Monday, May 1, 2006

Treo 700p, E3, Halo 3, PS3, and taking a Wii

SPECIAL REPORT

By David Gewirtz

Hang onto your hats, boys and girls. We've got one heck of a ride for you. So much has happened this week in the world of gadgets that you're going to need to keep your tray tables up and your seat belts locked to hang on through our whirlwind tour.

In the next few paragraphs, we're going to introduce a kickin' new Palm handheld, the return of Master Chief, all the deets on the Playstation 3, exciting news about the urolagnia-reminiscent Nintendo Wii, and even some news about the upcoming PC game Spore. That's because the world's largest video game tradeshow, E3, was in full force at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Since we're talking about gear and gadgets, we might as well kick off our coverage of the E3 and the big Palm announcement with girls. Booth babes, that is, as shown in Figure A.

FIGURE A

Gear, gadgets, and girls. It's what E3 is all about. (click for larger image)

Do we know how to get you to read our articles, or what? I know, it's wrong. But sometimes, it's just so easy. Keep reading. We know you want to.

Palm bounces back with the Treo 700p

Last month, in our PDA Phone Wars series, we reviewed Palm's first Windows CE-based smartphone, the Treo 700w. We concluded the review with:

Unfortunately, this means we can't recommend buying the Treo 700w. It's not that it's a bad device by any means. It's just that there are better choices. Let's hope that's not Palm's epitaph.

It looks like Palm's still got some game. The Treo 700p (mind those p's and w's) is the Palm OS version of the Treo 700 phone and it looks like this one's going to be the smartphone to get. If you currently own a Treo 600 or 650, you're likely to want to sell your mother to get the 700p. If you don't, and are considering a smartphone that's not a Pocket PC, the 700p, shown in Figure B, is probably going to be the one to get.

FIGURE B

The Treo 700p is the phone to get. (click for larger image)

Let's go over some of the basics. First, and most important, the phone runs on the EVDO network. Our testing last month showed page downloads were 6 times faster on the EVDO phones than those on the CDMA network. EVDO has transmission speeds of up to 2.4576 Mb/s, which is a respectible broadband rate, especially since it's wireless. We'll come back to this in a moment.

The Treo 700p runs Palm OS 5 (Garnet) and has a full 320x320 screen (no different than the Treo 650, but substantially better than the 240x240 screen of the Treo 700w). In addition, the Treo 700p jumps the camera resolution up to 1.3 megapixels. RAM jumps to 128MB (60MB available to the user), which is a huge jump from the 23MB available to users of the Treo 650.