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Comments on: Handspring Treo 90 Review

Late last month, Handspring announced a new addition to its lineup, the Treo 90. Despite being part of Treo line, it isn't a smartphone. Instead, it is a mid-range handheld with a color screen, an SD/MMC slot, 16 MB of RAM, and Palm OS 4.1. News Editor Ed Hardy brings us this in-depth review.
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Typo

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 10:17:51 AM #
>brighter than the bqacklight, the screen becomes >unreadable

should be backlight

Thanks

RE: Typo
Admin @ 7/1/2002 10:25:37 AM #
Got it, thank you!
RE: Typo
ahecht @ 7/1/2002 10:56:55 PM #
Another one:

"Also, if you begin typing a name, it will only display all the contacts that don't match what you've put in."

I think you mean "it will only display all the contacts that match what you've put in."

RE: Typo. oh my god
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 11:32:56 PM #
People who reads these articles have brains you know! you dont have to pinpoint every single mistake the editor makes like we're a bunch of kids.
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 12:17:52 AM #
> People who reads these articles have brains you know!

This one should read: "People who read these articles have brains, you know?"

> you dont
Besides forgetting to capitalize the new sentence, you also forgot the contraction of "do not" - don't.


RE: Typo
TDS Computer @ 7/2/2002 12:58:30 AM #
That was a near-perfect combination of sarcasm and seriousness. I applaud you. And I hope I did'nt make any typographical errors!

Visit us at www.tdscomputer.com
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 2:09:17 AM #
touche
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 6:47:08 AM #
didn't rather than did'nt I believe
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 8:25:33 AM #
The thing about typos and grammatical errors is that they can introduce ambiguity into a post/article or even change the meaning of what the author was trying to convey. They also show a lack of attention to detail.
RE: Typo
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/26/2002 3:59:50 PM #
while we're at it, here's another reason for a Palm OS spellchecker:

"Problem is, the stylus slot let's it fall out if you turn the Treo upside down."

... should be "lets" (no apostrophe) ...

Almost Perfect

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 10:32:30 AM #
If it had a hi-res color screen and a jog dial, it would have been perfect. I would have paid more for a hi-res screen. I assume the next models will have OS 5.0 also. Other than that, it looks like a nice pda.
RE: BackLight Settings
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 10:44:51 AM #
Ed,

How do you change the backlight settings? Since holding the power button locks the keyboard, is there another key sequence to bring this up? Thanks for a great review.


Kirk

RE: Almost Perfect
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 2:02:58 PM #
You press Option-Q. (The Q key has a blue contrast icon next to it.)
RE: Almost Perfect
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 2:10:58 PM #
Yeah, that took me a while to find when I first saw a demo unit. If no one's done it yet, I think a great thing to have would be a keyboard shortcut "what does what" list...
RE: Almost Perfect
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 10:37:23 AM #
I wouldn't bet that Handspring will release a Treo with OS5 soon. This is the same company that kept releasing OS3.5 models long after 4.0 had hit the market. Hawkins is more likely to focus on adding 5.0-style functions to the HS version of 4.0. This would be cheaper for HS, especially since 5.0 isn't supposed to take full advantage of the ARM processors.
RE: Almost Perfect
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 3:06:19 AM #
Huh? OS 5 will be running native on the ARM processors, so will be running as past as possible. If that's not taking advantage of it I don't know what is...

Maybe you mean third-party apps can't take advantage of it? That's also not quite true. developers can already start building their applications with required portions running native ARM code (ARMlets).


RE: Almost Perfect
ginbot86 @ 12/28/2007 12:57:51 AM #
It is pretty good, but my cable inexplicably failed and now I can't Hotsync.

Re-Mapping of Buttons

fkclo @ 7/1/2002 11:00:17 AM #
Ed,

Actually Treo Button has been around a while to allow Treo users ( all keyboard models) to customise the botton mapping as well as how the flip behaves for Tro 180 / 270.

It works well and it is free.

Here is the link :-

http://homepage2.nifty.com/hackerdudesan/index-e.html

Just to clarify.

I NEED A COLORED PDA ASAP
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 3:29:52 PM #
my choices are the treo 90, sony t665 and m515. i lost my m505 and i need a replacement, i will be using it for

1.reading
2.rarely with games
3.addbook and datebook entry which i
type long notes (maybe treos thumboard or sony t665s addon thumboard will solve it?
4. i need the screen to be clear and easy on the eyes (i dont know if hi-res solves that, i know m505 didnt).
5. DURABLE since i wont be using a case for it since i need a slim pocketable pda.
6. last but not the least, long battery life. m505s life was ok for me.


PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!!

RE: Re-Mapping of Buttons
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:13:41 PM #
The best way to compare the screens is to look at demo units yourself. If you're in the US, try CompUSA or Best Buy for live demo units instead of mock-ups.
RE: Re-Mapping of Buttons
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:18:18 PM #
If you're using it without a case, the 90 looks like the best bet because the cover will stay in place to protect the screen. I wouldn't keep anything sharp--i.e. keys, coins, etc.--in that same pocket, though; someone was commenting on Treocentral that his got scratched that way.
RE: I NEED A COLORED PDA ASAP
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 8:26:06 PM #
The Toshiba e310 appears to meet all of your needs.
RE: Re-Mapping of Buttons
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2002 12:06:25 AM #
Considering that the three devices above are all Palm OS, a PPC may or may not belong in the running...
RE: Re-Mapping of Buttons
dstrauss @ 7/20/2002 10:45:45 AM #
Having owned all three (well, it was a Clie 615, the predecessor to the 665), I'd buy the Treo 90 that I settled on. Size wise it is still the smallest of the three. The built in cover is great; so is the keyboard once you get used to it. You'll need a utility for writing on the screen, because sometimes it's much easier/faster to go with graffiti (Newpen is free, but I found RecoEcho from CIC to work much better).

