TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Dash and Treo 680 Have Bargain Prices, If You Can Compromise

Dash and Treo 680 Have Bargain Prices, If You Can Compromise

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 25 Dec 2006 20:15:12 -0500

By Walter S. Mossberg

For years, Palm's Treo smart phones have set the standard for
combining a good phone and a great data device into one relatively
small package that also sports a full keyboard for typing email. But
the Treo is being strongly challenged by a bunch of new rivals that
are thinner, lighter and less expensive.

The slender Motorola Q, despite software that is markedly inferior to
that of the Treo 700p, is wooing some users because it is much slimmer
and now can be had for just $99, versus $299 for the Treo. The Nokia
E62 is about the size of the Q and also costs just $99 these days. The
tiny BlackBerry Pearl is just $199. And Samsung has introduced the
skinny BlackJack for $199, too.

So, this month, Palm is striking back with a lighter, thinner, cheaper
model of its own, the Treo 680, which is being offered by Cingular
Wireless at $199.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has introduced a new slim, light competitor called
the Dash. It has built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking to supplement the
slower cellphone data network. And it costs just $149.

I've been testing the new Treo and the Dash. Both are OK, but neither
is as good as it could be. The new Treo still has great software, but
it makes some compromises and still fails to match the new competitors
in slimness, lightness or price. The Dash has very nice hardware, but
is hampered by lousy software.

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