8700c takes easy route on fast track

The new BlackBerry 8700c is fast, clean, and the graphics are a vast improvement over the earlier model. It's offered with a package with Cingular Wireless.

The new BlackBerry 8700c is fast, clean, and the graphics are a vast improvement over the earlier model. It's offered with a package with Cingular Wireless.

The QWERTY keyboard is a little small, but not unworkable, though it seems a little crowded compared with the keyboard on the earlier model. In fact, the new BlackBerry is actually a little smaller overall, though the screen size remains the same.

The most notable difference, besides the smoother, pastel-toned icons on the application menu, and generally better graphics, is the speed. Web browsing, whether using WAP versions or regular, full-monty websites, is lightning fast, or at least brisk- certainly versus the previous model (says my neighbor, who has the previous model and took mine for a test drive).

And maybe I'm burying the lead here, but what I found most striking is that I - someone who has never owned a BlackBerry - was able to figure out how to do most everything just by tinkering with it. The design is intuitive, so one tends to press the right buttons to make it close applications, turn itself off, scroll, etc. I don't have to have one of these, but there are probably worse balls and chains of a digital kind.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com


Price $349.99

Available at Cingular.com, BlackBerry.com

Specs EDGE Class10 for fast WAP or HTML web surfing, 320 x 240 Color LCD, 312 MHz Intel Processor, 16MB RAM/64MB Flash memory

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