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Mystery Device Prototype Reveals as Compal Tabasco, Could Still Become a Palm

Tue Dec 16, 2008 - 10:04 AM EST - By Dieter Bohn


[Translated source of original images]

More details have emerged on the mysterious product we reported on earlier this month.. In our forums it was identified as a possible Palm product code-named "Roteo" and a close look at the keyboard gave strong hints that it might see production as a Palm device, since the keyboard look, feel, and layout was incredibly close to that of the Centro and Treo Pro

Pocketables [via Engadget Mobile] has done some sleuthing and found the man who took the photos. They come to us from the Computex 2008 convention and here are the details:

The device is manufactured by Compal, a Taiwanese company that manufacturers handsets for various cellphone companies (an "Original Device Manufacturer," or ODM). The device was, as suspected, a prototype codenamed Tabasco and more details on it are therefore pretty thing. It sports a screen of around 4.5 to 5 inches, has a 3.5 mp camera with flash on the rear, and is a relatively hefty 6.3x3.3.1.4 inches in size.

It's still possible that this device could see life as a Palm smartphone as Compal is an ODM for Palm. We noted in August that Palm placed an order for 5 million units from Compal and, as PalmInfoCenter reported, it's strongly suspected that these units will run Windows Mobile.

For now, place the Roteo under the "pending" category until more details surface. Personally, I'm thinking that this will end up not being a Palm device -- it's so large it smells like the Mobile Internet Device (MID) that some have speculated it is. I.E., not really intended to be a traditional smartphone. In the meantime, the discussion of the device continues in our forums!

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