Netbooks are hot and are in conversations every day. The smaller form factor and focus on online web work make them easier to produce with cheaper components. Lots of companies are currently working on Google Android netbooks and there have been whispers of how great a WebOS-based netbook could be, even though not a single device with that OS is actually shipping yet. This obsession with netbooks and how to make a great one has me thinking that there’s no reason Palm couldn’t produce one, and right now.
Just hear me out. A netbook that is designed from the ground up to be a cloud machine could be easily produced using high-end PDA components. The main requirements would be a decent processor, very long battery life and an easy-to-use OS. Enter Palm.
Palm has already produced such a machine, the Foleo. Sure they killed it off before bringing it to market, but the darn thing was finished and working models were produced. The specs show how well the Foleo would work with WebOS with perhaps minor changes:
- 416MHz Intel / Marvell PXA27x processor
- Marathon 2700G graphics accelerator with video output
- 128MB of RAM (for running applications) plus 256MB of non-volatile memory
- Dual expansion slots (CompactFlash and SD)
- Dual wireless (Bluetooth and WiFi support)
- One USB port
- 1024 by 600 pixel screen
Palm could drop that sweet TI OMAP 3 processor that they’re putting in the Pre, which would be more than enough oomph for a netbook. Maybe Palm would need to beef up the memory a bit, too, but that would be about all they’d need to tweak. They could put WebOS on the Foleo and add integrated 3G and as long as they could price it reasonably I believe they could sell a ton of these. Put some fancy integration with the Pre and I almost guarantee it. So what do you think, should Palm revive the Foleo as a netbook?