Joe Handheld


While I was looking for shoes today - which I found finally - I of course took a long detour through the tech/computer department of the big shopping center here called El Corte Ingles. It's not the world's most advanced place in the world, but it gives a good overview of what the average Jose is looking at.

In this department, they have this great section with a bunch of handhelds lined up - lots of different Palms and PocketPCs and even the Zaurus. To my surprise, they had the Handspring Treo 270. I haven't had a chance to really fondle it yet, so I was quite excited to play. It's definitely got a weird form factor - being way to wide to feel good as a phone. However, the integrated keyboard was neat and the fact that it had SMS and the Blazer web browser (which I own) as quick buttons really rocked. It was also light! The Nokia 7650 is such a brick that it's surprising the weight of other gadgets. I played with this for a long time and grokked some neat things but the security guard was watching me again.

I also checked out the other PDAs briefly. The Tungsten was really snappy (thanks to the ARM processor) and the screen was nice. But I don't get the sliding cover because 1) It covers the home button so you can't get to everything unless you open the cover and 2) it doesn't make the form factor much smaller than the 515 and makes it very wide! Weird, I don't think it's a very good design. Even worse is the Zire. I like the white plastic, but the rest of the thing is horrible.

There were a couple really light PocketPCs. They really have caught up to Palm in terms of physical form factor - but with big color screens. But I was trying to use the PocketPC UI and it's still amazingly clumsy after all this time. I got lost and I'm a techy. Someone less technical would have as many problems as they have with Windows. I think the Sharp Linux OS is actually better and easier to use, actually.

Finally I was looking at the memory/expansion cards section and saw a really cool expansion card for Ana's Palm Color 515 that she got from work. It's a GRPS SD Card! Yeah, that is cool! I didn't even know that it existed! I was actually looking for the Bluetooth card, but it was neat to see that the GPRS card was available. Personally, I would rather have the Bluetooth connection and a small Bluetooth phone like the T68i that you could use as the GPRS modem from the Palm rather than a standalone GPRS connection. I mean, when do you have your palm and not your mobile phone nearby? Very rarely.

That's the update from "I got to see and play" department.


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