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Review: Palm Treo 800w

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  100+  

Music Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  


Pocket Explorer is almost a full HTML browser. Almost. Many national sites such as The New York Times, CNN and ESPN load not as they would on your desktop but as the mobile version. Many other full sites are rendered with HTML menu links scattered helter-skelter on a page.

As such, Web access speeds varied wildly. Mobile sites snapped speedily into view in around three-to-five seconds, while full HTML sites without a fall-back mobile alternative, such as the New York Daily News and USA Today, took 15-20 seconds.

Oddly, the 800w's WiFi connection didn't speed this up – in fact, switching from EV-DO Rev. A to WiFi actually slowed the Web down. Pages, both mobile and full HTML versions, took about a third longer to load using WiFi compared to EV-DO Rev. A.

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This either says a lot about EV-DO Rev. A or not much about the 800w's WiFi implementation. I believe the latter, if side-by-side WiFi speed comparisons with the iPhone 3G are accurate. ESPN's full HTML page loaded three times as fast on the iPhone 3G than ESPN's mobile page did on the 800w. The New York Times mobile page finished loading around five seconds sooner than the full HTML version on the iPhone 3G. The mobile CNN page loaded in two seconds on the iPhone 3G, six seconds on the 800w.

The 800w and/or Windows Mobile suffers one other shortcoming while Web surfing – assurance you're inputting the right passwords. Instead of briefly displaying the letter or number of your password before transforming it into an asterisk, you get only an asterisk. You're left wondering if you input every character correctly until either your page loads or you get an error message.



Windows Mobile lets you choose from seven design "themes" for the device, select the items that appear on the Today home page, assign one of your photos as the Today page background wallpaper, and choose different Windows Media Player skins. And that's about it as far as customization is concerned. Remember, this is a device designed for the business professional in the grey flannel suit.


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