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Handhelds Software Linux Hardware

Palm Unveils Foleo, Linux-Based "Mobile Companion" 301

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-little-too-late-or-lifesaver dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Contrary to recent rumors, it's not Palm's first Linux smartphone, and no, it's not a competitor to Nokia's Linux-based N800 Internet Tablet. Rather, Palm today unveiled the Foleo, which it's calling a 'new class' of mobile device. The device is designed to expand the email, Internet, and productivity application capabilities of mobile phones such as the Palm Treo, by adding a full-size keyboard and a larger screen. Company founder Jeff Hawkins predicts that the Foleo will be more successful than Palm's original Palm Pilot, which he designed, and more successful than its current Treo smartphones. He touts its simplicity: 'Press a button, it's on. Press it again, it's off. There are no other modes.'"
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Palm Unveils Foleo, Linux-Based "Mobile Companion"

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  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:37PM (#19327089) Homepage Journal
    Small, low-power Linux laptop....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xzvf (924443)
      That's what I'm thinking. I travel a lot and would love a small low power laptop with a real keyboard. I've found that I really don't need much more than a browser, document creator and a terminal connection to servers for heavy lifting. Very good price point in comparision to sub-notebooks and the n800 (which I like a lot, but I can't type on it). If it's fairly open so I can add some basic sysadm tools and run a terminal, I'd seriously consider it.
      • I've been toying with the idea of buying an n800 myself; it's possible to use it with a bluetooth keyboard. But this Palm does have instant on/off which I don't believe the n800 has -- *I think* that has no hibernate at all and requires a full shutdown/boot cycle. So this would be an improvement, plus the screen is larger... and perhaps more practical for that reason.
        • by samalone (707709)
          The Nokia N800 is essentially always on, so I think it qualifies as "instant on". Assuming that you have the WiFi set to turn off after a few minutes of inactivity, it can sleep for a few days without needing a recharge, and will wake up as soon as you tap on the screen.

          Yes, you can shut it down completely, and if you do it takes about 30 seconds to boot. But in practice you don't tend to use it that way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      exactly what i was thinking, just not nearly as cynical.

      i was thinking something more along the lines of 'when will these idiots learn that hardly anyone would ever buy shit like this.'

      what really pains me is that some people, hell, alot of people put all their energy and time into making this, and i'm sure several of them knew 'this is going to flop. im wasting my time. at least im still getting my paycheck, though.'.

      i'm fairly certain that there are full blown laptops smaller than this. (with more
      • by tftp (111690)
        Yes, there are laptops, and I have a small Sony Vaio TX-750P [small-laptops.com]. It is overdesigned for what I am using it for; the screen is brittle, and the fan runs whenever you move a mouse. And it costs about $2,300 though you can get it for somewhat less than that.

        This laptop is so fragile, and so expensive, I would not even consider using it on the road. It won't survive the travel. If Palm's device is more rugged I'd get one easily. All I need is access to email and Web, and ability to read text files (ebooks) and

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by couchslug (175151)
        "i'm fairly certain we will yet see more and more useless devices like this end up new-in-box, on ebay, for a fraction of the initial msrp, before this year is out."

        Sweet! More stuff for Slashdotters to play with! Someone elses business model is not my problem.
        Cool hackables for cheap works for me and many other geeks.

        Some examples from the past:

        http://www.linux-hacker.net/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Ult raBoard.pl [linux-hacker.net]
    • Does about 1/3 as much as my MacBook and costs as much as a cheap laptop at Fry's....

      2 cents,

      QueenB.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @05:04PM (#19327593)
      I have a psion 7 running Epoch and an old CPU. This is a very handy form factor. I've been hoping for a new release but sadly Psion is no more. I think this is it.

      It is pointless trying to stuff productivity applications into a PDA format. Try doing word even simple processing on a PDA or blackberry.

