Video: Palm’s unimpressive, slightly smaller non-laptop laptop

posted at 5:03 pm on May 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

No, don’t worry, we’re not turning into Engadget. There’s just not much hard news worth blogging at the moment, so here’s another rollout for your amusement from the All Things Digital tech conference. Bigger and less wieldy than a Blackberry but with a fraction of the functionality of a normal computer — meet Foleo, the new “Tweener” device from the makers of the Palm Pilot. It retails at $499 in case you’re one of those people who can somehow afford a handheld device but not a standard laptop and yet simply can’t tolerate anything smaller than a 10-inch screen.

First comes the full promo, which borders on parody, then comes Palm honcho Jeff Hawkins demonstrating one of the device’s key features. I think he’s serious.

Breaking on Hot Air

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Are you kidding? It sometimes takes five minutes for my laptop to boot up, find a wireless signal, and get a browser or word processor open. ON and OFF would be a huge leap forward.

see-dubya on May 31, 2007 at 5:17 PM

This is genius. Funniest ad parodies I’ve seen in a while.

Alex K on May 31, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Now, does it come in blue? I think that would be another huge step forward. Color options. For when you’re on the move and you can’t get home to see colorful things, but you want to see something colorful immediately.

Alex K on May 31, 2007 at 5:18 PM

It sometimes takes five minutes for my laptop to boot up, find a wireless signal, and get a browser or word processor open.

Five whole minutes?

Allahpundit on May 31, 2007 at 5:18 PM

And you said size didn’t matter. Hrmph.

lorien1973 on May 31, 2007 at 5:20 PM

Hey, I’m living life in the fast lane here. Got no time for poky computers.

see-dubya on May 31, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Cell phone..check, Blackberry…check, laptop…check, Foleo…check, palm pilot…check, now where am I supposed to put all this…..

heatherrc77 on May 31, 2007 at 5:29 PM

I’ve heard about two technologies that are either in development, or as far as I know, on sale that would make this thing worthless. The first is that roll-out screen that was mentioned on this very site not too long ago. The second is a device about the size of a pen that will emit a fully functioning keyboard on a flat surface.

Wolfman on May 31, 2007 at 5:30 PM

I liked the Cadillac commercial much better.

Matticus Finch on May 31, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Besides–wheeler-dealer talent agents like me don’t have time to sit around and wait for our computers to warm up.

see-dubya on May 31, 2007 at 5:35 PM

Marvelously craptastic
Wonderfully underwhelming
Now if we can only find a use for the Microsoft Milan…
Sweeeet.

RC2 on May 31, 2007 at 5:38 PM

Palm is done… I can get a windows based smart phone for that much cash and use it, practically, as a laptop.

liquidflorian on May 31, 2007 at 5:45 PM

The soundtrack reminds me of Ryan Farish.

allie on May 31, 2007 at 5:49 PM

I have feeling that bout 6 months after this comes out we’re going to see a bunch of these on eBay??? cheap!

Lonevoice on May 31, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Clearly they think this will do for Palms what iPods did for iMacs. Clearly they are mistaken. This is the Windows Palmtop all over again, but worse: It’s totally redundant, a crippled laptop for the price of … a low-end laptop. If they really want large screen plus large keyboard in a small package, they’ll have to wait for the maturation of OLEDs and pair that with a StowAway keyboard. Now that could fit in a pocket or purse.

calbear on May 31, 2007 at 5:55 PM

The only question men want to know is, “Can you view porn on it?”

Tim Burton on May 31, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Why in the world would I sync my mobile with a mini-laptop? Why not use the damn mini-laptop to connect to get email??? WTF is the point?

The on/off thing is cool though, and I think I know how it’s done. I’m guessing that this device uses a SSD (Solid State Disk) as a hard drive, and thus you can just save the place where you are in memory and turn off the device instantly, then go back to where you were instantly again. It’s basically a hyperactive hibernation mode made quicker by the use of an SSD instead of a mechanical hard drive.

And now for those who don’t know WTF I’m talking about, well, eh, sorry. :)

Seixon on May 31, 2007 at 6:22 PM

I think I know where the guy who came up with “The New Coke” went to. He’s working for Palm…

This thing is Palm’s open defiance of Business Law 101: “You can’t please everyone.”

