Today was the 9th and last day for the Treo 700p journey in the 81-day experiment. The Treo 700p is not going to disappear completely from our radar. It is moving to the People-OnTheGo handheld devices “lab”, where it is likely to undergo further experiments, and probably become the “star” of one of the handheld devices workshops, as well as get included in the next revision of the “BlackBerry, Treo, or Pocket PivotChart: Virtual Test Drive” workshop.
For now, the experiment will move on, and tomorrow is a new beginning for a whole new device which is likely to be the Treo 700w (Windows Mobile instead of Palm OS)--unless I get the news that the Treo 750w is around the corner. But rumors has it that it may be several months before the 750w is released in the U.S., even though it seems to be ready to be released in the U.K. in September based on recent reports.
The last 9 days in summary
The Treo 700p is a fine device and a major improvement from the earlier Treo models.
The Treo 700p is a full featured device and a strong multi-media powerhouse (camera, video camera, voice memos, music, etc.)
With the Verizon wireless broadband network, the Internet is at your fingertip. The ability to connect your laptop from almost anywhere can save you significant time and money.
Wireless Sync (the e-mail application I used) is quite efficient and push e-mail is a nice treat. However, if you want to send attachments, you need VersaMail instead (also provided).
The rest of the add-on applications that were on the installation CD were quite useful, and many more are available on the market. Documents To Go can come quite handy if you are willing to work with documents on the little screen. Keycaps and Textras give you an edge when typing on the little keyboard.
I actually got used to the little keyboard. I was even able to pass the 16-digit-accout-number test (typing the number when prompted by the voice mail system without mistakes). But don’t expect to type fast and better to look at the keys when you type and not at what you’re typing (on the screen).
Verizon’s network does a great job even in some of the toughest spots of San Francisco. So if your needs are local (U.S.) you are fine. If you need to cross the borders often, think twice.
Versizon’s technical support got “2 out of 3”. I had two excellent calls and one poor one in which, not only the Verizon support didn’t integrate well with the Palm support, but they both misdiagnosed the problem and weren’t able to fix it.
What is the catch?
I don’t think there is a real catch, but there are thing you need to be aware of and prepared for::
If you are not a Palm OS user (in other words if you are considering a Palm OS device for the first time), you need to put your hands on the device and try it out and think usability. Some users love Palm OS and other don’t. So you need to find that out for yourself. It is what I call “device-chemistry”.
Another catch is that the Treo 700p performs many functions, and this comes with a certain level of added complexity, additional time needed to set it up, probably more technical support calls, and probably more crashes along the way (the device freezing and therefore you having to reset it).
Another area that you want to be aware of is the battery life. It seems to have performed well for me, knowing that I was charging it overnight, and I had the car charger with me just in case. Knowing that this device does so many things, and if you are going to use these things heavily, plan on having the charger and car charger with you.
Finally, the device is not exactly the lightest or tiniest! I am hoping at some point in the 81-day experiment I will put my hands on such a device. The device that slips in your pocket, remain unnoticed, and yet performs all of the above. Maybe a dream but let us wait and see.
At the end of the 81-day experiment, when it is time for me to pick the device that I will continue to use beyond the experiment, I will actually consider the Treo 700p. I was starting to feel quite comfortable with it and used to the voice memos and the broadband access, both of which I didn’t have in my previous device. But for now, I will say good bye to the Treo 700p, and tomorrow will be a new day and a new device.