Handspring Treo 180 and 180g

Combo PDA/phones

Handspring has added two Treo combination phone/PDAs to its line-up of Palm OS-based PDAs. One, the 180, comes with a tiny QWERTY keyboard, while the other, the 180g, relies on Graffiti text input. The keyboard is really small but it beats SMSing on most phones hands down. You can also use the Treo to browse the Web (using Handspring's Blazer software) as well as read POP3 e-mail.

If you already have a Palm PDA and often find you're looking up phone numbers on your PDA to dial on your mobile phone, you'll welcome the ability to make a call from your phonebook. The Treo, however, feels more like a PDA than a phone. The size and weight (110x69x18mm and 147g) is what you'd expect from a Palm category PDA, plus you need to flip the screen guard to make a call. The guard protects the screen, but it makes the unit a bit clunky.

Handspring has fitted the Treo with 16MB of memory like Palm's recently released m515 and Sony's Cli‚ T615 PDAs. Unlike both those PDAs, however, the Treo has no expansion options and lacks a colour screen (Handspring says a model with a better screen will be available soon but has no plans for adding expansion slots). At $1399 it's also around $450 more than you'd pay for either the Cli‚ or m515 - although you need to factor in the cost of a phone, and the purchase price would be much less on a plan.

The battery, a rechargeable lithium ion, lasted for a couple of days of light use (it has a promised 2.5 hours of talktime and 100 hours standby). A speakerphone and headset are also included.

Handspring Treo 180 and 180g ***1/2

People familiar with Palm PDAs will welcome the inclusion of a phone in such a small device, but it's probably a much larger phone than you're used to.

Price: $1399 (cheaper on a plan).

Distributor: Brightpoint.

Phone: 1300 765 005.

URL: www.handspringaustralia.com.

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Deanne McIntosh

PC World
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