Friday, October 05, 2007

Techno-irony

This could be a really long post, but I don't want it to be so I'm going to hit-and-run on a couple of points to get to the meat of today's installment. Feel free to ask any questions or post comments regarding anything you think I may have left out or gotten wrong.

Palm, the makers of the Treo smartphone and creators of the pda (personal digital assistant), said that they had a brand new product in-the-works - one that would revolutionize the technological landscape the same way that the Palm Pilot did. When they finally revealed what this new device to-be, it turned out to be $500 laptop-like device that had little-to-no storage, a streamlined operating system and functionality, and a 10-inch screen, a 2.5 lb. body, and a built-in symbiotic relationship with smartphones.

It was called the Foleo and it was supposed to be the device we'd grab instead of our laptops. In the end, we never got the chance because Palm pulled the device after several months of hype, but before it ever hit the shelves. No Foleo for us.

During those months of discussion prior to the cancellation of the Foleo, I remember saying how ironic it would be if Palm CREATED a "need" for a Foleo-like device, but failed to deliver on it... and ended up driving their "newly created" customers to another manufacturer's product.

Well, that's just what happened.

While complaining about, speculating about, finally warming to, and ultimately eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Foleo (a device I considered to be better in-theory than it was likely to be in-practice), I got used to the idea of having a "laptop" that...

* wouldn't weigh a ton
* would be so small I could easily grab it and use it on the go
* would have wi-fi and Bluetooth
* would have 5 or more hours of battery life
* et cetera



I finally decided that $500 (after a $100 rebate) was still too much to pay for what just about amounted to an outdated, under-powered, over-priced laptop.

So, I kept my eyes open for alternatives, which lead me to the Sony Vaio TX line of ultra-portable laptops.

They're expensive as sin but I eventually found some refurbished models for sale at a Sony store in Destin, Florida. And I jumped on it.

It was marked down as a refurbished models, marked down as a floor model, marked down because of a relatively minor defect I discovered on the unit, and marked down EVEN MORE because that store (unlike the other Sony stores I've been to) just likes to knock 15% off of their laptops. Just because.

So, I ended up with a laptop with...
* an 11-inch screen
* a 2.8 lb body
* a full Windows operating system (which brings a bloated o.s., but also more functionality)
* a dual layered dvd burner (did I mention the Foleo had no optical drive)
* wi-fi and Bluetooth
* optional Sprint wireless service (internet everywhere you have a mobile signal) built-in
* and a battery rated to last from 5-11 hours!!!
I'm very happy with my purchase (and Sony's service) but it's kinda sad that Palm's hype-machine ended with a whimper instead of a bang. What Apple's iPhone didn't do to kill the Foleo reception, Palm took care of all on its own... ultimately creating a need then effectively sending potential customers to their competitors to fill that need.

Sad.

1 comment:

B. Good said...

That is pretty ironic. WOW, another lesson learned in the business arena.