RealTime IT News

Handspring Airs 2 New Treos

Handspring, Inc. Tuesday introduced the Treo 90, a PDA with a built-in keyboard and a full-color display. Treo 90 expands the Treo family of handhelds to now include organizers as well as communicators. It comes with 16 MB of memory, Secure Digital and MultiMediaCard expansion capabilities and rechargeable battery. It is available for $299 from www.handspring.com and within the next few weeks at retail stores across the country. Treo 90 will also become available in the upcoming months in Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Korea.

In a separate announcement today, Handspring also introduced the full-color Treo 270 communicator.

"Treo 90 will appeal to business professionals and consumers who are looking for a small, stylish organizer with a crisp, color screen at an affordable price," said Joe Sipher, vice president of product marketing for Handspring. "We're also finding that the integrated keyboard is a faster, easier and more familiar method of input than Graffiti. We believe that Treo 90 will expand the market for organizers to include people who are intimidated by or never wanted to learn Graffiti."

Treo 90 comes with a built-in QWERTY keyboard. PIM applications on Treo 90 have been optimized for thumb keyboard navigation. With Instant Lookup, for example, people can use the keyboard to look up any name in the Contacts List in three keystrokes or fewer. Using the keyboard and scroll bars, people can also complete such tasks as selecting and opening an application from the Launcher or checking off To Do items, without using the included stylus.

Treo 90, available in bronze, measures 4.2 x 2.8 x 0.65 inches and weighs just four ounces. It is a Palm OS organizer with 16 MB of memory. Running on Palm OS 4.1.1H, the latest version of the Palm OS with Handspring's enhancements, Treo 90 is compatible with thousands of Palm OS applications. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that Handspring claims lasts 10 days on a full charge and quickly recharges and synchronizes with a desktop computer while connected to the USB HotSync cable.

Treo 90 has a transflective, color STN display, a touch screen that is backlit and offers greater readability for viewing text and graphics in a variety of lighting conditions. Treo 90 also has a removable flip cover with a clear window that protects the screen and keyboard without adding size. The clear window offers a view of the entire screen, so that people can check the calendar and other PIM applications without lifting the lid.

Treo 90 offers expansion capabilities via a Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMediaCard (MMC) slot at the top of the device. This slot lets users backup their data or add memory and content.

Treo 90 comes with WordSmith on the desktop CD. WordSmith, from Blue Nomad, is a full-featured word processing application, electronic book reader, document viewer and enhanced memo pad for Palm OS devices. It synchronizes and seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Word, so that documents can be easily transferred from the desktop to a handheld. People can view, edit and create full text documents with WordSmith, and it also offers rich modification and formatting capabilities. Additionally, Treo 90 has a key lock feature, which saves battery power by ensuring that the organizer does not accidentally turn on when it is in a pocket, bag or briefcase.

Treo 90 has the same form factor as the rest of the Treo family and is compatible with most of the same Treo accessories currently available, including the USB Charging Cradle, USB HotSync Cable, Serial HotSync Cable, Car Lighter Adapter, Travel Charger Kit, Stylus 3-pack and Action Pack Case. Also, in the next few weeks Handspring will introduce a new leather case exclusively for the Treo 90. A USB HotSync Cable and Travel Charger come in the box with Treo 90.

Treo 270, a full-color communicator (phone plus PDA), was also introduced today. A color CDMA Treo that will be available this summer and will operate on the Sprint Third Generation Network was also announced. Treo 90 is the only organizer in the Treo family.