Windows Phone Thoughts: Palm's Treo 700w Reviewed: Part 1 (Intro, Background, Hardware)

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Palm's Treo 700w Reviewed: Part 1 (Intro, Background, Hardware)

Posted by Janak Parekh in "HARDWARE" @ 12:30 PM


Hardware


Figure 2: The 700w in my hand.

Specifications
The Treo 700w is a decided mixed bag when it comes to specifications. It's got a 312MHz XScale processor, 128MB of memory (more on that in a minute), a 2" 240x240 transflective screen, SD (yes, full Secure Digital!) slot, removable battery, Bluetooth 1.2 using the MS stack, and of course, the QWERTY thumbboard. The 1.3MP camera module has no flash but does have a self-portrait mirror. The unit is running Windows Mobile 5.0, build 14359.0.2.0, i.e. not AKU2. Hopefully the AKU2 update will come out soon, but it's not yet available for this device. The phone module is a CDMA 800/1900 (no analog) device with 1xRTT and 1xEV-DO support.

It is important to note, up-front, that the 700w does not have WiFi. Fortunately, EVDO is a suitable replacement for most applications, but if you need LAN access or other aspects that only WiFi is able to provide, you'll have to get a add-on SDIO card or a different device. (While I'm sure some of you suspect it's Verizon's fault, I think there's a simpler explanation: Palm has never integrated WiFi into a Treo, and it doesn't look like they're about to do so any time soon.)

Palm has a product page with detailed specifications. If you want more detail, Phone Scoop has a full specification list for the 700w.

What's in the box?
Apart from the Treo itself, you get the following items:
  • USB sync cable; strangely enough, there's a button on it. I'm guessing it's the exact same cable as the 650's and has the HotSync button, but of course you don't need to use that with ActiveSync. There's a pass-through jack for the charger so you can sync-and-charge. I don't think the cable supports USB charging, so if you need that functionality, I highly recommend a cable like Pocket PC Techs' Lil Sync Pro; it's compact and very durable in design. In fact, I never once used the Palm cable, having gotten the PPC Techs one early enough to carry that exclusively;
  • Travel charger;
  • Stylus (there only appears to be one, but I didn't get the retail packaging, so I'm not sure);
  • Fairly generic stereo+mic headset;
  • CD, a "getting started" pamphlet, and a quick reference guide. The latter is 95 pages -- not too shabby in this day-and-age of CD-only materials!
The CD, in case you're curious, comes with Outlook XP and ActiveSync, a Bluetooth ActiveSync setup assistant, the 700w user guide, and two installable applications (Cubis -- an Astraware game, optimized for 240x240 -- and the Picsel PDF viewer). Finally, a wizard on the CD automatically detects what you do and don't have and prompts you through the installation of the appropriate components.

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