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Next-gen PalmOne Treo details show up on Web

PDA maker ready to serve an Ace?

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Details of PalmOne's next Treo smart phone, said to be codenamed 'Ace', have emerged courtesy of a crafty photo of a company presentation slide.

The next-generation device will provide Treo users with their most-requested feature, Bluetooth. It also ups the screen resolution from today's 160 x 160 to 320 x 320, the standard on high-end Palm OS-based PDAs. The screen will be a 16-bit job. The blurry photo hints at a new, slightly curved keypad, along with new phone-style green and red, dial and hang-up buttons.

It is unclear which version of the Palm OS the new Treo will run, but it will ship with "standard Palm OS 5.x productivity tools". This suggests it will run Garnet, PalmSource's upcoming Palm OS 5-derived smart phone operating system. PalmOne will also bundle GoodLink 2.0 and PCS Business Connection, the better to tie the handheld into corporate email systems.

Ace will contain 32MB of RAM and is driven by a "312MHz ARM processor". The speed suggests an Intel XScale PXA270. Like today's Treo 600, the new machine will feature a digicam, almost certainly of higher resolution than today's VGA model. The slide notes its digital zoom and video capture facilities, which suggests that Ace may use PalmOne's new media capture and playback software, which debut earlier this year with the Zire 72.

PalmOne executives have already said they plan to unify their software offerings across all three device lines. Indeed, Ace is said to offer an enhanced browser, which may signal the end of the Handspring-developed Blazer, dropped in favour of PalmOne's WebPro. Whichever of the two it is, it will offer better frame handling, upload support and an integrated download manager.

Ace is said to be scheduled for an autumn 2004 ship date.

While the image may be considered by some a fake, website Treo Central claims to have confirmed much of what the slide reveals through its own sources. ®

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