Monday 30 July 2007

A second look at the Foleo

As I alluded to in a previous posting, when Palm announced the Foleo, my first response was "Palm are seriously out of ideas and this will help kill them". The Foleo was overpriced, looked like a cut down laptop with a limited feature set and no "sex" appeal like the iPhone. Based on a lot of comments following the announcement, I was not alone in my thinking.

Fast forward a few weeks and the tone of the online media is changing somewhat, and this is coinciding with my own thoughts. The thing that first got me thinking about it as a potentially useful device was seeing a video clip of it on YouTube. It was a much smaller device than I originally expected. Then I read about some of the third party apps being developed for it and realised that the potential of this little device is much larger than I first thought.

The Foleo is effectively a small, silent, instant-on, personal laptop. It can surf the web (using the built in Opera browser), handle multiple email accounts, and do documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It's about the size of a decent notepad with many more features - a bit like the old Psion Netbook PDA but with the ability to access the 'net.

So I can imagine carrying this device into meetings (both at work and church) and having access to all my data. Okay, so if I had a smartphone I could do the same, but this would be a *lot* more practical in that text entry would be potentially as quick as using my full laptop.

Beyond that, the fact that the Foleo is running Linux, and there is a Terminal application available from the application menu open the possibilities of the device far beyond the web/email/documents market. Add in an 8GB SD card and who knows what it could do.

Okay, so it doesn't have a touch screen, but with a UI designed for the keyboard (apparently all the apps make use of keyboard shortcuts), this might not be an issue.

The Foleo is starting to look like a very compelling device...

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