Handspring combines PDA, message, digital phone in Treo
By Macworld Staff
Want to consolidate your PDA, cell phone and pager into one device? Visor PDA maker
today said it has the answer — the company introduced its newest line of products, called Treo. The new devices combine the company’s PDA hardware with cellular phone and paging technology. The new Treo products are expected to hit shelves next year.
The Treo 180 is, for lack of a better term, the entry-level model. At US$399, the unit comes in two configurations — the regular Treo 180 features a built-in keyboard, while the Treo 180g features a Graffiti writing area like a conventional Palm-based PDA.
The Treo is colored in steel-blue. The system comes configured with 16MB of RAM and uses a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball processor. It comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium ion battery and includes a travel charger with HotSync cable and a headset for hands-free use. The battery provides about 2.5 hours of talk time and 60 hours of standby, according to Handspring. The Treo features a 4-bit grayscale display with 160 x 160 pixel resolution.
The Treo 180 sports a jog rocker on its side to enable users to scroll quickly through the PhoneBook, Date Book and other applications with one hand. The unit’s flip lid features a clear window so users can read messages and e-mail, check Caller ID on inbound calls and view calendar contents. The Treo also features a ring mode and a vibrate mode.
In addition to the core Palm OS organizer applications, the system features Handspring’s Blazer Web browser and an SMS messaging application for sending messages to other GSM phones or to e-mail addresses. It’s also compatible with all Palm OS applications.
Treo devices operate on GSM networks, which Handspring noted is the most widely used digital phone standard in the world. The networks cover over 10,000 cities and towns in North America alone, and 171 countries worldwide. Handspring plans to offer Treo service plans via leading GSM carriers in North America, Europe and Asia. Treo phones are dual-band and can roam internationally. They’re also compatible with GPRS, a wireless data transfer standard. Handspring plans to make additional software available once GPRS service plans are widely available.
Handspring also said that a color model is planned. The Treo 270 is expected to be released by mid-2002 and will cost $599.
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