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Best All-in-One Handheld

October 11, 2005

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 07:14

Periodically, I stumble across a product that really stands out. One month ago, I purchased a Palm Treo 650. It’s a phone and PDA/organizer in one device. I especially like it’s size, compared to some smart phones that are on the market. This was my first, so I really did not know what to expect. 

The verdict from this one-person jury is in: I like it—a lot. Already, I’ve benefited countless times from its email and web capabilities. I travel frequently, so checking email on my way to/from the airport, waiting for flights to depart, and in taxi cabs is invaluable. In fact, on a recent three-day trip, I did not use my laptop for email until the day I departed. I could have gotten by without it entirely, but I needed to process some email that required some rather lengthy replies. Short replies are reasonably fast using the Treo’s very small but usable built-in keys.

The device offers many capabilities. Last Saturday, while at the Colorado State football game, I checked the scores of other games at an ESPN website. (If you have a cellular signal, you can visit websites and check email.) I’ve also used the Treo to review and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files and it works well to view PDF files. I’ve used it to download and listen to MP3s, although I need to buy a good stereo headset. I’ve purchased a Bluetooth headset for wireless phone conversations and for reviewing voice mail and it works well. The Treo is also capable of voice recognition, but I have not yet set it up. Last week, I shot some digital images with it that I would have not otherwise captured. The Treo is also capable of shooting video (motion picture) with sound. Pretty amazing little device.

This is my fourth Palm handheld, so it’s nice having all of the familiar Palm functionality integrated into a phone and Internet handheld. It syncs beautifully to my desktop and laptop computers, so my calendar, task list, etc., match. The device is easy to use, the battery life is good, and it’s easy to carry using my Seidio holster, which I recommend highly. If you’re considering an all-in-one handheld, the Treo 650 is the device to buy.