Is the Treo Ideal? An Owner Responds

Aaron Swartz wrote his requirements for the ideal PDA (decent screen, cell phone, web, ssh, etc) and got a lot of suggestions for the Treo 180. He asks: is the Treo ideal?

I have a Treo 180, and I would have to say no.

It is a fine little device and I enjoy using it. But it has two major faults. The number one problem with it is that you cannot use it in the dark. The Treo 270 and 300 correct this problem with a backlit keyboard, but they are quite a bit more expensive than the Treo 180.

The other big problem with Treos is their rampant failure rate. If you hit the message boards over at Treo Central you'll find plenty of people who're complaining about their Treo breaking. Why do I know this? Because I started reading the message boards there after my Treo broke. The speaker just stopped working one day, which means I have to use the hands-free kit just to use the stupid thing. It sucks. I have a Best Buy warranty on it, but I haven't returned it yet. I'm planning to do that this month, hopefully for a Treo 270.

Why am I sticking with the Treo? It's big and stupid looking as a cell phone, and I never had a PDA before I bought it. It was also my first cell phone. I'm something of a "late adopter". But I like being able to run Palm programs on my phone and take notes with it. Arguably, the new Microsoft smartphones or the Hiptop might be better, but I don't like Microsoft and the Hiptop doesn't run PalmOS.

I got the Treo because we decided not to get a land line at our apartment (I have a cell phone and cable internet access) and I wanted a PDA/phone like the Treo. It was the best available at the time. But it's certainly not ideal. If you've got the time, I'd wait for the second generation of PDA/phones before buying.