So now the mobile companion has been announced by Palm and there have been mixed reactions, but it seems like most of it is negative. I can appreciate the boldnest of Palm to venture out and try to establish a new device catagory. I think they are one to something, but it still has room to grow. The main feature that I would like in companion device is the ability to write/ink in slate mode, with the ability to transfer that handwritten input to text.
Palm, Inc. - Products - Foleo
I thought the Internet Tablet (IT) was going to be that device, but I am not a Linux guru and it has not been smooth sailing trying to set up the device to do what I want it to do. I have not given up on it and it does have many good features, but it does not meet my companion device criterea:
1. Easily mobile - laptops are mobile, but not easily mobile.
2. It is ready to use when I need it - the instant on of the Foleo meets that perfectly, the IT is good enough, but a normal pc takes too much time to be ready (even from standby mode).
3. Cost - my companion device is should not cost as much or more than my home computer. I understand paying for mobility, but don't normally need full pc functionality in my mobile companion. (This cost point has kept me out of the UMPC devices).
4. Works seemlessly with the host device/program - I have a couple programs on my pc that I cannot get ported over to my IT, like OneNote, and I think the companion device should be able to extend a portion of program's functions to be synced back to the host device/program.
5. Power lasts all day - I think it is not unreasonable to ask for a companion device to last all day while you are away from the host machine. Maybe that means a better battery or just a better use of the battery that the device has.
Without using the Foleo yet, I would dare to say that it meets criteria 1, 2, 4 and 5. The cost of the Foleo is a little disappointing given that is not overly feature laden. Overall, I am reserving final judgement on the Foleo, until it comes to market and I have a chance to try one. I also have enjoyed the inovative designs from Jeff Hawkins and crew every since the Handspring Visor, so if this Foleo is not "it" than I believe another iteration could get it done.
Have you found your companion device? What is your criterea for a companion device?