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"Duo-h!"

Wed May 22, 2002 - 9:46 PM EDT - By James Hromadka


Hello again! You may have noticed that I haven't been around much lately, but I'm glad to say that I'm back. Thing's have been pretty hectic for me personally lately, as my wife and I recently bought a town home. I won't go into details, but I will say that now I know why buying a house is the most stressful thing one will ever do.

I have been keeping an eye on things, however. I look forward to the Treo 270 with keen interest, particularly since I had to send back the Treo 180 after I was done with its review. As the Visor Prism is my primary device, I look forward to being able to have color and outdoor visibility.

The concept of the Treo 90, however, bothers me. The name Treo = PDA + Cellular Pager. The Treo 90, as reported, is only PDA + SD slot. Perhaps Handspring is rethinking the naming idea behind the Treo. Now it is PDA (Color + Keyboard + Wireless). That would explain the numbering scheme, as the Treo 270 is three times the PDA that the Treo 90 will be.

If Handspring really wanted to release an economical device in a Treo form factor, it should have release a unit sans color at a price ~$200. What good is Blazer if there is no built-in connectivity? It will be as useful as a computer without a modem.

On the other hand, the Treo 90 is at the pricepoint of color PDAs and has the bonus of having a built-in keyboard. It will sell. My big beef is with the name. This is not a 3-in-i device. It is a 2-in-one at best. I guess Duo was already trademarked.

My only wish is that the Treo 90 would have had built-in wireless capability, such as 802.11. As I write this, I am sitting in my living room, typing away on my PowerBook while still being online. I would give anything to have a Treo that uses that same network. No cellular charges, just fast Internet access. Then Blazer would become a killer application, as I could use it to look up movie times while eating dinner, find a nice restaurant to go to while standing in my closet, -- you get the idea.

Last year I pined for an Ethernet Springboard module, but now I want a reasonably-priced wireless PDA solution. Spending $200-300 on an add-on module is not the way to go. Heck that's more than I spent on a wireless basestation and a PCI WiFi card combined!

Please Handspring, give us back that third component and release an 802.11 Treo. You can even call it the Treo 360, as in use it anywhere. I know I would.



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