      This is also much more like what an OLPC should be. ARM == low power & cost relative to an x86. I think OPLC got it wrong when they went x86 - which looks like it was done solely to support Windows. Linux runs great on ARM (there are probably more Linux devices using ARM than x86).

      • Please indicate clearly where in the specs you see the Foleo runs on ARM. As far as we know, we don't know anything about RAM, CPU, etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cheater512 (783349)
          a) They use ARM on all their PDAs
          b) x86 cannot support the instant on/off thing. ARM can
          c) Its very light on the battery

          Its a logical choice to use ARM on such a device.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @05:24PM (#19327941)
        I've spent the last couple years of my life working with desktop-class apps on ARM. Here's my experience:

        Linux may run on ARM, but desktop-class Linux applications run very poorly, if at all. For example Firefox is a dog, as is pretty much anything interpreted (especially javascript - ugh!). Lack of a large L2 cache is a primary culprit. Lack of an FPU in most ARM implementations is a problem as well.

        ARM/Linux has dragged behind the mainstream x86 kernel as well. NPTL on ARM was very late, which made porting many things a hassle. The EABI transition wasn't much fun either.

        Another big problem is that media playback is slow/limited if it works at all (Flash + other browser plugins for ARM are quite scarce). Optimization is often done for x86 extensions (MMX/SSE/etc). That code is key to performance in many media applications, and even if you're lucky enough to have something like WMMX on your ARM CPU, you still have to port the x86 code. That's a drag.

        It's my opinion that OLPC made the right choice by selecting x86 over ARM. The Geode GX was a bad move, fortunately they fixed that by switching to the Geode LX.
        • Errr, so don't run dog desktop applications.... that's where much tighter slicker code like Opera come in to play.

          Devices like the i.MX31, used in the Foleo, have some very interesting media processing capabilites. Enough to do movie playing etc. ARM is what mobile is about and as mobiles become more capable, the ARM parts will grow more peripherals.

        • by dattaway (3088)
          The applications you mention that make the ARM processor too slow may also be attractive. A platform free of flash and dancing media makes for a quiet environment that is unique. A whole community is thriving in this minimalist, battery conserving world. These are motorcycles compared to the new breed of superSUV being pushed upon us. Sometimes more can be done with less.
      • by jdray (645332)
        I'll like this thing a heck of a lot better if the screen swivels around so it can be a tablet (or the keyboard detatches) and I can use a pen/stylus for input. The screen is just the right size for the PADD I keep asking for.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pavon (30274)

        This is also much more like what an OLPC should be.

        Why? It is 4x the cost, has a shorter battery life, and at first glance doesn't appear to me to be as useful for a standalone machine compared to the OLPC machine.

        I think OPLC got it wrong when they went x86 - which looks like it was done solely to support Windows.

        Why would they do that when the official OLPC doesn't run windows. All the rumors about it doing so are just about Quanta (the company hired to manufacture it) saying they might make an OLPC-like computer and sell it to the general masses. The OLPC project went with x86 because they got a good deal from AMD and because support for other architec

      • what i want (Score:4, Interesting)

        by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @05:56PM (#19328517) Homepage
        I've been carrying around Zaurus clamshells for several years, and while I wouldn't want to do word processing on them, I use them with text editor (joe) and outliner (hnb) daily. The Zaurus is also fine for using ssh to remote administer *nix systems and to remotely read mail over mutt from my desktop. It's also fine as a Web browser. There's quite a lot I've gotten written that I never would have without it, since it's just not practical to always carry a laptop, and ideas both don't show up on schedule, and more often come to me when I'm out in the world in the midst of other business. My typing's slowed down by the small keyboard, but it's still faster than my handwriting, and it's much more useful to end up with the results in a computer file than in a stack of small paper notebooks.

