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No Treo WiFi

Wed Aug 18, 2004 - 12:50 PM EDT - By Michael Ducker

Yesterday, PalmOne officially released their 802.11b Wifi SDIO Card for the Zire 72 and Tungsten T3. The card, about 50% longer than a normal SD card, will cost $129. and ship in the next month.

""With the expansion of hotspots and Wi-Fi networks in homes and in businesses, we felt it was important to offer our mobile handheld users another compelling Wi-Fi solution," said Jim Schwabe, general manager of palmOne accessories. "Our accessories business looks for opportunities to enable our users with new, innovative solutions that will make a difference at work and at home."

The Wi-Fi card from palmOne makes connecting to the Internet easy by allowing users to access a nearby Wi-Fi access point in four easy steps:

1: Insert the card into the SDIO slot of a Tungsten T3 or Zire 72 handheld.
2: Tap on the "Wi-Fi setup" icon on the home page.
3: The Wi-Fi setup application will search for available networks and display the options it finds.
4: The user selects the network, and the device makes the connection.

However, do not go out and purchase this for your Treo, as the WiFi card is incompatible with the Treo. PalmInfoCenter has the official explanation of why the card only works with the Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 in their review:

"Following market and development-cost analysis, palmOne wanted to develop a Wi-Fi card that will be applicable to its Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 handhelds.  These solutions require very tight integration between hardware, firmware and custom software, as well as access to propriety technologies for the level of tight integration necessary to give the customer an excellent experience."

The unofficial explanation is that the Treo 600 is unable to provide enough power to the SD slot to create a useable 802.11b radio, making it physically impossible to create a WiFi card for the Treo 600.

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