Handspring Treo 180: test and review

Palm without it Graffiti is still a Palm? Thorny issue, as it is obvious that the handwriting recognition system has contributed to the success of the wizard. No graffiti, no way to enter notes with ease similar to that afforded by the handwriting, but mostly impossible to pass the agenda at subway map in a single pen stroke or insert text through Graffiti shortcuts. Palm users are likely not to find it. As newcomers, they may wonder where is this flawless ergonomics and ease of use that as their bragging.

Handspring could he do otherwise? Obviously yes, as a model of Treo, the 180g, retains the handwriting recognition system. Enough to satisfy fans. Others will discover a mini keyboard instead of the Graffiti area at the bottom of the screen. This provides access to the ancient wizard-like functions but especially news related to telephony. And this is where he takes all its interest.

On the one hand, and with a little practice, it becomes possible to dial a number or to quickly find the details of a contact by typing the first letters of its name. In the street or in public transport, it’s still more convenient than using the stylus inevitable.

However, you often press two to reach a function that required a stylus stroke. Worse, the shortcuts that were messed up, you have to relearn everything: the opening of menus, creating new documents, close the dialog boxes, the striking of an accented character, the keyboard does not offer the standard.

At buttons that launch applications eg goodbye direct access to the agenda on the first button, it allows access to the phone dialer and address book. The second button is assigned to it on the agenda. A habit of taking more. The third button is seen reserved for Blazer web browser and Wap Handspring. The last button is designed for SMS. While it is possible to reassign the buttons to the programs of their choice, as on traditional Palm, a big period of (re) habilitation is expected.

low self

Another big downside: autonomy. While that of traditional assistants Palm OS allowed not to monitor battery level, there will need to be very careful because beyond 2 hours 30 communications or sixty hours standby, no salvation! Concretely, it also means that if the load is too low a morning, you can be sure not to end the day.

Fortunately, the Treo has very many qualities. Thus, its size and low weight allow it to slip into trouser pockets or shirt without problems. Only its external antenna detracts a bit from its image but also ensures excellent sound quality.

The listening volume in phone mode is very high, a speakerphone allows to put the device on a table or elsewhere while continuing to talk, useful to share a conversation. A supplied headset allows you to call while using the Treo to rate or review information. The PDA mode use no problem during the conversation.

The internet connection is also very simple, a wizard on the computer (Windows or Mac) greatly simplifies the operation but success is not always the appointment. Anyway, even in manual mode, the operation is not more complicated than a regular assistant Palm OS.

Well designed phone

dedicated telephony applications are well thought out, the appeal of a party from the Address Book is not a problem, the selection can be done through the name where the original. The size of the touch screen simplifies many operations, such as call waiting a call.

A quick call mode offers up to 50 numbers easily accessible. A call log, limited only by the memory of the PDA, keeps track of any phone call or receiving even three months ago. A real plus for business users.

As for specifications, nothing revolutionary, Handspring has removed any possibility of extension but offers 16 MB of memory to deal with almost all eventualities. The 33 MHz DragonBall processor does not suffer from the addition of telephony and fluidity part to the use is similar to that of any machine. The monochrome screen is very readable, backlighting was pushed to offer good readability even in darkness.

Synchronization occurs via USB, but once again the load requires a separate power adapter. However, no dock but a single cable, Handspring has officially preferred mobility of a cable to the heaviness of a synchronization cradle. A cable is also cheaper, we can say that it’s good, considering the price of the machine.