Redfly Mobile Companion Reduced to $199
Special Celio Corp. “Seed Unit Program” Lowers Redfly Mobile Companion Price by 50% From $399 Down to “Only” $199
I have until now refrained from reviewing the Celio Redfly Mobile Companion principally because I felt that while the device may have had some merits its original price of $399 was (to put it mildly) rather over the top – particularly as there are some phenomenal new Netbooks available in the $300 to $500 range such as the $429 Lenovo IdeaPad S10 that I have set my sights on.
Having said this, now that Celio has announced that as part of a “seed unit program” it is reducing the price of its Redfly by 50% (down to $199 until October 31) I thought that it might be worth taking a second look at this Windows Mobile “Smartphone Companion”.
So what exactly is the Redfly Mobile Companion? Well, for starters Redfly is a solid and well built, small and lightweight (only 2 lbs.) “shell” with a keyboard + touchpad, 8 inch screen at 800x480 resolution, Bluetooth, 2x USB ports and VGA port as well as a battery that lasts a very healthy eight hours. However, the Redfly also has no operating system, no CPU, no hard drive and no installed software of any kind.
The whole idea behind the Redfly is that it seeks to eliminate the need to carry a laptop and instead “allows you to use your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone as a laptop” without the typical costs or maintenance associated with a traditional PC.
It is essentially a “smartphone terminal” that connects to your Treo via cable or Bluetooth and uses your smartphone’s CPU power and 3G or WiFi data connectivity to work on any application installed on your device with the benefit of a much larger keyboard and screen – something which some mobile professionals who primarily need only email, a browser and a VPN or Remote Access while on the go have actually found to be extremely appealing.
Top 10 Things About the Redfly Companion
- Present from your smartphone
Deliver PowerPoint presentations from your phone via the REDFLY’s built-in VGA port. Anything on the smartphone can be displayed via VGA.
- Travel light
Leave your laptop behind, but take your data with you.
- Easy email, attachment and documents
The larger display and keyboard make it easy to use email and applications such as Office Mobile (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).
- Web browser on a large display
Enjoy a better web browsing experience with the ability to view pages without scrolling, zooming or squinting.
- ALT-TAB like a desktop
Quickly move between open applications using the familiar Alt-Tab key stroke.
- Bluetooth to the phone
Connect between your smartphone and the REDFLY via Bluetooth for a wire free experience. Use your phone and REDFLY at the same time.
- Use a flash drive
Access data using USB flash drives or memory cards with a card reader.
- Charge your smartphone
Charge your smartphone while connected via USB for extended productivity time.
- Travel with one charger
The REDFLY can be set to keep the USB ports powered when plugged into the wall. Charge the smartphone via USB and you only carry one charger.
- Notes on the fly
Use the Windows Mobile Notes feature and take notes while on a phone call or in a meeting. All information is always with you and easily searched.
I have to admit that after reading some customer stories the whole Redfly concept started making a lot more sense to me. For example I liked some comments such as the fact that “devices can be pooled and loaned out as needed since there is no on-board storage”; “one-touch instant On”; “like a wide screen television for my phone”; “full remote access to our servers”; “setup was faster than pouring a cup of coffee”; “it’s like a wireless keyboard for my smartphone”.
Overall I reckon that you will either automatically love the Redfly Mobile Companion or promptly dismiss it as the greatest overpriced nonsense you’ve heard in some time. Priced at $399 I would personally not have given it another thought but now that it’s temporarily reduced to $199 I may just have to give it a go.
If you already own a Redfly please take a moment to share your experiences with your fellow Treonauts via the comments section below.
Redfly now only $199 [via jkOnTheRun]
Treonauts are always ready to try something new…