All PDA's are compromises, and the 665 screen is gorgeous, but it's bigger, and covers make it and the 515 as bulky as the old III series, or even my Audiovox Maestro that I've ditched for the Treo 90.

directional keys

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 11:05:31 AM #
Ed,

"One of the things I miss is a set of directional keys. If I want to go back just a few letters, I have to pull out the stylus and tap on the screen. "

You can move throughout text with the option+scroll keys. It gets easy once you get used to it.

no stylus!

miradu

RE: directional keys
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 10:46:22 PM #
Sure you can. Blue Option key plus up/down scroll buttons moves the cursor back and forth in a line of text.

It's a small world....at Handspring.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 11:33:26 AM #
Ed, your positive spin on the thumbboard didn't convince me, but I can see where women (with short nails) and men with petite hands might be able to navigate those tiny keys.
RE: It's a small world....at Handspring.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 11:49:20 AM #
Yeah like you maybe.
RE: It's a small world....at Handspring.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 12:33:24 PM #
I try to do as little text input on my PDA as possible. The bulk of the input is tapping on the screen with the stylus, with a little graffiti herre and there. The apps on Palm devices are designed to support that model perfectly. Why in the world would I want my fingers to fumble around with both a stylus and a thumbboard?
RE: It's a small world....at Handspring.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 10:40:34 PM #
I wish Handspring well. Choice is good for all of us, but I have no regrets recently opting for Sony's T615 at $275 over the closely priced Treo 90. The usefulness of a PDA would be severely limited without Graffiti, at least for me. It is ironic, isn't it, that the Treo has the better stylus :)
RE: Treo stylus
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 11:11:39 PM #
Yeah... the one downside, IMO, to the Treo stylus is that it's shorter than most, in order for it to fit in the smaller casing.

Why I dislike the keyboard

Deslock @ 7/1/2002 12:31:44 PM #
I prefer graffiti for two reasons:

1) I can use it without looking. I like to keep my eyes on people I'm talking with (and people talking in meetings).

2) I use shortcuts and DA-apps all the time.

RE: Why I dislike the keyboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 12:39:47 PM #
I can almost type without looking at the thumboard now (maybe 70% acccuracy). I've been playing with it for a week now. Maybe in a month or so I'll be able to type without looking with 100% accuracy. Even if it turns out to be impossible, you can use the third party graffiti programs that let you write directly on the screen (Jot, RecoEcho, NewPen).

Handspring really should have included a little physical dot on two of the key buttons. Kind of how they have them on real keyboards. Would help immensely in giving you an idea where the keys are when you're not looking.

RE: Two raised dots
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 1:47:21 PM #
Do the two raised dots work as well on thumbboards? (I've only played with thumbboards a little bit, never owned a CrackBerry, looking at the Treo 90 now...) Anyway, part of why the raised dots work (IMO) on a full-size kbd is that if you have your index fingers on them, you can move your other fingers and know which keys they'll hit. On a thumbboard, your "zones" would seem to be smaller since you only have 2 thumbs instead of 10 fingers.
RE: Why I dislike the keyboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 4:21:49 PM #
I'm not sure if it would work. My theory is those two raised dots would be tactile reference points. When you feel the dot you know what letter that is and to find another letter you will know how far away from the dot it is. My main biggest problem with typing without looking is that once i lose my reference, I type everything wrong. As in hitting every key to the right of the one I really wanted to hit. Hopefully the two raised dots would help but we won't know unless someone actually tries using it.
RE: Why I dislike the keyboard
atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 5:08:20 PM #
I don't think it would hurt. I know that it sure would help me type in the dark, because the keys on the 90 aren't back lit.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: Why I dislike the keyboard
drw @ 7/1/2002 7:17:22 PM #
they should have made it at least an option for the user to backlight the keys if needed.

David in Pflugerville, TX
RE: raised dots on keyboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:15:52 PM #
I just noticed a phone with a raised dot on the 5. I think you're right--it couldn't hurt.

You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 12:31:50 PM #
In your article when you suggested why people might be so resistant about thumb keyboards and guessed that it's the learning curve, you missed the mark by a long shot -- at least for me and my students. (I teach Palm classes).

As a long-time Graffiti user I have found that when I COMPOSE, usually ANY keyboard can be better than Graffiti, but when I take notes - when a client is speaking - in a classroom - during a speech, etc. Graffiti wins EVERY TIME.

Don't you remember in school that if you kept eye contact with the teacher while you took notes, your info was better? Graffiti is the only way to accomplish this without a full-size, touch-type keyboard attached. - Thumboards and the 'virtual keyboard' FORCE you to stare at the unit while typing and keeping eye contact with your client is no longer an option.

