Treo 700w Review Internet

Treo 700w Review continued

January 11, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

Going Online with the Treo 700w

The Treo 700w, with its Windows roots, comes with Internet Explorer as the default browser. When using the Treo 700w to connect to the Internet, it briefly dials #777 which is a sign it’s connecting to the broadband line. Dialup took on average about 6 seconds to connect. Once you connect, the advantages of EV-DO (Verizon’s hi-speed data network) becomes apparent. Pages load significantly faster than on the Treo 650. This is no fault of the Treo 650, but rather it’s lack of support for EV-DO. It’s expected that future Palm OS based Treo’s (Treo 700p?) will take advantage of hi-speed data networks. The mobile version of IE is similar to its desktop counterpart. You have an address bar, content and the familiar menu buttons at the bottom of all Windows Mobile applications. The left button allows you to go back where the right button is to access your favorites. The pre-loaded favorites are mobile-based sites, which are super fast to load. When accessing pages designed for desktop PC’s or Mac’s, the Windows Mobile version of IE stacks the navigation. I loaded on both the Treo 700w and Treo 650. I preferred Blazer’s rendering of the page compared to IE. Internet Explorer was fast, but the result was a disappointment. My choice with IE was to have the navigation stacked or to have the desktop version which paled in comparison to the Blazer rendition. If I choose the desktop option, I’m only able to view a small portion of the actual site. In comparison, Blazer not only produced a smaller version of what I would normally see on my Mac, but a bigger percentage of the page was viewable on the Treo 650 limiting my need to scroll. The scroll bars at the bottom of the Treo 700w’s screen are impossible to touch without accidentally pressing the menu buttons. Using the 5-way navigator is easy enough for this task and recommended.

Internet on Treo 700w and Treo 650

Also, as I write this review, I’m noticing something about the Verizon EV-DO connection that is annoying. When the Treo 700w is idle for 20 or so seconds, you have to reconnect to the broadband line.

Internet Explorer on Treo 700w – Glass Half Full or Half Empty

Using Internet Explorer on the Treo 700w is a mixed bag when compared with Blazer. In my opinion, Blazer does a much better job with rendering a mobile version of sites that were designed for desktop browsers. In terms of speed, IE benefits from Verizon’s hi-speed EV-DO network. With the speed increase, I expect that I will use the Internet more on the 700w than I have on the Treo 650. At the same time, I wish IE would render pages like Blazer. There is hope for Treo 700w users as a Windows Mobile version of Opera is in the pipeline. Although the Treo 650 boasts a higher resolution, I didn’t notice any big differences in quality of images that would raise any flags. When comparing images from the two browsers side by side, the images on the Treo 650 were smaller and clearer. A reader had mentioned that bumping up the brightness and enabling clear type would create a similar look to the 650 screen. The brightness was a factor, but I found the Clear Type feature to cause a blurred image rather than improving the image. It actually hurt my eyes and I reverted to the default off state. The Treo 650 would present a much better web experience if it were only faster.

Blazer on Treo 650

Pocket MSN: Hotmail and MSN Messenger

Included with the Treo 700w is Pocket MSN. This is a mobile MSN central. From Pocket MSN, you have a number of options:

  • MSN Messenger
  • MSN Hotmail
  • MSN Mobile Home

Pocket MSN

In the world of IM clients, I’ve always leaned towards MSN Messenger. While not due to the stellar support of Microsoft for the Mac platform, but rather because a large group of my fantasy baseball league uses it to initiate trade talks or simply talk trash. MSN Messenger on the Treo 700w is a bare bones version of the desktop application. It doesn’t support emoticons or buddy picture displays. While a serviceable IM client, I expected it to be on par with the desktop version. You cannot send or receive files. In order to sign out of MSN, you have to exit a chat session. It’s bundled. It’s free and it’s MSN Messenger, so I’ll use it.

Making Hotmail Easy

When you first access MSN Hotmail it creates a Hotmail account in Outlook. You can then access your Hotmail email through either PocketMSN or Outlook. If you access Hotmail through PocketMSN, you can then switch to other Outlook accounts. With the Treo 700w, Microsoft makes it easy to access your Hotmail account. It’s been awhile since I’ve used Hotmail, but this might give me reason to access it more often.

Treo 700w Review continued: Messaging

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