The keyboard itself is just a little on the small side. More than usable if your fingers are delicate and elfin, but perhaps less so for those with larger hands or pudgier fingers. This isn't too much of an issue when dialling a call as that can also be done using the touchscreen keypad, but the Pro lacks the on-screen bespoke alphabetical keypads found on the likes of the HTC Diamond and Samsung Omnia, rather making do with just a graphically smartened up version of the traditional Windows Mobile virtual keyboard. On a screen the size of the Pro's, using the virtual keyboard, even with the stylus, is a little challenging.
A largely unadorned Windows Mobile UI
Typing a sequence of numbers when not in phone mode involves holding down the Option key on the right-hand side of the keyboard while simultaneously hitting the number keys nested within the Qwerty array. Again, this is a little tricky for the large of digit or less dexterous.
That being said, nobody in the office who tried the Pro had any real issues, most being able to type quickly and accurately and all agreeing that the symbol menu that launches when you touch the Alt key is a major boon, allowing instant access to all your %s, £s, >s and &s.
The central navpad is a fine bit of design and worthy of note, making for smooth movement and easy selection while it can also be set pulse with an ethereal white light when you get voice mail. The surrounding keys are also very well spaced and weighted, making the Pro hard to fault on an ergonomic level.
The alert among you will doubtless already have noticed that the presence of the touchscreen and the usual non-touchscreen device control keys means that a lot of the Treo Pro's functions can be accessed at least one of two ways. Want to launch the Start menu? Hit the Windows Start key or tap Start at the top the screen, the choice is yours.
In practice, we quickly found ourselves using a combination of methods to navigate about the Pro, often tapping the screen to enter an application then using the navigation key to move around or select a menu function.
Got mine this week - but this review is wrong
...but the wife won't let me use it until Xmas. Meanwhile I'm still on my WM6 Pro 750v which IS a touchscreen device contrary to the opening paragraph in this review.
Another error is that you don't have to hold down option to type numbers or symbols. Just press once and then the next characters is a number/symbol. Press Option twice and it locks. Same with the Shift.
The phone is already out on Vodafone under the business section or upgrades. Got mine for £99 on a 18 month £16 a month contract. Or the wife's contract rather hence no serious playing with the thing until Xmas.
3g or not 3g
"Palm hasn't given the Pro a forward facing video camera though in the real world this is hardly a major oversight. Does anyone ever actually make 3G video calls?"
Apparently you need that for video conferencing, as mentioned in the Reg review of the iphone 3G:
"And despite the 3G upgrade, there's no front-facing camera for video conferencing."
Mines the one with the Jesus phone in the pocket, I swear you can see the virgin Mary weeping in the default wallpaper.
....Certainly from reading that it seems as though it would be a far better handset than the Touch Diamonds we have in the office.
If i didn't have a Jesus Phone, i'd be quite tempted by that!