Palm is making an announcement today at 11:30 am PDT where they are expected to announce some new mobile device category. Speculation has ranged from an ultra mobile PC device to some kind of portable media center device. The most plausible information was just recently posted on TreoCentral where one of their forum members found a press release revealing the Palm Foleo. A new site on Palm is expected to go live after the release so at this time the link isn't valid, but may be soon.
The press release and TreoCentral sources reveal the following about the Palm Foleo:
- Foleo features a large screen and full size keyboard to view and edit email and office documents.
- Foleo is paired to a host smartphone, and stays synchronized throughout the day or at the touch of a button. A list of supported phones is not yet available.
- Foleo turns on and off instantly, features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design, and a battery that lasts up to five hours of use.
- Foleo is built on an open Linux-based platform.
- U.S. availability for Foleo begins this summer with pricing expected to be $499 after an introductory $100 rebate.
- The device has no built-in network connectivity, but relies on its host smartphone.
- Palm has partnered with DataViz and Opera Software, demonstrating ease with which applications can be ported to the Palm Foleo.
- Foleo initially focuses on email, but Palm expects additional features and capabilities as the platform grows.
I look forward to the official press release and more details and photos because I am a bit confused about the device/system itself. How does it connect to the large screen? How does it connect to the smartphone? Is the keyboard part of the system a Bluetooth keyboard that can also be connected to a smartphone directly? Are there actually 3 separate pieces to the system?
I currently can perform this same type of function by using the TV-out functionality on S60 devices and connecting a Bluetooth keyboard so I am curious to see the details on this system. It would be cool if the large screen was a foldable type display that can also be carried with you since the other S60 solution I use requires a TV. What do you think of the Foleo?
UPDATE: Palm officially announced the Foleo and the Palm web page for the device is now live. The 10-inch display, 5+ hour battery pack, slim design and simplicity appeal to me. I like the Nokia N800 and this looks similar, but with a keyboard and larger display. You can surf via Opera, work with documents using a DataViz product, and manage email with Versamail or Outlook Mobile. The device has integrated WiFi and Bluetooth so you can connect a couple of ways. The Foleo connects with Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones and the Palm press release states that Symbian and RIM support can occur due to its open architecture. With the Linux-based OS, I imagine we will soon see lots of added functionality like we see with the Nokia Internet Tablets.