Palm today decided to show us the future of mobile computing by giving us... a $500 laptop-sized Treo smartphone add-on that isn't even a real laptop. While I am sure some of you are excited by the Foleo and its Linux OS, I for one am under whelmed. Why would I pay $500 for a glorified smartphone accessory when I could get an entire laptop for just a little bit more?In fact, I can think of five reasons why the Foleo is a bad idea.
5. It's expensive. As Eric Zeman pointed out, Foleo + Treo = $900 (or more). You can easily buy a laptop for less. Or you can buy a full-sized keyboard for the Treo for less. Why is this a good deal?
4. If you're on the road for work, you will still need your laptop. That's right, the Foleo isn't a full laptop. Sure, you can edit files with it, but if you need to do anything comprehensive, like compose a PowerPoint from scratch, you will still need your laptop.
3. It runs Linux. OK, this is obviously great news for all of you Linux enthusiasts. And I am for one am happy to see another Linux device on the market. But as a mobile professional who spends several days a month on the road, the Linux OS is a burden, not an asset. I work in Windows and I need a Windows native device to run many of my work-related applications. The Foleo would, in practice, be pretty useless for me.
2. It's slow and it has a small screen. This isn't a full laptop and while I have yet to use it, I suspect the Foleo is slower than most commercial laptops and I bet it's slower than my work machine. And it has a small display -- so much for enhanced user experience.
1. The Foleo is not ready for the enterprise. While this gadget will be fine for you solo workers and those at SMBs, for those of us at bigger companies this mobile companion isn't ready for primetime. Which means it is not ready for the enterprise. While the Foleo supports Windows Mobile, there is no word when it will support BlackBerry, though Palm hinted that it would eventually support both the BlackBerry and the iPhone. But without BlackBerry -- the default standard for most mobile workers -- the Foleo won't be of much use.
What do you think? Are you excited by the Foleo? Or do you think it's a bad idea?