One more MAJOR gripe is that a thumboard (just ask Seiko) can be attached after the fact, and which adds very little to the footprint of the unit. Unfortunately Graffitt CAN'T BE ADDED to a unit where the thumboard is permanent. With very little engineering prowess, Handspring could rework the add-on thumboard concept Seiko started and make it an even more elegant option. Especially if they keep Graffiti and only make thumboards for Graffiti haters.

There is another possibility...
Maybe Graffiti DOES infringe on the Xerox patent after all, and Handspring (where the Graffiti inventor lives) sees the writing on the wall. They may want to avoid as much of a lawsuit payout as possible and this is just a way to hedge their bets.

Why else would they take away something that adds to productivity for so many users and inflict these dumb little thumboards?

ALL my future Palm purchases will have Graffiti !

RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 12:59:48 PM #
Can't add Graffiti? Try RecoEcho or Jot!
RE: Try RecoEcho or Jot??
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 1:12:20 PM #
Jot is $40 (ironically ten bucks MORE than a Seiko ThumBoard) and I have tried it. It is slower than Graffiti and less accurate. While you can work with it and become more accurate over time, I still write faster than it displays. If the letters you're writing aren't instant it can mess you up while you're writing.

The more affordable $10 RecoEcho has promise but from their user manual -- "Since RecoEcho allows you to write anywhere on the screen, a tap on the screen places the cursor.  The punctuation and symbol modes can only be invoked from the Input Panel."

'Scuse me but... there ain't one any more.

If NewPen works as mentioned it may be the only real answer to Handspring's thumb idea. -- I HOPE!!

RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
plaid @ 7/1/2002 1:12:42 PM #
Don't have my treo yet, but I'm trying out newpen, a freeware app that allows grafitti on the screen. Looks like this app is going to go a great job, and unlike reco echo, it is free and allows punctuation on the screen.

RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 1:32:43 PM #
"Jot is $40 (ironically ten bucks MORE than a Seiko ThumBoard) and I have tried it. It is slower than Graffiti and less accurate."

I ran into that problem too. Even though grafitti characters are a little different than ordinary writing, I have not had trouble telling my brain which character set to use :)

Unistroke, PPC
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 5:10:02 PM #
Handspring is just afraid of Xerox.

palms should have more options. The only thing I envy about Pocket PC is that they have tree options for text entry: Graffity, Jot, Transcriber. By the way all of these exept trascriber are clones.

Palmos should have more options.

RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 5:15:01 PM #
I'm using the discontinued ScreenWrite Hack on my Treo. I found the RecoEcho had some undesired effects, such as a mark it sometimes puts at the top of my screen to divide then number and letter areas. Plus I wanted something that was in hackmaster form so it would work well with my other hacks.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 8:22:48 PM #
Unistrokes is better an easier to use than graffiti.
RE: Unistroke, PPC
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 3:34:20 PM #
Maybe it's a clever message to Xerox regarding the patent lawsuit. Settle the suit and Xerox gets a tiny royalty from PalmSource or the licensees. Refuse to settle, PalmOS goes thumbboards only, and Xerox gets nothing again (which is even less than they got from Apple; Xerox at least got some pre-IPO stock from Apple.)
RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:35:56 AM #
I predict Xerox losing on appeal. That is, if they have enough money left to fight....LOL! "Readjusting" your books to lose $2 billion can really hurt.

Burn baby burn!!!! (Never liked 'em anyway)

Try NewPen
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 10:59:19 AM #
The great thing about the Treo's, although I don't own one, is that you get the thumboard and you can still use graffiti. My boss has a Treo 90 and uses NewPen which allows him to use the entire screen as his graffiti area. I've played with it and it works better than Jot and RecoEcho. Also, its a free program! My suggestion to Handspring would be to bundle some of these programs with their Desktop CD and allow users to choose how they configure their Treo's.

I love the Treo 90! Tragically, I recently bought a new Sony which, for the money, is the worst investment I have ever made. If you want a thumboard with a Palm OS device go witht the Treo and stay away from the poor products coming out of Sony!

RE: You Are Sooooo Wrong About Thumboards
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 3:58:17 PM #
At the risk of inciting flames, what don't you like about the Sony?

Non-troll, just curious...

So, only Palm likes NotePad?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 12:48:28 PM #
I checked out his unit the other day and found it to be a very attractive option. However, it (like Sony's models) fails to include the NotePad app as part of the OS. Isn't it part of OS 4 by default? Why is it that Sony and Handspring have gone out of their way to remove one of the most handy parts of the Palm OS? God know how many trees I've saved by using that program alone!
So, only Palm likes NotePad?
plaid @ 7/1/2002 1:15:19 PM #
I always found the notepad app too limited. I prefer the freeware diddlebug so it doesn't bother me that it's missing.

RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 2:00:18 PM #
It's not in the OS by default, it is a Palm (not PalmSource) proprietary program. Look at the logo in the About box on, say, an m505. The other apps have a "Palm Powered" logo. The Note Pad has a distinct "Palm" logo.
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 2:25:03 PM #
All of the native apps like MemoPad and DateBook have the "Palm" not "Palmsource" logo. This still doesn't explain why they decided to remove it and offer no alternative.
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
robrecht @ 7/1/2002 2:30:29 PM #
If I ever switch from my Palm to a SONY NR70 or whatever's the next great nonPalm handheld, how can I keep all of my my memo pad notes?

