Palm today at the D conference announced the Foleo, a Linux-based, 10 inch screen device designed to work as a smartphone companion; it will connect via Bluetooth to a Treo device running either the Palm operating system or Windows Mobile to send and receive e-mails and edit documents using a full-sized keyboard.
The Foleo, Hawkins said, represents the first in a new line of devices aimed at redefining how people work while away from their desks. In a nod to the popularity of competing products, he added that he expects the Foleo to work with BlackBerry devices, from RIM, and with Apple's upcoming iPhone.
The Foleo will be priced at $599 with an introductory rebate of $100, bringing it down to $499; it weighs just over 2 pounds and has an estimated battery life of 5 hours. Unfortunately for Palm the Foleo failed to impress the audience.
"I can't think of why people would go out and buy this," Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates in Northboro, said. "I don't understand the market for it. They say their target market is those who do a lot of e-mails on a bigger screen, but my point is, why not get a mini laptop instead?"
And I have to agree with the critic, sure it is lighter and cheaper than a laptop computer but it doesn't really do anything an ultra-portable notebook or an UMPC can do better. Even if price is the main selling point here - and it isn't - you can get an entry-level laptop these days for almost the same price.