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Hands-on with the skinny new Palm Treo 500v

We managed to get our sticky hands on Palm's latest Treo, the 500v, that Palm are hoping will appeal to consumers and business people alike

Yesterday we got our greasy, cake-stained hands on the brand new Palm Treo 500v, which will be available on Vodafone in October. The Treo 500v signals a departure from Palm's traditionally yawn-inducing business-centric designs and is Palm's thinnest Treo to date. Palm knows how we love the thin.

Reaction in the office this morning has been varied, with some people loving the new, curvier design and others saying it looks like a Treo made for children, rather than a serious business phone. There's no pleasing some people.

The Treo 500v's Qwerty keypad is a little smaller than the Treo 750v's and there's less space for manoeuvring, but it's still usable. Equally the screen is smaller than the 750v's and not a touchscreen, which may annoy some Treo veterans.

It runs on Windows Mobile 6 Standard, but before you gasp in horror, Palm has made some rather interesting changes to the interface that will help Palm users adapt to Microsoft's OS. As you can see in the picture, the menu has a tabbed layout that lets you access different applications on the 500v much faster than having to negotiate the traditional Windows Mobile layout.

Another handy feature is an email wizard that lets you setup automatic delivery of Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail messages as they arrive. Of course, you can still set it up with the office's Exchange server to get instant access to your work emails.

3G ensures fast access to email and the Internet, but we're disappointed there's no Wi-Fi -- although this isn't a problem if you're on a flat-rate data plan.

Other features include a 2-megapixel camera and an expandable microSD slot. Expect more details in the full review that's speeding your way like a Michael Owen volley.

Update: A full review of the Palm Treo 500V is now available. - Andrew Lim

The Palm Treo 500v measures a pocket friendly 15mm deep and weighs 120g.

On the back there's a 2-megapixel camera, but there's no auto-focus or flash. Shame.

Compared to the Palm Treo 750v, the 500v is much more compact.