New Details Emerge on the Palm Foleo

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Last week, Palm, Inc. held a series of "sneak peeks" for its upcoming Foleo Mobile Companion. As a result, some additional information on this device has become available.

At this point, much of this remains unofficial, though, as it is based on pre-production Foleo devices.

Hardware

According to a report from someone who attended a sneak peek, the Foleo will use a 416 MHz XScale processor.

Palm Foleo
Palm Foleo with Treo
(view large image)

This is in-line with previous comments from Palm, which warned that this device’s processor isn’t up to the job of running full-screen video on its 1024-by-600-pixel display.

This same person reports that the Foleo demo unit had 128 MB of RAM. This will be used for holding currently-running applications, as this device has a separate 256 MB of internal storage.

Speaking of storage, Palm has declined to comment on whether the Foleo can use the new high-capacity SD cards. However, several people have reported that demo units they tried were able to read their SDHC cards.

Palm also isn’t talking about the exact battery capacity of this device, but it has been reported that it will be able to last 4 to 5 hours even with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on.

Software

Among the new software-related information to emerge recently on the Foleo is that it lacks built-in support for printing.

In addition, users will need to switch files between a smartphone and a Foleo either with an SD card or by email, as they can’t be directly exchanged with Bluetooth.

These are clearly areas where Palm is hoping third-party developers will step in.

Attendees at the sneak peek have also raised questions on which smartphones the Foleo will be able work with. This device can use a smartphone as a wireless modem, and keep emails and contacts synchronized across the two devices, but only if the smartphone is supported by the Foleo.

At this point, it seems that, at launch, Palm’s upcoming device will only be able to work with Palm’s own Treos, though eventual support for more Windows Mobile devices has been promised.

In addition, some were told that the Foleo would not initially work with some of Palm’s own smartphones: the Treo 680 and Treo 650.

More About the Palm Foleo

When it debuts, the Foleo will be significantly larger than Palm’s handhelds and smartphones, and will have a clamshell design with a 10-inch display and a full size QWERTY keyboard.

It will be designed to work in conjunction with a Palm OS or Windows Mobile smartphone via Bluetooth, plus the Foleo will also have Wi-Fi short-range wireless networking.

It will weigh 2.5 pounds, and include slots for both SD and CompactFlash cards.

Palm has not said when the Foleo will hit the market, but according to rumor it will be released on August 22.

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