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Portable Technology: Getting to Know the Treo

Up until the recent past, those who wanted to take advantage of a mobile phone, data organizer, wireless e-mail with text messaging, web browsing and a digital camera had to have separate units for each. With today's technology comes the Treo ? offering all of those features in one small hand-held unit. These pocket-sized marvels even offer a fully functional standard keyboard, enabling users to fulfill all of their communication needs as they would from the PC at work or home. Best of all, it's incredibly easy to use!

The Treo offers a wide range of accessories and software that will help to customize and enhance your hand-held experience. Among these are cradles, cables, cases, belt clips, car kits, headsets, headphones, SD/MMC cards, e-books, games, specialized ring tones and travel software. While these are add-ons, there's also a wide variety of built-in features, which include a To Do List, Memo Pad, Advanced Calculator, CityTime World Clock, desktop synchronization for Windows or Mac and calendar, to name a few.

Starting ? in some cases ? at $299, this portable communications center is well worth the price, and is compatible with a number of different phone carriers. Utilizing an infrared communications port and a touch-screen with stylus, the Treo holds features that will entice virtually every consumer. The possibilities are practically limitless, when you consider the variety of software options that are available (these, of course, will have to be purchased separately).

Some of the styles of the Treo include the 600 and 650 models ? the latter being a bit more advanced in its technology. Prices will vary, depending upon model, features and retailer, but some good sales can be found online, if you have the time to do some research.

Treo 600 ? Using a rechargeable lithium ion battery, external battery packs are necessary in order to extend battery life, since the original is built into the device and, therefore, not removable. Upgrades of the internal battery are available ? for about $50 ? replacing the 1800 mAh battery with a 2000, although the warranty will be voided as a result of such an action. The standard battery offers between five and six hours of talk time, but you can extend the normal life by avoiding wireless activities and playing the audio or video features.

Treo 650 ? While the 650 model offers a 32 MB memory, only 23 of it is available to the user, and this model is not upgradeable. An SD/MMC expansion slot is available, however, which may allow you to add more memory or content. An advantage of this model, however, is that it will be available in multiple languages, including English, German, Italian, Spanish and French. The Treo 650 CDMA model is only available in English. This fully operational communications center and handheld computer is among the top of the line in portable communications devices.

Whichever model you prefer, you won't go wrong with the purchase of a Treo. Its compact, lightweight design and comprehensive package is designed to meet the needs of virtually every user, without the inconvenience of bulk or exorbitant cost.

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(c) 2005 Simon Canfield - All Rights Reserved

Simon Canfield is a hi-tech enthusiast and freelance author.

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