Is it possible to access these texts on my Desktop?

Thanks, Robrecht

RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 2:51:53 PM #
NotePad and MemoPad are separate things.

So wait, let me get this straight. "Palm powered"=Palmsource and "Palm"=hardware, right?

But Palm is still making software for their devices outside of the Palmsource name? I am so confused...

RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
robrecht @ 7/1/2002 2:58:56 PM #
I guess I know what Memo Pad is, but what is Note Pad?

Thanks, Robrecht
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 3:48:58 PM #
> This still doesn't explain why they decided to
> remove it and offer no alternative.

Sony and Handspring didn't remove it. Note Pad is an add-on app exclusive to Palm, Inc. It is not part of OS 4 or OS 5 "by default".

RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 3:50:52 PM #
Memo pad is the text entry app that comes on all Palms. Note Pad is a digital ink app that lets you write freehand-style, kind of like a graphics doodle pad. It's for those moments when you need to jot something down, but cannot afford a typo such as when someone starts spewing out a phone number unexpectedly. Think of it as a virtual post-it note. You can usually intrepret your own handwriting later and put it in the address book. It also allows you to set an alarm to the note (nice for quick reminders), and change the colors of the ink and background (cute but almost useless feature).
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 3:55:00 PM #
notepad allows you write graphically on the screen and sync with desktop so you can view your drawings on desktop as well. It is convenient to write down some numbers. Though I perfer DinkyPad to it.
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
drw @ 7/1/2002 6:44:03 PM #
I loaded notepad on my os v3.5.2 kyocera 6035 once, but it was too slow for my taste with the kyo's 20mhz processor.

David in Pflugerville, TX
RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 8:36:18 PM #
Okay, so it's not part of OS 4 so other branded devices can remove it. But why would you want to? Am I the only one who thinks it's a good idea to keep this little OS as robust as possible?

One of the nice things about NotePad is that it backs-up to the Palm desktop. So if your handheld is elsewhere (in other words, you left it at home and you're using your computer at work) you can still view it's data on your desktop. As far as I can tell, you can't view Diddlebugs data without your handheld.

RE: So, only Palm likes NotePad?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 7:40:39 AM #
Sony includes CliePaint in place of NotePad. I wish someone would write a program for my CLie that did exactly what Pocket Notes did on my Ipaq, but I don't expect to see it.

I like Maxilaris Note 3.1. It supports hi-res (not yet hi-res+), offers all Palm NotePad does plus painting primitives and an alarm. It cost only about $10.

My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......

MJGunn @ 7/1/2002 1:37:18 PM #
I have a Sony T615, and I bought a treo 90 on friday. Sadly, the treo is going back today. In the middle of the day yesterday, I packaged it up, and put it back in the box, because I knew if I didn't, I was going to keep picking it up and playing with it, and getting madder at handspring every time. Its just that close to being perfect. When its in your hand, it feels.....right, the shape and everything (though a jog dial would have made it even better). Its so light, you can truly put it in your pocket and forget its there....I was carrying it in my pants 5th pocket! Despite being so small, the keyboard is easy to use, even for me with my fat thumbs. I love the flip cover, though I agree with ed, I would worry about the clear part getting scratched.

The part that kills it for me is the screen. The colors are good, though I don't really agree with ed about all the colors being strong (look at a Prism, or a Clie NR, THOSE are strong colors). The screen isn't really capable of white, its more of an off-white. The colors aren't really what bothers me though, its that the screen is slow, slow, slow. I'm really surprised Ed didn't mention this in his review. I would change a page in my ebook, and the new page would draw over the old one for a second or two until the old one disappeared (best way I can describe it, I'm sure you get the point though). The fact that the screen is smaller, and isn't hi-res, doesn't even really bother me, cause, as ED said, the two pretty much cancel each other out. I really don't know how a company can go from producing a screen like the Prism's to....this.

Bottom line - If I only used it for PIM purposes, I would keep it, its the perfect handheld for that. But I do enjoy reading ebooks, and playing the occasional game on it. I guess I'll have to stick with my clie. If handpspring releases this handheld, with a better screen, I'll be the first in line to buy it.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
ptevesjr @ 7/1/2002 2:25:45 PM #
Thanks for your honest review! I to have a sony T series handheld and was contemplating buying it. Color quality is very important for me because I do allot of reading on my unit. I guess I will have to see it in person, before I purchase it online.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 5:23:31 PM #
I own a Treo 90, and I don't share your opinion on the screen. Granted, I have never owned any other color unit, I don't think it has any serious faults. Keep in mind that this is a value unit and the screen isn't supposed to be perfect. That said, I don't have any problem using the screen for normal purposes, or even for games. I even play Zap 2000, Ababall, and other action games. Don't get me wrong, it's no Gameboy, but I still find playing games on this far superior to playing games on my old IIIxe. In conclusion, those of you used to higher end color screens may be in for trouble, as this screen isn't perfect, but its still a great improvement for those who are used to grayscale.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 5:29:36 PM #
I agree that the off-white is a negative next to the Prism or a Clie. On the slowness factor, did you have any way to test more than one unit? It might have been something with just that one. (Not to knock what you're saying or anything--just trying to be thorough.

