Why the 650 over the PDA2K?

I was reading some Treo 650 vs. PDA2K comparisons on the TreoCentral and HowardForums discussion boards last night and almost every person who has tried both has said the PDA2K is for the power users and was recommended over the 650. I have been using a Treo 650 now for 6 days and have to say that I am happier with the 650 at this time. Is it just my initial new gadget enthusiasm, or is the 650 really a better solution FOR ME? One thing that people who write up comparisons must understand is that there is no single device that is the best for everyone and it comes down to really evaluating each individual’s need and desires. I get emails all the time from readers and recommend both Palm and Windows Mobile devices, depending on how people respond to my usage questions.

Right now, it is very refreshing to come back to a Palm device. It is like when I resigned my commission and moved home to Washington. I started with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 in early 1997 and I am having fun getting into the Palm OS again. That said, Windows Mobile devices are very powerful and are also fun to push to the limits and use.

I think the one aspect, besides the instant push Chatter email functionality, that keeps me intrigued and interested in the Treo 650 is the way palmOne has integrated the keyboard into operating the device. I can do everything (open, close, switch apps, activated Done, New, OK, etc taps, and more) all with the keyboard and never have to pull out the stylus. I have only run into a couple of older applications that required the stylus. I actually still have that stupid thick plastic cover on the 650 because I don’t want to tap on the bare screen and my TreoCentral order (screen protectors, extra battery, retractable sync/charge cable, and pen/stylus replacements) has yet to arrive. Microsoft only recently started opening up the OS and encouraging manufacturers to use integrated thumb keyboards and the OS level support for them is really in its infancy. You have to pull out your stylus or use your finger for just about everything but text entry. You can’t even use shortcuts to launch applications or anything and this really takes away from the user experience on devices with thumb keyboards.

I don’t know if this will change with Windows Mobile 2005 or it they will finally implement some real keyboard support with the next version after that, but know that Microsoft is aware of it because I have told them about my desires a couple of times 🙂

I am going to work on some direct comparisons between the PDA2K and the Treo 650 for my Geek.com review since they are both the top devices in their respective OS. I hope to submit this review in a week so it can post in mid-March. Is there anything specific you would like me to test out? I already find that I get better Bluetooth headset reception with the 650 than I do with the PDA2K and the GN Netcom 6210 headset I have actually works very well with the 650. I also get better T-Mobile reception with the 650 (one or two more bars than I see with the PDA2K).

  1. #1 by Anonymous on March 2, 2005 - 15:27

    Hey Matt,

    This is one comparison I’m really looking forward to.

    Have you noticed any difference in the phone application between the 600 & the 650? Seems that I read in a forum that the phone app in the 650 was slower to open or something.

    Keep up the good work,


  2. #2 by Darren Humphries on March 3, 2005 - 08:19

    Hi Matt,

    I would be interested in a comparison of the number of steps to do common things. You mentioned that the keyboard integration is better on the 650 and I would love to see how many step/button presses it takes to do the ussual stuff.

    Gotta say, I am surprised that you are likely the 650 so much, perhaps more than the PDA2K (?). Looking forward to your comparison.

    Thanks Matt.


  3. #3 by palmsolo on March 3, 2005 - 08:37

    I haven’t noticed any difference in the Phone app. It starts just fine on the 650 like it does with the 600.

    I will definitely do some step comparisons for similar tasks and have it on my review task list.

  4. #4 by Antoine on March 4, 2005 - 08:03

    greetings from one of the writers at BargainPDA (I actually missed running into you at CES when you met Barry, one our other guys that was there).

    Nice to see that you are enjoying the Treo 650 and aside from the Agendus issue, you are enjoyuing it. I am a recent T5 purchaser and can agree with loving to go wireless, though I feel that at this time keeping two devices is better than just one (though I came really close to getting that 650 – just too expansive for the unlocked one).

    Just wanted to drop a line and say hello. Keep up the great work on your sites.

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