        Now, it would be nice to have something sized between the Zaurus and a subnotebook - a little more screen and a little more keyboard would work better for editing. But the top size I'd want would equal a trade paperback, with not much more weight than that. I still want something that I can carry easily in my hand - perhaps along with a book or two - if it can't go in a pocket. And for sure I want it running Linux, like the Zaurus does, like all my systems do. ARM would do fine - I've no speed complaints about the Zaurus at all for my uses.

        The natural question is how many people there are like me. Back in the early 80s, those Kaypros and Osbornes were largely bought by people wanting superior writing tools - and the degree of portability they had was important to this market. For writing, text editors are still better tools than word processors - which are really aimed squarely at churning out business letters. (Real layout is another thing, and best done on a workstation.) I don't thing there's even one example of a well-optimized writer's machine now - of the sort of thing a news reporter or trail-wandering poet would find truly ideal. But it's precisely in the space between pocket-fitting Zauruses and subnotebooks that such a machine someday has to arrive, and if it's done right succeed wildly.
      • This is also much more like what an OLPC should be. ARM == low power & cost relative to an x86.

        That's funny, given that the OLPC costs half as much and its battery lasts more than twice as long.

        And I have some Linux ARM devices--believe me, an x86 compatible chip is a blessing.
    • by alcmaeon (684971)
      Yep: Windows CE. As I recall those devices flopped 10 years ago. I don't expect this one to do any better.
  • whoop-de-do (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wiggles (30088) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:37PM (#19327105)
    It's too big to be a PDA, too small to be a laptop. This thing looks like a solution looking for a problem. Other than the fact that it's a portable device that runs Linux, I see no reason to spend $500 on this. I'd rather buy a sub-notebook and have the extra functionality.
    • Like the Psion Netbook this thing is for a pretty limited market. It would likely function best running something like Sales Force or SAP-ish stuff. But, those markets often require specific functionality as well, like barcode readers.

      It will be interesting to see how Palm created the interface to the Linux core.
    • I used a Toshiba Libretto and later a Sony Picturebook for quite a while. Both very similar, pocket-sized but full function laptops. With a smart phone and a portable printer, I could get a portable office and development environment in under five pounds and in carry-on luggage. With a battery upgrade, I got 8-12 hours use. I also had network diagnostic tools and adapters. It was not for heavy work, but for getting things done when I was stuck unexpectedly one place or another and I did not want to lug a lo
    • by IgLou (732042)
      I have a similar issue with this but different. For me this device is too underpowered (capability-wise) to stand alone and too overpowered/overpriced as an extension to a pre-existing smartphone. This can really only cater to a niche market.

      I don't expect this to break palm but it will disrupt things for some time. I'm shocked they even went this route. I love my treo but I'm constantly annoyed that I don't have Wi-Fi built in and other annoyances. A was really expecting something more different c
    • It really does depend on the price point.
      With Wifi cropping up everywhere there are times when I wish I had my laptop with me but I don't really want to haul my Thinkpad around with me.
      This with OpenOffice and a few SD cards could be a very handy tool for students.
      If they can get the price down to $300 then yea I will buy one. $500 is just a bit too much.

    • How do they keep missing. This would be nice but its too big and too heavy just a quirky laptop

      Take a look at the psp about the right size but flawed still (unless your a gamer).
      Lets visualise something around the size of the PSP but lets add USB ports both Host and Client
      A flip over keyboard which protects the screen or folds out the way completely (I believe logitec tried and couldnt get sony to play ball).

      A Vga capable port (via Dongle to allow composite out and audio out) built in mike and jack sockets
    • Re:whoop-de-do (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @06:29PM (#19329119) Homepage Journal
      Most decent subnotebooks are around $2000, and they have a boot-up time.

      I kind of like the idea of pressing a button and it's just running, rather than waiting a minute or two for a notebook to boot up.

      I really don't understand the name - "Foleo" is a dumb distortion of "folio".
    • You might not want it, but I know of at least one vertical market that will. I'm the TC at a small all-girls school in PA. We have been closely watching other schools who use full-blown laptops and have come to the conclusion that it won't work for us. Why?