I played with a demo unit (even beamed Bejeweled to it) and didn't notice a slow response. Then again, I have a Vx, so I may be basing this on old hardware.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
MJGunn @ 7/1/2002 6:16:30 PM #
The display unit at best buy seemed the same way. Its about as slow as the m130's screen. Theres visible "ghosting" on the screen. This really bugs some people (like me), other people don't even notice it.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
drw @ 7/1/2002 6:50:53 PM #
Re: flip window getting scratched

How about a flip protector?

Re: slowness

There are threads at treocentral about the 270 being slower than other 33mhz palms (using benchmarking software).

I hope OS5 makes the palms run fast. Handyshopper does a big "sort" when changing from all to needed items or changing stores. Of course having seperate sorts setup for ordering, then purchasing makes it more processor intensive. Another app I'd like to see sped up with OS5 is handbase. Originally when handyshopper had a bug with kyo's event handling I put my shopping lists on handbase, but it was annoyingly slow with screen redraws.

And today I got an email regarding something called mazingo.net. Looks like a take-off on avantgo, but also can do video. That would be cool to sync video headlines in the morning and view them when I get a sec. Or cooler to view streaming video over a smartphone.

David in Pflugerville, TX

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 8:45:11 PM #
OS 5 can speed up Palms in 2 ways. First is the switch to ARM so we can see 200 mhz Palms and Treos. Second is the hi-res support. Sony uses a media-q graphics accelerator which will be officially supported by palmsource and ATI's chip is supported as well.
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 12:40:55 AM #
Can you cut a write right (or similar) to fit the window?
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 12:51:08 AM #
"How about a flip protector?"

The flip comes with a plastic protector on it. I removed it immediately when I received my first unit and regretted watching the cover got scratched very easily. I returned the first unit because of the falling stylus issue, and this time I'm keeping the cover protector for the second treo. Works well.

As for the ghosting, Treo 90 screen is noticeably slower than Clie T615. But not as bad as m130. I have no problem reading eBooks on Treo.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 8:21:05 AM #
I tested the 90's screen next to an m130, and noticed two things:

a) the 90 is noticeably brighter
b) the refresh rate on the 90 is about twice that of the 130.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
MJGunn @ 7/2/2002 12:37:21 PM #
I feel the complete oppisite. I went and bought an m130 today to compare. I feel the m130 has both better colors and a faster refresh rate. The best comparison I can come up with is to play zap 2016 and watch the ghosting, the treo is noticeably worse.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 3:41:29 PM #
Don't forget when doing LCD refresh rate comparisons that the rate is strongly influenced by temperature. A cold display is almost always much slower. One that has been held a lot might seem faster just from picking up some body heat.
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 10:08:10 PM #
being i hate any part of my pda being scratched in any
way i just kept the plastic film that shipped with
the treo on the flip cover. now i don't worry about
it getting scratched.
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 11:10:28 AM #
I've read a bunch of E-books on my Treo 90 and never had the problems reported in this thread. The screen, in my opinion, is perfectly fine for E-books etc. It is, however, not very good for picture viewing. Lets face it, Sony wins the screen war hands down. However, for the money, the Treo's screen is perfect and I would suggest that anyone purchase this product. I took back my new Sony and kept the Treo and have been happy with the decision every day since!
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 11:27:47 AM #
Amen! Saying that the M130 has a better screen is stupid. There is virtually no difference between the two. If your world revolves around playing Zap maybe you should buy a gameboy and hang out with 10 year olds.
RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
MJGunn @ 7/8/2002 5:58:41 PM #
Is this all you people can resort to, personal attacks? My life doesn't "revolve around" playing zap, it just makes a good test. As for comparing it to the m130, hey, own and use the two of them for a few days before declaring them "both the same", until you do that I don't want to hear from you. I did just that, I was carrying 3 palm pilots around for 4 days. In the end, the clie stayed, as much as I liked the 90.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
dstrauss @ 7/20/2002 10:57:43 AM #
I'm puzzled by the slow screen redraw comments when reading ebooks. I've been using my Treo 90 this past week with Palmreader, and the screen scrolls by window or line equally well, with no slowdown. Granted, pictures and fast moving arcade type games are not as good as a TFT screen, but with the exception of the 665 and NR series from Sony, I find reflective TFT screens to be milky and dull. And for the life of me, I don't understand the loyalty to the Prism screen - three times the size size/weight of Treo 90, and colors/brightness are not substantially better than Treo.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2002 11:04:16 AM #
I am sitting here looking at a 90 and an m130. I like them both, but the 90 has a slightly bigger screen (and it makes a difference), the colour on the 90 is better as is the clarity overall. The m130 is huge compared to the 90 and heavy too.

To someone who posted a lament about the two key access to "Applications". Just go to Prefs/Buttons and assign "Applications" to the "Date Book" key at the lower left. It's a good thing to do because it also turns the unit on. You can assign it to any of the four keys.

