Palm Foleo vs. DIY Palm Pilot Notebook

Illustration for article titled Palm Foleo vs. DIY Palm Pilot Notebook

This week Palm announced the Foleo, an ultraportable Smartphone companion laptop. The January 2007 issue of Make shows you how to take a hardcover book and turn it into an ultraportable laptop by embedding a Palm Pilot and keyboard. The designer, Allen Wong, even powered it with AAA batteries that last for days. How does the Foleo stack up against Wong's Palm Notebook? It's time for... Iron Gadget!


Power Up

Foleo: Instant On

Palm Notebook: Instant On

Screen Size

Foleo: 10-inch screen, 1024 x 600

Palm Notebook: 2-1/4" x 3"—Wong used a IIIe which is 160 x 160


Foleo: WiFi and Bluetooth

Palm Notebook: Wong used a serial cable. But a newer Palm, like the TX, would supply WiFi, Bluetooth and infrared

Battery Life

Foleo: 5 Hours

Palm Notebook: Days... if you're carrying big pack of AAAs


Foleo: About 118MB RAM expandable with SD card slot.

Palm Notebook: 2MB RAM (later Palm models have SD slots as well)


Foleo: 2.5 lbs

Palm Notebook: 1.1 lbs


Foleo: $500

Palm Notebook: 1 book, 1 old palmpilot ($25) and Landware GoYype ($40), hours of



Bonus Round: Green-ness

Foleo: 100% not recycled

Palm Notebook: 90% recycled

From Allen Wong:

Future Plans:

After they saw the article in MAKE, the good folks at Palm sent me a TX.

When I get a wireless keyboard, the TX will be disassembled and converted

into another Palm Notebook, hopefully smaller and lighter than the first.


Upgrading to a brand new TX with WiFi and a 320 x 480 screen would bring the total to around $325. Which one would you buy?

Palm Pilot Notebook [Make Digital]

Palm Foleo Coverage [Gizmodo]




Wong's a winner. Creative, thoughtful and from the opinions here, underappreciated. I think the instant on and forgetaboutit battery life are the key things here. I'm a UMPC fan, but yet to take the plunge because they are lacking these two things. I'm tempted to put my own ideas like Wong's to work and try to make something like but include more of the things I'd like. Thanks.