      Full-on XP (or God help us) Vista is too much. It's slow to start, gets messy fast (kids do take these things home ya know), and the bigger machines are prone to breakage.

      Some schools have tried PDAs, but it seems they are mostly used as an address book a
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:38PM (#19327117) Homepage

    'Press a button, it's on. Press it again, it's off. There are no other modes.'

    Power controls like that are always a pain. You have to look to see if they're on to turn them off. And if they have other states, like "booting", "shutting down", or "crashed", it's even worse. Two buttons, "On" and "Off", please.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315)
      Eh?

      Perhaps you haven't noticed, but practically everything has a single on/off button.
      Infact, I cannot think of anything with separate buttons, certainly there is a case for rocker switches and toggles, but not two distinct buttons.
      • by IgLou (732042)
        And aparantly his need to have more than one button to power on and off a device deserves an insightful bonus?!?! And of all the things that are actually wrong he harped on about there only being one button?? It's blowing my mind how many people are focused on that. How is it a real problem?
        Your observation is bang on by the way.
    • by jmkaza (173878)
      Let's see... TV, Stereo, Light switch, speakers, coffee pot, coffee grinder, monitor, computer, power strip. Yep, everything around me that uses electricity has a single button for on and off. The only thing I can thing of off the top of my head that doesn't is my blender, and that's because of variable speeds. What device have you seen that has a separate button for on and off?
      • What device have you seen that has a separate button for on and off?

        Big shop tools do (my drill press, for instance).

        A slider would be much better in this case, I think. The Treo already has one on top.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:38PM (#19327125) Homepage
    It looks like a subnotebook, it walks like a subnotebook, it bounces around in the briefcase like a subnotebook...

    So why not get a real notebook?
    • So why not get a real notebook?
      Perhaps it has a superior UI? That's the reason Apple has been soaring recently. It's not that their hardware is amazing. It's that they actually hire competent HCI engineers.
    • It looks like a subnotebook, it walks like a subnotebook, it bounces around in the briefcase like a subnotebook...

      Disadvantages of a real subnotebook: fragile, expensive, gets malware (Windows), interfacing to use Bluetooth DUN can be hit-or-miss, esp. for the salesmen of the world, an extra machine to sysadmin. Does this thing have VGA out for PowerPointing?

      I'd be happy to find a linux subnotebook of similar formfactor in a similar price range, if anybody has pointers.
  • Bwahahahahahahhhahahahah!!! This is Palm's next great idea? Really?
    • by Bobartig (61456)
      Hey it's not a new idea, but it is a market space where a good mobile device could make a place for itself, if it were designed and implemented really, really well. Yes, it's basically a notebook. But its cheaper than a small notebook, and smaller than a cheap notebook.

      I've been shopping for a mobile net appliance, like the Nokia N800, or maybe this thing (can't say until I know more about it.), and I think its about time we started seeing smaller, less powerful, cheaper mobile computing devices. Smart phon
  • I'll just take a OLTP or Classmate.



    Tech execution (features) of this looks good. Business execution looks inversely proportional.



    Piconets are good.

  • I understand aiming this at people looking for a low-level laptop replacement, but as an alternative to a Blackberry or some smartphone? Look at the size of the thing...what's the killer app that's going to convince people to pick this up?
    • by Original Replica (908688) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:52PM (#19327355) Journal
      More to the point, where am I going to find a belt clip for this thing?
    • Reading on public transport on the way to work. ebooks may be the killer app. That and reading stuff while watching TV instead of using a laptop. I know a few people who are looking for exactly this kind of device.


      The problem may be that the XO solves the problem better and more cheaply.


      But there is a market for this kind of device.

    • by vhogemann (797994)
      It's not an alternative, is a companion.

      It can share, and edit, documents stored at a smartphone... Also, it has a better browser than most smartphones, and can be attached to a projector to show some powerpoint slides.

