I had a chance to talk with Palm today and get some hands-on time with the Treo Pro, which will be offered unlocked in the U.S. for $549. Perhaps at some point, Palm will get AT&T to pick it up (it doesn’t support T-Mobile’s 1700 MHz 3G network) and those willing to commit to a two-year contract will be able to pick it up for $299 or less.
In short, I liked what I saw — the appearance, feel, the finish, and — most importantly — the direction toward accommodating users with thoughtful touches. In at least one respect, though, Palm is behind the curve. Palm is retaining reliance on the stodgy old stylus with its touch interface. This is an enterprise device and there are good reasons for Palm to shy away from developing an overlay like the consumer-oriented TouchFLO that take Windows Mobile in a lush but inconsistent direction. Palm touts the Treo Pro as embodying work-life balance, but we won’t really get a true sense of its approach to lifestyle mobility until next year.
I’ll be sharing a trio of perspectives about the Treo Pro in the near future.