Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rumor: "Foleo II" Will Use New Hardware

It has only been a short while since Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced on the Palm blog that the Foleo mobile companion was going to be canceled to allow Palm to focus on the development of "Palm OS II" which would be used to drive future solutions from his company.

As a result, beta testers of the Foleo I where asked to box their units up and send them home. (I should point out that I was not selected to be a beta tester.) An interesting post has shown up in the TreoCentral discussion forum. TreoCentral member Gameboy 70, who was a Foleo beta tester wrote:
"I just found out yesterday that I have to return my Foleo to Palm. The email stated that development of the current Foleo has ended, and that "A Foleo II will have different hardware," which was tantalizing. "A" Foleo II makes it sound hypothetical, while "will" sounds imminent. I originally thought Palm was going to take a few more months to augment the firmware and flash the existing units."

If this is true, I am encouraged by these developments. Many of the readers of Foleo Fanatics have already bought into the idea of the Foleo and the customer base it will support. This report of a new hardware design could signal that Palm could be making changes to the hardware that will allow Foleo II to return as an even more powerful device in the future.

One of the well publicized "issues" with the Foleo was that it couldn't play Flash video, like those used by YouTube, as well as Palm and their customers had hoped. (I know that this issue was software based.)

Could new hardware be part of the future plans for the Foleo? The demo unit that I was able to play with did seem to be production grade. The keyboard felt solid and the lid and hinges seemed sturdy. Could Palm be mulling over a faster processor? More memory perhaps? Or could they be looking at newer battery technology to provide even longer run time on a single charge? Only Palm knows for sure at this point. Regardless I am encouraged by the prospects of a refreshed hardware design that could allow the Foleo to do even more than the original demo units.

What are your thoughts on the prospects for a Foleo II? Let us know by clicking the Comments link below.

Read Gameboy70's post on TreoCentral...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Maggie said...

*coughtabletcough*

September 16, 2007 1:59 PM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

Maggie,

You should have a doctor take a look at that for you. LOL

Alan G

September 16, 2007 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

hee.

Actually I bet it's an upgraded processor. That counts as hardware, right? But a tablet form factor, like the OLPCs, would be mighty nifty!

September 16, 2007 7:20 PM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

I won't rule out a *cough* tablet *cough* but I would guess that a new processor isn't out of the question.

Alan G

September 16, 2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger Jodi Hansen said...

I'd love to see it with a touch screen (tablet form factor). More memory and faster CPU would also be great, as would a tabbed browser and ability to open multiple Word or Excel documents.

Jodi

September 16, 2007 11:10 PM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

When I was at the NYC Foleo event, tabbed browsing was a hot topic. I suspect that the Foleo development team was hard at work implementing that feature before the project was canceled.

When Palm is ready to release Foleo II in the future, I would not be surprised to see tabbed browsing in Opera for the Foleo.

I didn't try opening multiples of the same type of files; ie: two Word documents. I did have a Word and Excel file open at the same time. With the limited time I had, I wanted to focus on the over all features. Given more time I would have tried more files.

When Palm builds products they always consider power consumption vs. features. Yes a faster processor would be nice, but the cost would be less battery run time. That is why Palm chose an 802.11b radio over an 802.11g radio. We'll have to wait an see what Palm comes up with. I'll favor instant on and long battery life over things like 802.11g radios. I'm not sure where I stand with the processor. If Palm wants the Foleo II to be more than a digital escort then more horse power is probably a good thing.

Alan G

September 16, 2007 11:23 PM  
Blogger torojet said...

A flash hard drive would be the most substantive hardware improvement. While the sd reader should stay, a flash 32gb (or 64gb?) hard drive replacing the cf slot will still keep the solid state structure and be much more competitive than the original storage Palm had in mind for Folio I. Most everything else could remain the same and I would be happy.

September 17, 2007 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the new device can support flash video that'd be great. Same thing for tabbed browsing. But I hope Palm will not allow mission creep to turn the Foleo into a bloated, heavy, power sapping, cumbersome, expensive bag of bricks. What I liked about the Foleo was that it was simple, clean, easy to use, light, had just the immediate set of functionality that I need and that compared to other UMPC form-factors on the market, it was very price-competitive. If enhancements mean sacrificing those essential features, that will be a disappointment for me.

September 20, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger Alan Grassia, Staff Writer said...

I don't believe that Palm will add features just to add features. The Foleo team worked very hard to make the Foleo the best machine that it could be. They were very focused on getting the Zen of Palm right on this device.

Yes when the Foleo returns I expect to see tabbed browsing and it will probably support Flash video out of the box (though, I don't care for it myself). I'm sure Palm will also incorporate some of the great feedback they received from the Foleo Sneak Peek events.

Alan G

September 20, 2007 9:25 PM  
Blogger Ederic said...

The promise of a more powerful Foleo makes me more excited about this product. :)

September 24, 2007 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually. I'll be very happy if Palm release an update to the TX. Say, a faster processor, VGA screen, and more memory. AND an improved on/off switch.

My TX have a bad switch and I am waiting for them to release a new product.

February 19, 2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous acer bta0302001 battery said...

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Danke für die Neuigkeit!

August 18, 2008 11:44 PM  

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