RE: My Thoughts on the Treo 90.......
ginbot86 @ 12/28/2007 1:10:23 AM #
The SD slot is quite slow, and it has trouble with my new 2GB card that I paid $40 for!
Also, I can't return the card. Oh well, it's (the card) will make a good flash drive... :-P

My thoughts on the Treo 90

atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 5:30:40 PM #
I own a Treo 90, and here are my impressions:

First, I'm not suffering at all from that lack of Graffiti. In fact, I like the keyboard a lot. I'm not going to say that it's superior to Graffiti, but it has been very useful. I may finally be able to write C using Onboard C, because I found doing so using Graffiti to be pretty ridiculous. I still retain the ability to use Graffiti through ScreenWrite Hack and TealScript. The thing I miss the most about the silkscreen is the ability to trigger DA's and hacks with stylus strokes. Hopefully developers will provide alternative methods in the future, such as shift+hardware buttons. I also find that it's not too difficult to find the extended characters. I haven't had any trouble, but then again I don't type long documents. I really do wish that the keyboard were backlit or that it had tactile dots. I use the Treo every now and then at night to take a quick note, and while the keyboard is usuable, a make a lot more mistakes. Also, I don't really understand HS's logic in not making easier to do certain things like get to the home screen. Overall though, these are all minor complaints I have.

Secondly, I like the screen a lot. I've used the 90 to view pictures and things like that and I find that the 12 bit screen works well enough for me. The colors are very bright compared to the m505 but not on a Prism level. I owned a IIIxe before the 90, and the 90's screen is a step up in every way. I even use it for games, and while there is some ghosting, its still quite playable.

Third, I really do wish HS had provided a jog dial, but this is more of wishful thinking than a grip that I have. I don't count it against them because this is more of an extra feature that they don't provide than a lack of usability. I like what they did with the scroll keys, but I wish it worked outside of the builtin apps. It would be great if I could launch apps in that manner through SilverScreen. I also find it useful to use the Buttons-T program from Handspring to add more options to my hardware buttons. They should promote this program more.

Fourth, I do have some issues with the casing on the 90. I am experiencing the same stylus problems Ed described. I'm going to have to give the tape trick a try. Also, I've found that I can't squeeze the unit to reset it like I could with my IIIxe. This is a good thing, I guess, but it causes me trouble sometimes. Every now and then, I'm away from my house, and I crash my unit trying to mess with my hacks or whatever, and I can't find that stylus since it slipped out. Also, I suggest to anyone who buys this unit to get a case for it immediately. I find that the case is not nearly as resistant to treatment as my IIIxe was. This might be because it lacks the rough texture that the IIIxe had. While it feels nice, its really prone to scratching if you keep it in a pocket with keys or pens. My 90 has a gash across the front cover and numerous smaller scratches to vouch for this. I'm really looking forward to being able to buy a form-fitting glove type holder for it. Finally, I do wish it were easier to remove the flip cover. You really do have to pry it off.

Overally, I like this unit a lot. I picked up my IIIxe after using this, and it felt like a brick! It is very versatile, and the 16MB of memory and SD slot add to this. I hope that Handspring adds SDIO support, although at this point it is not at all necessary for me. I think that this unit is a great upgrade for those who are still using III series generation handhelds and older Visors. I think that the decision between this and the m130 for value buyers will mostly come down to preferences on text input.

Peace Out
Alan

RE: My thoughts on the Treo 90
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 6:20:57 PM #
attrizzah: i bought a treo 90 when it first came out and i had the same stylus problem. i called handspring's customer support and they shipped me a replacment unit the next day! no problems with the new unit after a week+. good luck.

RE: My thoughts on the Treo 90
atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 6:30:04 PM #
Ok, thanks a lot. I'm going to give that a try

Peace Out
Alan
RE: My thoughts on the Treo 90
drw @ 7/1/2002 7:05:38 PM #
is there some kind of "TAB" key to move the cursor from field to field or change the cursor-focus from onscreen button to button? This would be handy, although probably not supported in the os.

Re: pressing 2 keys to go home

Why should it be necessary to allways go home? There should be some drop down list of applications available in every app so you can go from app to app instead of app, home, app, home, etc. Think I saw a DA that did this. Or, would it be possible to program one of the 4 app hardware buttons to go 'home'?

David in Pflugerville, TX

RE: My thoughts on the Treo 90
atrizzah @ 7/1/2002 9:24:21 PM #
That tab thing would be nice. It would be very ambitious, but I wish Handspring would make a patch for the OS that allowed this and other refinements. I highly doubt that this would actually happen though.

Regarding the home thing, I go to the applications screen a lot. Another thing is that it would be great if the home keys were at least near each other. That way I could go home with one hand instead of two. What I did was assign the ToDo button to go home since I use DateBk 5 to control both appointments and todo's. About the DA, I don't know of any such DA. I know of a couple hacks that do this, but they all seem to require a stylus stroke in the silkscreen to activate. Also, they don't handle apps on the SD. I'm hoping someone writes a DA that does this so I can activate it through TealLaunch. If anyone does know of such a DA, please let me know.

Peace Out
Alan

RE: My thoughts on the Treo 90
dstrauss @ 7/20/2002 11:04:06 AM #
There's a hack out there called treokbutils that let's you map the command key plus a letter key to give you greater cursor movement control AND the ability to move back and forth through fields (like the fields in a neww address entry screen). I set up the Q and A keys for up/down through fields, and the E, S, X, F keys as a sort of cursor control diamond. Works great in Wordsmith and other text editing programs.

