A jack-of-all-trades PDA/smartphone with a built-in camera and a rich set of PDA features, designed for business, but small enough for personal use. Palm's Treo 600 looks and feels like a mobile phone, and works well as such: it provides clear sound, allows most operations to be performed one-handed, and has all the standard mobile handset features like ringer silencer switch, keyguard, and volume control, in all the standard places. The only common features missing from the Treo 600 are voice dialing and voice memo. The 600 also features a built-in 640x480 pixel camera with associated software, which is adequate for everyday use, if not high-quality photography.
Since the Treo 600 is a full-featured PDA as well as a mobile phone, its customization capabilities are on a par with better mobile handsets. Users should have no problems downloading and installing new games, desktop themes and polyphonic ringtones. The same can't be said for customizing the Treo 600's external appearance, since the covers are not removable, but this is probably not an issue for most users.
Not every feature of the Treo 600 is outstanding. While the screen is bright and very easy to read under all conditions, its resolution is only 160 x 160 pixels. Many of the latest PDAs feature screens with 320 x 320 resolution, and these look considerably sharper. Another potential weakness is that the unit's rechargeable battery is permanently affixed and cannot be replaced or upgraded. As it stands, the 600's battery performs reasonably well, but in the event of battery trouble users will find their options limited.
Judged as a straight PDA, the Treo 600 stacks up well. Its 144-MHz ARM processor is fast and powerful, its 32 megs of RAM is plentiful, and it features the Palm OS 5.2.1H operating system, along with a generous suite of pre-installed software. Its only real weaknesses in this area are three: the lack of an installed MP3 player, lack of Bluetooth compatibility, and lack of support for specialized corporate data connections like RAS, VPN and fax. The first will be of greatest significance to the personal user, and can be remedied by buying and installing third-part MP3 player software and a headphone jack adapter.
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