- Too small and underpowered to be a worthwhile laptop/notebook;
- Too big and clumsy to be a worthwhile PDA.

I’ve got it; why not call this thing for its true namesake: The “Edsel!” Yeah, that’s the ticket…

Spurius Ligustinus on May 31, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Wow That thing is COOL!

Gosh and golly! Now where can I get the $499 to upgrade from my:

wyse60 terminal and 14400 modem?

Whaddya mean this aint no BBS?

yeesh.

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on May 31, 2007 at 7:03 PM

This one actually makes sense to me. I worked on the development for this: http://flipstart.com/ (I no longer work there) and I really enjoyed it’s very light weight, but the screen and keyboard were too small for serious email/texting (and the price is way too high). There is a big bunch of people whose needs don’t go beyond simple document editing, etc. and need something lightweight, low-cost, instant-on, and durable. This fits the bill. There are several other products in this range, so it’s nothing revolutionary, but one more product to consider.

pedestrian on May 31, 2007 at 7:20 PM

I only watched the first minute or so of the first video, but I can’t believe that I’m the only one that spotted the genius of this device. It would seem that it connects to your phone with no set-up required. If that’s the case, you could theoretically walk around with one of these and read everyone’s e-mail.

Shivv on May 31, 2007 at 7:25 PM

Well, I have to say I am very much intrigued by this device. Most people use laptops only for accessing the web or using email. This device will do both, and it’s a helluva lot easy to carry.

There are other apps that I personnaly use that are not mainstream, but this device would perhaps fill the needs extremely well.

Henry

Henry Bowman on May 31, 2007 at 7:26 PM

what a sad man. i just think of all the palm products littering the corners of thrift stores.

thing is, i have something which meets the two criteria he’s boasting about in his product.

http://www.stevebarr.com/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/barrst/goto.pl?c1vn

i have to wait a minute for it to boot, but it’s an actual laptop, running xp, with usb and firewire ports and wireless and a built in camera and the ability to actually replace a phone if i felt like having to find a hotspot whenever i wanted to talk.

sony still makes them that size with the core duos now.

and smaller

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=577&parentCategoryId=16154

as far as instant on, by buddy bought a model from sony, forget the name of the product line, but it was booted up in six seconds. it was basicly a brick with a nine inch screen a thumbstick and a pentium 4.

jummy on May 31, 2007 at 8:21 PM

Finally, Palm has convinced me to replace my Atari 2600.

cmay on May 31, 2007 at 8:28 PM

Obviously the design guys didn’t take it home to their teenagers. “Hey kid! Isn’t this the biggest Palm you ever saw?” “NOT, Dad! Try the smallest laptop I ever saw! Like, duh!”

smellthecoffee on May 31, 2007 at 9:40 PM

The soundtrack reminds me of Ryan Farish.

I was thinking something in the complete opposite direction.

The Ugly American on May 31, 2007 at 10:10 PM

To quote a friend without a HA account:

“Oh my god, it’s the Newton.”

askheaves on May 31, 2007 at 11:15 PM

Can it upchuck cuts from Kraftwerk?

Fits in the pocket… it you’re a circus clown.

9 months- Craig’s List- $50- OBO.

profitsbeard on May 31, 2007 at 11:42 PM

Ah, I love HotAir…what would a series of Rosie posts be without an accompanying Palm post?

James on June 1, 2007 at 7:21 AM

The future of small computers… is… big… computers?

thepuke on June 1, 2007 at 8:29 AM

I don’t know, somehow I’m not impressed with a device where the biggest feature is that you can turn it off.

Faith1 on June 1, 2007 at 10:32 AM

If that’s the case, you could theoretically walk around with one of these and read everyone’s e-mail.

Shivv on May 31, 2007 at 7:25 PM

Now you’re on to something!

That’s why the bluetooth on my phone is disabled.

RedKnight on June 1, 2007 at 11:19 AM

That guy is seriously ill-advised to be doing his own product promotions. Did they not let him have any re-takes? A writer?

TexasDan on June 1, 2007 at 2:34 PM