Key points of the Foleo: [With my comments]
* Positioning : ProSumer Mobile Companion, that works with a smartphone and keeps it synched. [Not a convergence device, but one that wants to keep the phone and add yet another device, making this not a convergence device, but rather just another Linux laptop.]
* OS : Linux. [Good choice, to compete with Mac OS. Palm OS or Windows Mobile would not be sufficient.]
* Killer App : One button email access, web browsing and attachment handling. [Reasonable bets.]
* Battery life : 5 Hours. [Good, if it is true. Laptops advertised as having 5-6 hour battery life still only deliver 2-hours of real productive life.]
* Screen : 10.2 inch. [Very good.]
* Keyboard : Full-size. [Very good.]
* Price : $499. [Good.]
* Boot-time : Instant, unlike Windows. [Great.]
* MS Office Support : Viewers, but not editors. Cannot create Powerpoint slides, but can view them and edit them. [My biggest objection, and why this doesn't qualify as a laptop replacement device or a laptop. Makes it neither here nor there.]
* Audio : Yes. [Good.]
* Video : Yes, but not good. [Bad.]
* Phone : No. Works with a SmartPhone. [Bad. Needs to subsume the phone.]
In summary, the direction isn’t bad … a Linux laptop replacement device. But it needs to be full replacement, not half. Especially for the ProSumer, the lack of full MS Office capability just kills it for me. I just won’t sign up for adding one more device, and I suspect, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Palm’s uncertain future remains uncertain at this point, and Foleo is unlikely to salvage the company. A transaction needs to happen, and it will. When it does, perhaps, evolving the Foleo to a true laptop-replacement convergence device that can meaningfully compete against the iPhone would be just great. And then, Palm could be a great asset for its new parents.