      Seems like the sort of thing some executives, and sales people would find usefull...
  • by mmurphy000 (556983) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:41PM (#19327173)

    A 2.5-pound notebook running Linux with WiFi and Bluetooth sounds sweet...but one report [techdirt.com] says it's a closed system, which means until somebody hacks past that limitation, it's a dead-end. For about $500, I'm expecting at least a mostly-open system (like Maemo with the Nokia N800).

    • I see it being a non-system. Who is going to buy this in enough volume to keep it alive?

      For $200, then you might be able to sell enough of them.
  • This, while not a terrible idea, will only be a good one is it runs at a price that is super competitive. Like 100-150. Otherwise, they'll be trying to sell only to a segment that already can afford a notebook and probably already has one.
  • by Torqued (91619) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:42PM (#19327177) Journal
    FTW?

    Looks like Jeff Hawkins is so confident in the Fooleo that he decided to dump 15000 shares of PALM [forbes.com].

    Instead of spending R&D $ to fix the issues with their aging OS, they "invent" another piece of hardware that neither me nor any of my coworkers want to have to carry around. We already have notebooks.

    Palm has officially jumped the shark, IMHO. Looks like I'm getting a Blackberry soon. :(
    • I already have a notebook, but I still want one of these. It's actually the first Palm product I have ever coveted.

      My main machine is a 15" Core 2 Duo Macbook pro... and it's just not portable enough. 2 hour battery life, yipee. I keep (and carry when I travel, along with the MBP) a G4 powerbook and spare battery for when I just want to bash out some text or leech wifi. My N95 is ok, but it just doesn't have enough screen space or a keyboard I can type on, unlike this thing.

      If I could replace my Powerbook w
      • by Bryan Ischo (893) *
        You can already cut 2.5 lbs from your rucksack and get everything else you want. Just buy a Panasonic R5. Heck, I'll bet you could cut close to 2.5 lbs out of your rucksack by buying a beast like the Panasonic Y5 (I have the Y2) - 3.3 lbs with a 14.1 inch 1400x1050 display. 6 hr battery life (although be warned, after the first couple of years it drops to 3 hrs, but I think that's pretty standard for lithium ion batteries (a crummy technology if there ever was one)).

        Of course, these solutions are grossl
    • Palm doesn't own PalmOS, so they have to choose things they have control over for their development. They appear to be replacing PalmOS with Windows Mobile and Linux anyway.

      What good is stock as compensation if you can't ever sell it and spend the cash?

      I think this device is pretty cool. You would have a hard time paying me enough to carry a laptop around, but a lightweight device with really long battery life, low price, and wireless? That's a different story. I bet these are expensive though...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cereal Box (4286)
        What good is stock as compensation if you can't ever sell it and spend the cash?

        No one says you "can't" sell it, but if Hawkins truly thought Palm had a hit on their hands he'd be stupid to sell before the product is released. Ergo, by selling now, he demonstrates that he has little faith in the Folly-o.
    • With Intel promising similarly sized, but half the thickness and half the weight solid state storage notebooks before the end of the year, with the ability to run a full OS, I can't see this having much chance of success. Especially not when it's marketed as a cell phone companion, and a Treo-only companion to start with.

      The only reason to pick one up is because they're going to become collector's items, much like other big flops. Like the Palm Audrey (remember that one, folks?)...

      Regards,
      --
      *Art
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:46PM (#19327255)
    I hope this device actually gets a decent battery life. I've been frustrated that all the new PDAs have worse battery life than the early generation machines. The venerable (and discontinued) Psion 5-series got 25-35 hours of use on a pair for AAs and the original Palm Pilot series got maybe 15-20 hours on a AAAs. Every device since those machines has been distinctly inferior (usually getting only a few hours of real use per charge). If the new machine can't last a full day at a conference or a trans-oceanic flight, then I'll just keep using those older (and better) machines.
  • I had hoped it might be like a VR3 [linuxdevices.com] with updated hardware, but no... Darn.
    Please, please can somebody build a VR3 with a GB of Flash, 256 MB RAM and a faster ARM? The concept was fantastic, it just needed a little more performance.
  • by kenh (9056) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:49PM (#19327323) Homepage Journal
    Come on - this is new? It looks like beter executions on a five+ year-old product.

