GCN Lab Review
- By Carlos A. Soto
- Aug 16, 2006
EvDO connectivity, Office compatibilityCons:
Heavy, proprietary cables, priceyPrice:
AEase of use:
B-|GCN Lab Reviewer's Choice|
The Treo 700P sits atop our roundup of smart phones alongside the BlackBerry 8700g. Its sleek frame makes it ideal for long conversations, and its well-
illuminated QWERTY keyboard is ideal for sending, creating and receiving e-mails.
Unlike the Motorola Q, the Treo uses a touch screen in conjunction with a center, four-directional console button to provide effortless navigation through the Palm OS 5.4.9 operating system. It's the first product offered by Palm to come with EvDO technology, similar to the Samsung SCH-i830, which provides users with broadband-style access to the Internet over a cellular connection. Unfortunately, like the i830 and others, it offers no WiFi support.
However extending the EvDO capabilities, the 700p can be used as a wireless modem via a USB or Bluetooth connection to provide notebooks with the EvDO signals. Rest the Treo near your notebook's Bluetooth radio and the laptop can connect to the Net.
The Treo 700p comes with everything else we wanted in a handheld device, including a 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 support, Microsoft Office compatibility and a high-resolution, 320-by 320-pixel screen. The Treo even has a decent battery-life averaging 12.5 days in standby mode and four hours of talk time, vendor's specs that we found pretty close to accurate.
Although we're content with the well-placed, full-sized SD card slot, which can add extra capacity to the embedded 128MB of SDRAM (only 60MB is available to the user), we'd like it if Palm switched to the Mini SD standard. This might shed some weight from the comparatively heavy 6.4-ounce frame.
The only other design flaws we'd like to see Palm remedy have to do with the unit's cables and connectors. The current cables are bulky and awkward. And since you'll need them on the road, they're a nuisance when compared to the light, industry-standard cables BlackBerry 8700g and Motorola Q use.
We previously reviewed the Treo 700w [see GCN.com
, GCN.com/568], which is identical to the 700p except for three things. The 700w runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.2.2 operating system, which makes Microsoft-based applications easier to use and run. The 700w also offers a longer battery life, averaging about 15 days standby and 4.5 hours talk time. But the 700w's 240-by-240-pixels screen can't measure up to that of its Palm-based brother. It turns out Palm had to tweak the 700w a bit to accommodate the Windows OS.
Priced at $400, the 700p and 700w are the most expensive units we tested (as with most handhelds, you can get price breaks through long-term service packages). However, with all their features, comfort and ease of use, the Treos are worth their weight in gold.
Palm Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., (408) 617-7000, www.palm.com