, and a VGA quality camera. This phone is loaded! Available in December for around $500. View Video.

Tungsten W

Palm's Tungsten W a data-centric smart phone that is somewhat similar to the Treo design wise, although it doesn't feature a flip-cover and can't be used for voice calls without a hands free kit. The unit is also slightly larger in height and width, but due to the lack of a flip-cover it is thinner than the Treo. However, the Tungsten features two items current Treo models sorely lack - an SD expansion slot and a High Resolution 320 x 320 pixel color screen. The Palm Tungsten W integrates the power of a Palm handheld with the functionality of a mobile phone, packing in useful features such as Quick Connect, which allows users to easily make phone calls from the Address Book without using the stylus. With the Palm Tungsten W handheld, users can use features found in mobile phones today, such as speed dialing, caller ID, call forwarding, 5-way conference calling, and call-history logs. In addition, users can access custom functionality, such as redial reminders and call notes, which integrate with the Palm Address Book. While the phone applications work as promised, we think Treo's dialer programs are easier to use. Available next year for $549. View Video.

Tungsten T

The Tungsten T is Palm's latest and most feature rich PDA. It is the first Palm OS device to be powered by a fast ARM processor and Palm OS 5. The Tungsten T features a high resolution screen, sliding graffiti area, SD expansion, and multi-direction navigation pad. What makes the Tungsten T interesting for us folks who are looking for integration between our PDA and Phone is its built-in Bluetooth connectivity. Combine a Tungsten T and an Ericsson T68 (or any other Bluetooth phone) and you can quick dial from the address book, browse the web, check your e-mail, and even send and receive SMS messages. Available Now for $499. View Video.

Samsung i330

The Samsung i330 will shortly be released in the US as a Sprint PCS Vision (other carriers are unknown). The i330 is an improved version of Samsungs existing Palm OS smart phone, the i300. We didn't get a chance to speak to a company representative yet, so we only have a sneak preview available for now. More information to come. View Video.

Nokia 6800

We don't usually write about "standard" cell phones, but we make an exception for Nokia 6800 because it offers a new solution for fitting a QWERTY keyboard into the form factor of a standard phone. The dial-pad can flip around 180 degrees, revealing a very function keyboard. The Nokia 6800 offers limited PDA functionality on its 128x128 pixel screen, but is sure to be a hit with the SMS crowd. Maybe future Treo models, which Handspring has stated will be more "phone" like will offer a similar solution. Available Q2 2003 for $200-$300 from the various GSM providers. View Video.

Cool Software

RealOne for PalmOS 5

RealNetworks are demoing a new version of their RealOne player that will enable consumers to use their Palm Tungsten T handhelds as digital audio players. RealOne Player Mobile will deliver audio multimedia playback and storage for both RealAudio and MP3 files on Palm's newest handheld, enabling users to play and store music wherever and whenever. Available by the end of the year as a free download. View Video.

Launcher X launched!

While not happening at Comdex, the long-awaited Launcher X has finally launched. We have been using the beta for quite a while and it is a great launcher replacement.

World Book Encyclopedia for Palm OS

Another one of those while not happening at Comdex, but send a press release out anyways things - Town Compass, LLC, announced that they have the a concise version of the World Book Encyclopedia available for Palm OS. It is an 8 MB file, so therefore it will only work on PDA's with 16 MB of memory. However an SD card should be available soon. You can download the $20 database here.

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