Palm FoleoThe mobility that laptops offer these days continues to decrease as users want a more powerful computer to take with them. It is almost becoming second nature to lug around a notebook computer that weighs 8, 9, or even 12 pounds! Would you be willing to compromise some flexibility for an extremely ultra-mobile computer?

Palm believes that users are willing to give up some of their power to get something that can easily be taken with you, without having to hunt for a power outlet nor bust your back carrying it around. The Palm Foleo is just this device, and coming in at under $500 (after the $100 rebate) I believe that it is going to be a big hit. When it launches later this summer in the United States, here are some of the things that it will be able to do:

  • Instantly turns on! No more waiting for the computer to start up.
  • Retrieves your email (and syncs with your SmartPhone)
  • Full-size keyboard with eraser-like mouse located in the middle of the keyboard. A scroll wheel is located between the two mouse buttons.
  • Download and edit attachments (Excel, Word, etc…), or run a presentation using the video output capabilities.
  • Open PDF’s
  • Browse the Web with Opera
  • View photos

So what do the specs look like? They don’t mention the processor included, but here are some of the other things:

  • 10.55 by 6.67 by 0.94 inches
  • 10-inch screen
  • 1 USB port
  • Video output
  • SD and CompactFlash memory card slots
  • Headphone jack
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 5-hour battery life

Unfortunately there are no video capabilities or Flash support in the browser, so that is something you’ll have to consider when purchasing the Foleo Companion. Also, I saw no mention of actually being able to create a document from scratch, the only thing they discuss is being able to edit already existing documents which could be another downfall of the system.

The good news is that a development kit will be available when the Palm Foleo launches this summer, so developers can create their own applications to make up for the shortcomings of the system. Heck, if they put a chat application in there I know a lot of people who could get by using this as their primary computer!

Here’s a quick video of the Palm Foleo in action:

Palm Foleo Homepage

Thanks to Mohan for the tip!