According to ubergizmo, i-mate is rumored to be soon releasing an i-mate “shell,” a housing with full, larger keyboard and large display for the upcoming i-mate Ultimate handhelds, yet to be released.
The i-mate “shell” will basically be similar to the Palm Foleo, which Palm’s Hawking had decided to design and later scrapped in favor of moving the company back to its core competencies in creating handhelds and smartphones. Unlike the Palm Foleo, however, the i-mate “shell” will have no processing power nor memory on its own. Programs will not need to be written for the “shell” either. Instead, it is just like a mini, personal “projector” for the i-mate Ultimate. Users will get to see what’s on their Ultimate. Essentially, it is an Ultimate dock with a high resolution 1024 X 768 seven-inch display and full, approximate-laptop-sized keyboard keys.
This may lend some credibility to Stephen Hawking and the design and marketing team at Palm that conceived of the Foleo project. A lot of users were upset that the Foleo was an expensive, larger handheld, which makes travel more prohibitive, but underpowered by laptop standards.
The i-mate “shell” is rumored to be around the $300 mark, in addition to the cost of acquiring an Ultimate handheld/smartphone.