The Treo 270 pleasantly surprised me in its ease of use
and simple functionality and the Palm OS was no slouch at deploying its
features in full force. Since the OS has been around for years and has often
been copied itís easy to figure out what everything does without resorting to
that dreadful thing called a manual.
Upon opening the cover you are greeted by ten quick dial
buttons any of which could be customized to show the date, time or voicemail
and of course quick dial phone numbers. Along the bottom of the screen there
are 5 little buttons that allow access to forty additional quick-dial
buttons. The PDA functions are easy to access and packs all the usual
functions like the calendar, to do list, address book, calculator, web
browser, sync software, sms messaging etc.
There are no discernable modifications to the PALM OS
software package, which is in no way a disappointment. However there are a
few new additions, like a very simple yet efficient web browser aptly called
Blazer. One nice thing about the browser is upon reopening it, you are
returned to the page you were last on, but you could only have one browser
window open at any one time. For someone who expects a lot I was pleased with
the ability to get the news on the run even though it was mostly hyperlinks
The rocker switch makes for quick access to your contacts
in the address book. Push it up to scroll up and down to scroll down, once
you have located your victim just push the dial in to dial. It also doubles
as a mouse wheel allowing you to scroll up and down thought documents,
contacts etc quickly and through hyperlinks allowing for almost stylus free
Another cool feature that goes unnoticed is the stylus
that separates to provide a useful resetting tool. Yes itís hardly used but
when you do need it, itís at you fingertip.
The best feature for me is the addition of the keyboard,
which makes my life a whole lot easier since writing in Graffiti was more of
an effort in futility. The thumb keyboard takes some getting used due to the
small keys, but it makes for an excellent input device. If you desire there
is another model without the keyboard and in its place is the familiar
touchpad for you to scrawl on.
The Treo could connect to almost any POP3 email server and
send and retrieve emails with its Treo mail software, the downside however is
it requires an annual subscription of $50 for personal use and $100 for
corporate users. In perusing through it, I found not only was it very
intuitive but extremely straight forward; on a side not it syncs with Lotus
Notes R5. SMS messaging is also possible but was turned off on the unit.
Syncing the device with the PC is simple and painless.
Install the Palm Desktop software, plug in the usb cable, connect the power
supply if you desire, attach the Treo and select what you want to sync,
finally hit sync. You could transfer you contacts, calendar etc. form Outlook
quickly and painlessly, no different from the Handspring Deluxe I had.