    Take a look at the IBM z50 [hpcfactor.com]

    And the Toshiba Libretto [pcmag.com]

    And remind me, what is the new product here - faster CPU? Better battery life? Oh wait, it runs LINUX! When can I pre-order it?
    • ... the smaller versions of the Fujitsu Lifebook, the P1610 [shopfujitsu.com]. I still run Ubuntu on my old P1120. And the battery life is usually about 4.5 hours (even with wifi running).
      • by kisrael (134664)
        Yeah, I have a Fujitsu 15010D. It was a bit pricey, but I've grown to like it, especially being able to poke at buttons w/o the stylus directly onscreen, and as a doodle pa...

        Oh wait, the Foleo doesn't have a frickin' touch screen? Forget it. My interest level just went from high to near nil.

        I'm becoming more aware of the niche of "living room laptops" and "bedroom laptops", basically web connectivity terminals that you don't even have to carry from room to room, and maybe this could replace one of those, b
  • As the owner of a Fujitsu P2000 (P2120 specifically) this is certainly a device I'm interested in, but 5 hours of battery life is way too short and I don't see much to indicate whether this is a fully open Linux system.

    I'm running WinXP Pro on my P2000 and although it's getting on in age and leaves a lot to be desired in the CPU department (Transmeta CPUs never lived up to the hype), I certainly wouldn't trade it in on a locked down device.

    If this thing from Palm doesn't support fully open installation of s
    • I own a similar model (P1120). I dual boot mine between Win 2K and Ubuntu. There was a bit digging about for the touch screen drivers and mucking about with the Xconfig file (for the wonky screen form factor), but otherwise wireless worked without a hitch. Since I don't use the modem, I don't know about its support. I'm still running Breezy on it, though. I haven't upgraded it to Feisty, so you might not even need to do the stuff I did.
    • by Paul Carver (4555)
      For the heck of it I just stuck my P2120 on a kitchen scale. It's 3.75 pounds. That's with both the drive bay battery and the extra high capacity main battery. My bay battery is a couple years old and I haven't timed it from full charge to fully dead, but I get at least 8 hours minimum, probably more like 10+. Here's a rough comparison of the specs.

      Folio vs P2120
      Weight: 2.4# vs 3.75#
      Battery Life: 5 hours claimed vs 8+ hours conservative
      Screen: 10.2" vs 10.5" diagonal
      Resolution: 1024x768 vs 1280x768
      RAM: 256M
  • Lame (Score:3, Funny)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:58PM (#19327435)
    No "on" switch. No "off" switch. Lame.
  • by anneha (1051480) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:59PM (#19327491)
    I'm thinking about "Palm Fellacio"
  • Unless that email client has search-based folders ala Gmail, and Mail.app, welcome to the last fucking century.
  • by tcopeland (32225)
    ... the actual press release [blogs.com], including the estimated price - $600-$700.
  • I see what he's going for... this is basically the old Apple DuoDock concept applied to a phone, where the phone is the core device and you can use a bigger, less-conveniently-sized device to extend the utility a bit. [And yes, as I was writing this I noticed this comparison has been made elsewhere by now]

    Great.

    How about instead of obex and proprietary and this and that, "they" start making cell phones that "just appear" within one's device landscape? For example, when I place my cell phone near my comput
  • The basic concept, an instant on, no hard drive, Linux notebook is solid. I love my Palm T|X and find it preferable to a laptop for portability and simplicity, so a bigger screen, integrated keyboard, and linux support would be a big win.
    But:
    -5 hours is a tad dodgy on power, 'tho external battery packs would help.
    -The price is equally problematic, with the OLPC costing nearly half that.