Problem is, the stylus slot let's it fall out if you turn th

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 7:22:45 PM #
Just thought that I would key you in on the typo
RE: Problem is, the stylus slot let's it fall out if you turn th
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 12:26:46 PM #
The only complaint I have about my Treo 90 is that the damn stylus falls right out if you tilt the unit. I think Handsprings' quality control was out taking a coffee break when it came to designing the slot for the stylus. I already lost one stylus and complained to HS, and they sent me a whole new unit - but with the same exact problem - the damn stylus doesn't stay in it's slot. What to do now ?
RE: Problem is, the stylus slot let's it fall out if you tur
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 11:27:06 PM #
Why is this only a problem on the 90? The stylus itself looks the same as the other Treos, except for the tip. Why redesign the slot?
RE: Problem is, the stylus slot let's it fall out if you turn th
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 5:02:49 PM #
It's supposed to be "lets" not "let's"

Another vote against the thumb board

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/1/2002 11:58:38 PM #
I went in to a local bestbuy and tried the Treo 90. It has a nice size but there are many flaws, IMHO. First the screen is made entirely of plastic, you can "feel" this as you are using the stylus. The stylus actually "digs in" to the screen creating a halo effect of dots and pixels. And this was with light touching of the screen. Next, the key/thumb board. It's simply too small and the way you have to access the main menu and other functions require presing two buttons which is annoying at best. It also felt rather flimsy. Simply put, I wasn't impressed the way Ed was. So I'll continue to wait for the OS5 stuff to come out.

On a side note, Palm's M515 was priced at $349.99 which is a $50 price drop. I wonder if this means that OS5 pdas from palm are closer than we think OR if it's the Sony T15 which was priced at an incredible $269.99 that's hurting palm's sales and thus the price decrease.

I hope it flops

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 3:58:05 PM #
I am frankly miffed that HS has abandoned the format which made it unique in the first place. I absolutely love my Prism and was really hoping for a decent replacement. I sincerely hope the Treo 90 is a complete failure for Handspring. 12 bit color, no jog dial, limited expandability. I think not. I wish they would have delivered an updated Prism...faster, more memory, better battery life, etc.
RE: I hope it flops
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 2:50:08 PM #
I agree wholeheartedly. A lot of people _LIKED_ the "brick" formfactor that the Visors/III Palms had. Large screen, good batttery life, nice meaty and durable buttons, etc etc.

Had Handspring simply upped the Prism's ram to 16 megs and put in an extended life battery, they'd have had a nice holdover unit to extend Visor/springboard sales a bit longer, and generate some extra $ until the Treo line matured a bit more. Further nice (but unrealistic) concepts would be to have OS 4.x in there and ship the unit slightly overclocked from the factory, say 38 mhz or so. That'd have made a nice little unit for people who wanted a more substantial color unit than the m130 but didn't like the m5xx form factor.


Instead of sending the Visors/Springboards out with a whimper (Visor Neo anyone?) they could have released a "Prism PLus" or some such unit. Oh well, maybe Dell will snap HS up for pennies on the dollar in the coming months...

RE: I hope it flops + Dell
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 10:21:02 AM #
We could only pray that someone would acquire the concept and technology that made handspring unique (Springboard) and continue the legacy.
GROW UP!
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 11:21:42 AM #
Grow-up! Products come and go, companies change direction and consumers, in the end, benefit. I've owned all of the Visor's except the Prism and loved them all. However, Handspring simply was not going to make it selling Visor's and made the business decision to move on. There is nothing that says that you cannot keep your Visor. Springboards are still being developed and will continue to increase the versatility of the Visor line. I purchased a Treo and like it. However, the various modules that I enjoy. Why can't you simply wish Handspring well, enjoy your Visor and move on?

1 7/8 inch screen size?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 6:49:41 PM #
"Lots of people have asked what the exact screen size is so they can compare it with a Palm m130, which also has a slightly smaller than normal screen. Turns out the two are almost exactly the same size, roughly 1 7/8 inches."

How can the screen be 1 7/8 Inches?

RE: 1 7/8 inch screen size?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 7:45:27 PM #
Umm, i dunno just measured it. . . 1 and 7/8th inch seems right. That's the horizontal or vertical measurement of the screen size. Maybe you were thinking it was the diagonal measurement.
RE: 1 7/8 inch screen size?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2002 11:46:34 PM #
The diagonal, IIRC, is 2.75".

Puh-leaase

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 12:24:37 AM #
You must have Handspring stock to give this piece of junk such a high rating. It feels chaap, looks cheap, and has a terrible screen.
RE: Puh-leaase
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 2:24:35 AM #
Since you seem to know what a PDA should really be like, why don't YOU design the perfect PDA? You could make millions. Otherwise, shut the hell up.
RE: Puh-leaase
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:46:56 AM #
ahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahah Your so brave posting this on a web site....back to your parents basement. You msut have bought one of these pieces of junk. Handspring is dead. I give them a year at most so sell your Treo on e-bay an get something decent loser.

Quick Treo 90 Gaming Question

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:02:38 AM #
I am a great fan of Zap! and have played it on my Vx and m505. If I were to buy a Treo 90, would I run the 16-bit color version of the game or the standard 8-bit one?

