Splashed out on a 2nd hand Treo Pro last week off eBay and I’m not sure why. This is the 3rd time I’ve bought one in the last 18 months and regular readers will know that the first two ventures both ended badly with me slagging it off and decrying it as slow and buggy. I don’t know why this one should have been any different but it is. It is unlocked and has no carrier crud on it but then so did the 2nd one I purchased. It’s by no means quick but I haven’t noticed any of the infuriating lag that blighted the first two. I’ll probably not keep it that long but what attracted me to it again was the hardware. This thing is probably my favourite hardware set up, slim with a great qwerty keyboard and it feels solid. I’m not sure that the Bold 9700, Hero and certainly the Pre have been built as well. The Bold 9700 creaks around where the silver trim is and the keyboard is bouncy and feels like it could break, the Hero is okay but there is a bit of flex in the battery cover area whilst the Pre, well, it’s a bit wobbly isn’t it?
The biggest and best surprise though has been the keyboard, I cannot recall it being as good as it is. The odd thing is that it looks in pics just like the one on the Centro, which would not be good, but the keys are bigger and there is spacing between them which makes the world of difference. I can fair fly on this thing and much prefer it to the flimsy Bold 9700 one. I had useability issues last around but have slapped on a trial of SPB Mobile Shell v3 and it has been very good so far, much better than the v2 I currently own as it lets you do most things by touch, is very customisable and doesn’t seem to slow things down at all. I barely need to whip out the stylus at all.
I was also pleased to find out that you can now get push Gmail, contacts and calender on windows devices (actually this has been available for a while now but wasn’t there when I last used the Treo Pro) and it was a cinch to set up via the ActiveSync on board software. My old Windows Mobile fears were evident though as after I entered my “credentials” I expected it not to work but fair dues, it worked first time.
The Palm Treo Pro is a fabulous bit of hardware with a great keyboard that looks and feels great in the hand. It’s just a pity that it doesn’t run a faster processor and have a higher res screen, two factors that I’m sure will start to grate quickly but it’s a nice thing to have lying around and was so cheap that I feel quite pleased with my purchase. It’s a huge pity that it doesn’t house Web OS…..