    If Palm held the price down to $300 it would be awesome.
    • -The price is equally problematic, with the OLPC costing nearly half that.

      Since the people Palm is trying to sell Foleos to can't buy XOs, the fact that the Foleo is about 4x as expensive ($600-700 vs. $175) the launch price of the OLPC doesn't really mean a lot.

      And I expect that you could get a much better price from Palm if you wanted to have them dropship you a quarter-million Foleos not packaged for individual retail sale, instead of buying them one at a time at retail.

  • It needs 3G and phone capabilities, like HTC's Advantage.

    The sort of person who will use this device is the road warrior who needs comms and office on the move. Wifi can't be depended on.
  • A $600 minimalist Linux notebook that's a peripheral for a $300-$600 phone.

    Joy.

    At 2.4 pounds it's as massive as an ordinary ultralight notebook that could run a full OS and applications. The sort of person would would go for this will already be likely to have a real notebook PC with them that can do all these same functions as well or better than this device.

    It seems that almost all gadgets introduced as being a "new class" of device can be found a year later being sold by the pallete-load at bay area sur
  • From another article [thestreet.com]:

    Jack Gold, founder of industry analysis firm J.Gold Associates, said "I don't know where it will fit in the market."

    At $499 after a $100 rebate, the device is an expensive sidekick. For another $200, users can get themselves a laptop, says Gold.

    "I am not sure why anyone would want to buy this device if they already have a laptop," he says. "I would not personally carry it because it does not provide me with enough benefit."

  • I am still waiting (more than a year) for Palm to support Treo syncing with Windows XP Media Center Edition. It will be a cold day in hell before I buy any more Palm products, lest I be left in the lurch again.
  • "Why not just get a laptop?" "What about blackberry?"

    For people who actually use their laptops for being mobile, the vast majority of them are not programming, compiling, designing graphics or doing CAD. They're doing email, updating their presentations, writing up documents and spreadsheets and the like. (I haven't read where it can have external video for delivering presenations, but I imagine if it's not in the first release, it'll find its way into the next.)

    This thing looks like it will do exactly w
  • by fozzmeister (160968) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @05:42PM (#19328249) Homepage
    But heck, A PC maker could make one tomorrow nearly, chuck a transmetta/via chip in a uber small laptop chassis, remove all the perhipherals, add maybe 2GB flash instead of a HDD and something like XFCE and your mostly there. All you'd have to do is figure out the mobile phone syncing stuff which ain't going to be too hard.

    Personally I like it, though I'm a programmer and need a proper laptop, although I can see that this _may_ fit a niche/market.
  • It's a pity this product is only half-baked.

    In fact, it might have been better received as a inexpensive ultra-light laptop that takes advantage of the ability of Linux to run on ARM SoCs. Why do I want the Palm mail reader when I rely on Thunderbird plug-ins for calendar sync, gmail, hotmail, etc. They picked the wrong way to try to add value to Linux.

    You can buy a Compaq 440 for $399. If I wanted a cheap portable device for communicating, that would do the job, and a few other things too. And, being a sta
  • and she just got a nice external keyboard for it, and a triple-life (15 hrs?) battery. I joke that it's the world's largest laptop. It's actually the smallest keyboard I've ever seen, but still the width of it is 5X that of the Dell Axim X5 :)

    And i just don't see how Palm is better.

  • by kabz (770151)
    Less power than a PB G4 12", and not silver. Lame.

    This is a solution looking for a problem. Carrying two devices is way worse than carrying one, so if I need a laptop, then I'll carry a laptop, but I'll expect laptop functionality such as being able to run flash, Firefox etc.

