Trip Hawkins is the mastermind behind the enormously successful Pilot, which later became the Palm Pilot and now has evolved into the Treo line. Today he was set to announce the latest breakthrough from Palm and it is…an underpowered laptop. The Palm Foleo, as it goes by, is marked as a “mobile companion” to your smartphone. In my mind, the whole point of a smartphone is to have a single, compact, multifunctional device.
Palm seems to disagree and think people will want to buy a $600 laptop to go along with their phone. What does the Foleo do? It can access the internet by piggybacking on your Treo’s internet connection or by using WiFi and allow access to email and the web, but it doesn’t seem to have the functionality of a full computer. It can display Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentations, but doesn’t seem geared towards editing them. Rather, Palm is marketing this functionality as being present to help view attachments.
The Palm Foleo is less expensive than most laptops, only 2.4 pounds, and uses solid state memory for reliability and the ability to turn on and off quickly. Unfortunately, it also seems to be extremely limited in functionality. I’d pass on this one.