Houston Chronicle reviews Palm Treo 700w

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Being a Houston native I have long admired the Houston Chronicle and the way they have approached online tech coverage and blogging.  Dwight Silverman has been with the Chronicle for a long time and always offers sage advice and fair reviews of technology products.  He has recently reviewed the Palm Treo 700w and in typical fashion offers a very impartial and thorough overview of the Treo.  Recommended reading if you are still on the fence about the Windows Mobile-based Treo.

The Treo 700w almost gets me there, and if it weren’t so expensive, I’d consider biting the bullet for my next phone upgrade. (The $549 price is with a one-year Verizon contract; a two-year contract drops the price to $499.)

Dwight also takes a look at the Kyocera KPC650 PC Card as used on the Verizon BroadbandAccess EVDO network.

I was very impressed with this service, but not the price. Even the cheapest plan is a lot more expensive than most WiFi subscription services, such as the $20-a-month charge to use T-Mobile Hotspots around the country. And given the growth of free WiFi in hotels and low- or no-cost municipal WiFi in many cities, Verizon isn’t going to be able to charge this rate and stay competitive for much longer.

Unfortunately, as I recently reported Verizon executives are hinting at a tiered pricing plan that may be introduced in the future. In this plan heavy users of bandwidth can expect to pay higher prices than ever for Verizon mobile broadband.

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Dave Zatz

I have to disagree with Silverman. Sure the cost isn’t cheap and doesn’t compare well to Hotspot pricing, but if you want/need the service it’s invaluable – demand will only increase. Starbucks doesn’t help me surf the web on a laptop at broadband speeds while riding a train from DC to NYC as my Sprint EVDO card does. There are times when my work network either isn’t available or I’m in a facility without access (or credentials) and find it useful (often in conjunction with VPN). Heck, it’s faster than my home DSL. I’m paying out of pocket (not work, about $60/mo) and think it’s been well worth it. The only improvement I want is being able to tether a 2.5/3G phone to carry around one less thing… been studying the BB 8700 and MS 6700 as possibilities. :)

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