    A device like this might be ok if it subsumed the phone, or provided additional functionality that people couldn't live without, but it doesn't look like it does. Don't expect people to give up their Pearls for this anytime soon.
  • IBM Workpad z50 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SheldonYoung (25077) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @06:03PM (#19328619)
    This thing reminds me a lot of the IBM Workpad z50 [hpcfactor.com] I had. Yes, it's not as powerful as a laptop. Yes, it's bigger than a PDA. But I still miss the little thing. Sometimes you just need a full-sized keyboard and reasonable display and don't want the overhead of a laptop. I don't care if I can't run Eclipse. I don't care if it won't run some hulking Adobe application, I just want something a step up from a word processor where I can write documents and code fragments that gets out of the way and lets me think about the problem. I want to turn it on and start typing, not sit there stewing while it boots or lose my concentration because applications are nagging me about trivial updates.

    Think of it as a modern Tandy 102 and it begins to make sense. I'm not sure I trust Palm the company, but that's somewhat unrelated to this specific piece of hardware.

  • I kind of understand what Palm is going for here, but I sincerely doubt that people who already carry around laptops with EvDO/xG connections are going to carry around _another_ device to pair with their "smart" phone.

    Having said that.. here are a couple of things that are interesting to me:

    1. It could allow people to leave the laptop at the office. Not everyone has or can afford a really slender, light-weight laptop or, if they do, perhaps this could lighten the daily load.

    2. Presume the O/S's pairing with
  • The CPU has to be significantly more powerful than the TX or n800 to be worth anybody's while ... youtube is a good metric currently (assuming it even has flash), but I want FAST native PDF reading, too.
    • Can it read PDFs better than my Nokia n800 or a Palm TX (both of which take a few seconds to load an image-heavy page, which is intolerable for quickly scanning for something)
    • Can it play ogg vorbis and mp3 music with a decent UI (iPod features {playlist, random, online radio} + vorbis at minimum)
    • Built-in
  • I confess I caught my breath when I read the blurb. Full screen keyboard? PalmOS? Instant on? Sounds great. I am a writer and have yet to find a portable writing tool more convenient and portable than a laptop and more useful than most of the PDAs on the market. This sounded like just the thing. Wrong.

    I have yet to find a better tool than the Psion 5 (http://therandymon.com/content/view/86/79/ [therandymon.com]), and increasingly it's my PDA as well. Where's the tool you can keep in a coat pocket, whip out, turn on,
  • I really, really long for a big palm pilot, somewhere around the size of a tablet PC. PalmOS supports XGA resolutions and it would be great for web browsing on WiFi/BT DUN, doing light data entry (Docs to go is pretty good, IMO), VNC/RDP to my PCs, run my handy PalmOS apps, support BT stereo audio for my MP3s, and have at least 2 flash memory slots to ensure plenty of storage.

    This....is like they took that idea and threw away the good parts. They are NOT running a PalmOS emulator on Linux or else they wou
  • The basic idea is a good one: mostly, what people do with a laptop is write, present, email, and browse the web. A device like this can solve that better than a laptop. It's the same idea as the Nokia 800 and Pepperpad, just with a keyboard.

    However, people like to be able to install some stuff even on mobile devices: little games, VPN clients, ssh, etc. If they kept the Foleo open and compatible enough, it may work.

    But a bigger issue is: if the PC is supposed to be your smartphone and this is just a keyb
  • ...I am a massive Palm fan, and was convinced today's announcements would be an iPhone competitors or some amazing next gen Treo. The OLPC has more future proof and network centric technology than the Folio and I just do not see how people will step backwards from watching DVDs, PowerPoint, YouTube, Excel files on their laptop to a device the same size, almost, but that has to sync with a phone. Jeff, who I admire a huge amount, had a great opportunity here to launch an Apple level revolutionary device, suc
  • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @08:33PM (#19330653) Homepage
    I've always wanted something with the libretto form factor with a modern processor, memory, etc. Could this be what I'm looking for?

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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