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Treo 600 Preview

Sun Oct 5, 2003 - 1:00 PM EDT - By Michael Ducker


Even I, after spending the better half of the last 6 months anticipating the Treo 600 was blown away at first sight of it. The Treo 600 looked so small, and the screen was visibly bright even at a distance. Holding it in my hands, it fit perfectly. Handspring made the Treo 600 much skinnier than the first generation Treo’s; the height, depth, and weight are about the same more or less. The back of the device is nicely rounded so that it fits well in the hand. The five-way navigator is centered right under your thumb when you hold it. Holding the Treo to your face to talk is much better than with previous Treo’s because as Jeff Hawkins put it in a recent interview, you can use the Treo 600 and look and feel like you are using a phone. I own and use both a Treo 180 and a Sony Ericsson t68i (one of the world's smallest cellphones), and I was still impresssed at the size of the Treo 600. Handspring has got the form factor down very well. The screen was impressively bright – it put the Treo 90 I had with me to shame. It was small, but because it was small the pixels were very close together making it much easier to read text. I still wish Handspring put a 320x320 screen in, but for everything but gaming and web browsing a super bright 160x160 screen should be fine. Outdoors the screen reflected a lot of light (you could see yourself in it), but at the right angle it was very clear. It is a marked improvement over the current Treo.

On the top of the Treo is the power button (used for turning on and off the radio, and the screen) and the ringer switch. On the left hand side are two buttons for turning up and down the ringer volume. I was very disappointed with these, as they can only be used to turn the ringer volume up and down throughout the entire OS. In blazer I would of liked to see them scroll the page, and in Pocket-Tunes (a MP3 player) I would of liked to see them change the system volume. On the front at the top is the power LED, and on the bottom are the 4 application keys, (one of them screen/key lock), the keyboard and the 5 way navigator.

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