There are plenty of electronics that are made to be tough, but i-mate is so secure in the knowledge that theirs is going to last that they offer a lifetime warranty for the 810-F. The cell phone has a waterproof rubber seal and can handle temperatures from -10°C to 60°C, pressure, shock and humidity. Features include a QWERTY keyboard, HSDPS, 2.2GB storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, a digital compass, accelerometer and Bluetooth capability, and it runs on Windows Mobile 6.1. The 810-F also has Secure i-Q embedded so that you can lock it or get rid of personal data from your PC should it become lost or stolen.
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While the Palm Foleo died on the vine, the concept may live on. I-Mate, makers of many fine Windows Mobile based smart phones is rumored to be working on a “shell” to go with their new Ultimate line. While the new shell would not contain any processor or memory of it’s own, it would feature a 1024x768 screen and a full sized keyboard to act as a dock for the smart phone. It is still unknown if the shell would feature batteries to increase runtime, but if it does that could be a killer feature for todays power-hungry HSDPA chipsets.
This seems like it would be a better approach than the Foleo. It would be cheaper, provide similar functionality, and allow a user to select which form factor they want (laptop vs. cellphone) at any given time as simply as clicking the phone into the larger frame. If this comes to market in a timely manner and offers a good user experience it could signal a new style of cellphone based computing—and a step into the “world of tomorrow”.
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