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While the Treo Pro's QWERTY keyboard is larger than the Centro, we expect some users will still have problems with it. The buttons are fairly small and there isn't a ton of spacing between the keys. However, as with any QWERTY device, it will become easier with more use.
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On back of the smartphone, you will find the Treo Pro's 2-megapixel camera. There's no flash, but you do get 8x zoom and video-recording capabilities. If your company does not allow camera phones at your workplace, the feature can be disabled by the I.T. department.
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The Treo Pro features a newly designed navigation array that includes two soft keys, Talk and End buttons, an OK button, and shortcuts to the Start menu, Calendar, and Inbox. There's also a navigation toggle that will pulsate colors when you have new voice mail. The QWERTY keyboard itself is reminiscent of the one found on the Palm Centro, but is slightly roomier.
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While the operating system is a different story, Palm has done a lot to improve the design and hardware of its smartphones. Here is the Treo Pro sandwiched between the Palm Treo 700p and the Palm Centro.
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The Treo Pro has 256MB (100MB user available) onboard memory and 128MB RAM, but the smartphone also features a microSD expansion slot, which is located behind the battery cover. It can accept up to 32GB microSDHC cards.
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In a first, Palm will ship the Treo Pro in sustainable packaging, which includes recycled content and a recyclable box. The user guides are printed with soy ink, and the smartphone will no longer ship with a software CD. Instead, all the drivers are preinstalled on the device.
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Designed for mobile professionals, the Palm Treo Pro is stocked with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition, complete with the Microsoft Office Mobile Suite and Direct Push Technology for real-time e-mail delivery. The quad-band world phone also offers a full assortment of wireless options, including UMTS/HSDPA support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
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Palm said it expects to ship the Treo Pro in the United States this fall. Unfortunately, the company was not able to give us a specific release date and would not comment about whether it will be picked up by a U.S. carrier. For now, the smartphone will be sold unlocked for a hefty $549.
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Overall, the Palm Treo Pro has a pretty solid construction, despite the plastic casing. The smartphone is only available in black at this time, and we noticed it's quite prone to smudges and fingerprints. There is also a new screensaver function that will show you the time, any missed calls, or new text/multimedia messages at a glance.
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One of the first things you might notice is that the Treo Pro sheds the outdated, clunky design of previous Treos and trades it in for a sleeker design (4.4 inches high by 2.3 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep; 4.7 ounces).