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Technicolor Treos hit the UK

Handspring offers colour screens on Treo PDAs

Handspring has unveiled its latest PDA phone, the Treo 270. It also gave a sneak preview of the Treo 90, a small, sleek, colour PDA — but with no phone capability.

The Treo 270 retains the looks and bulk of the 180 but bolts on a colour screen. Minor enhancements include a backlit keyboard and slightly enhanced software. Despite having a battery-draining colour screen, talk time has actually been increased to three hours. Batteries can now be on standby for up to 150 hours, thanks to a more powerful battery and better power management

The 90 retains the flip cover and keyboard of its older siblings but is similar in size to Palm’s M500 offerings. Despite the lack of GSM functionality, Handspring classes its new PDA as a Treo, rather than a Visor. In line with this, there is no Springboard slot; instead, users will find an SD (Secure Digital) slot. The Treo 90 is currently destined for the US only, though a European launch later this year is almost certain.

The 270 should retail for €400 (£255) with contract and €749 (£477) without, according to Handspring. The Treo 270 shipped to dealers yesterday (Tuesday) and should be on the shelves by the weekend.

The Treo is GPRS-ready, but there’s no firm date when users will be able to take advantage of its faster data throughput. The software to enable it is currently being tested by O2 (formerly BT Cellnet) and, Handspring says, should be available soon, whatever that means.

Handspring has stuck with the decision not to install a POP3 mail client as standard on the 270, opting instead to provide ‘flexibility’. Besides, it also offers its own Treo Mail service — starting at $50 a year. It’s currently only available to US customers but is due for launch here later in the year.

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