Can/do all apps that currnetly support 16-bit and 8-bit units also "handle" 12 bit screens or will the programmers have to release a slew of updates for yet another standard?

Also, what did the verdict end up being on the m130's screen? Genuine 16-bit?

RE: Quick Treo 90 Gaming Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 12:02:38 PM #
Yep, Zap 2016 (the 16-bit version) works just fine on the Treo, so you should have no problems. I had it directly beamed from an m515 by a coworker of mine, and it looks just fine.

It should be noted that the "ghosting" caused by the Treo's passive-matrix screen makes it a little tougher to play, but it's not so prevalent that you CAN'T play. Just a little harder on the eyes.

RE: Quick Treo 90 Gaming Question
atrizzah @ 7/9/2002 2:05:28 AM #
So do all 16-bit programs work on the Treo 90? I haven't run across any that don't but I'm wondering if that's the general rule.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: Quick Treo 90 Gaming Question
ginbot86 @ 12/28/2007 1:00:32 AM #
16-bit programs work, only a tad less colourful. I don't really notice, to tell the truth.

Graffiti input

PIC mobile user @ 7/5/2002 12:45:25 PM #
You can enter graffiti text on Treo 90 with (Jot) Application, it's easy for small notes, or for bigger ones you can still use the Thumboard. Terrific.

Rex T.
RE: Graffiti input
plaid @ 7/8/2002 5:07:09 PM #
Newpen should work well too, and it's free. I don't have a Treo 90 yet, but I've been using newpen on my iiic to get used to it.

It's supposed to be "lets" not "let's"

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/9/2002 9:38:11 PM #
"the stylus slot let's it fall out if you turn the Treo upside down."

ditch the "let's" and change it to "lets".....it will look a lot better

Typo explained
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 6:08:30 PM #
Actually, there is a very good reason that there is a typo in the review (let's instead of lets). Recall that the author used his Treo to compose the article. It should be noted that the Treo 90 Memo Pad "corrects" your typing. For instance, if you forget the apostrophe in "dont", the application changes it to "don't" once you hit space. Unfortunately, this also occurs with the word "lets," and it automatically changes it to "let's." There is nothing one can do about this! It is a bit irritating.

RE: It's supposed to be 'lets' not 'let's'
ginbot86 @ 12/28/2007 1:04:35 AM #
You can get around it, but you have to fiddle with the cursor.

Treo 90 loose stylus

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/24/2002 11:54:50 PM #
Your comment in the review about the loose stylus is definitely a design defect. The stylus starts out fitting just fine, but within a few days, it just slides out. I have returned two already for this reason. Handspring's response was that it wasn't aware of any problem with the stylus not staying in the unit, but would be happy to replace it within the warranty period.

This is the only PDA I know of that has a stylus that will fall out if you just tilt the device slightly. I think Handspring needs to go back to the drawing board on an otherwise fine device.

RE: Treo 90 loose stylus
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2002 11:00:32 AM #
I had a Clie 615 and the skinny, little, girl's stylus was constantly falling out. When I decided to return the thing to The Sony Store, the clerk checked it over and said "where's the stylus?" I thought it was there. It wasn't. Fortunately I found it in my car.

I like my Treo 90 pretty well...

chrish @ 9/17/2002 2:05:40 PM #
Looks like my original comments got wiped out by accident, so here goes again, probably more brief this time:

I've had my Treo 90 for around a week. I bought it on the cheap, so keep that in mind.

The unit feels solid. The keyboard is easy to use, unless its dark. The screen is so bright that you can almost illuminate the keyboard with it if you had a mirror in the flip cover.

The screen looks pretty nice inside. Games like Galax are quite playable. It looks like a laptop screen. Outside in the sun the display is useless unless you find some shade.

I wish there was another way to lock the keys. I understand there are third party utilities you can buy to prevent poweron from an errant button push in your pocket, but for a $300 device, that should be included, or power-on from hotkeys should be an option to begin with.

The screen resolution, like all 160x160 devices is too small to bother with pictures, but that means your 16MB goes even further.

I've been very satisfied with the unit so far. The screen resolution was a tradeoff for the 16MB ram, color, small size and price in my case. I hope that Handspring keeps this formfactor for a while so we can get some decent accessories for the unit. Right now, there isn't much to be had from what I can see. I'd really like a nice metal case for mine.

I wasn't overly worried about SDIO not being supported, but it appears that handspring has issued an update that fixes that. When I ran it on my unit, it said that it was updating the flash. Whether that means it has flash depends on your interpretation.

contacts

ageorge1 @ 10/30/2002 1:39:33 PM #
I can't believe nobody commented on the fact that Contacts only lists by first name or last name, NOT by company. Also, since it's not Address Book, can I sync my old Address Book to it, or will I have to re-input the whole thing?

Just purchased Treo 90

JJSchwartz @ 11/15/2002 9:28:17 AM #
I just purchased the Treo 90 (with a belt case and car charger)since my Visor Platinum does not have adequate REM memory for more applications despite a 16KB module.
I bought the Treo even though I really like Grafitti. I have not received it in the mail, yet, and I am having serious regrets. Should I have purchased a Palm m515 or a Sony? Why or why not?
Should I return the treo?
Thanks in advance for the help
Sincerely,
JJSchwartz

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