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  1.    #1  
    Boston Business Journal: Gadgets: Palm Pre Plus
    Eric Convey, managing editor
    Connect with me Gadgets: Palm Pre Plus

    Boston Business Journal: Gadgets: Palm Pre Plus

    The story line about Palm Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) of late has been largely about its finances and difficulties building market share. Even the gadget web sites have begun giving more space to stories about personnel and a potential takeover than about devices.

    While the lack of stories about hardware and software is justified in large part by the lack of new devices from Palm, the trend is a shame, because Palm's Pre remains a formidable competitor to other smart phones.With that in mind, this latest Gadgets column focuses on Palm's flagship Pre Plus, which is available for use in this country with Verizon Wireless.

    The Pre Plus, and the Pre offered by Sprint Inc. are, simply, a great smart phone.

    The Pre does many things well and something things extraordinarily well.

    As a phone, it's the best in its class. No rival is easier or more comfortable to talk on.

    The WebOS operating system developed by Palm is remarkable.While Apple says it soon will ship an update for the iPhone that allows multi-tasking and mail inbox integration, Palm has done since launching the Pre more than a year ago. Moving from one application to another in the Pre is a breeze.

    To an extent Apple has not yet hinted at, WebOS combines information from address books, calendars and e-mail accounts into easy-to-use combined feeds. This is enormously useful for people with multiple professional relationships.

    What the Pre lacks is the huge array of applications developed for the iPhone.

    Verizon Wireless offers a free function for the Pre Plus -- the ability to use it as a WiFi hotspot for other devices.I stuck one in my pocket and easily used it to connect my ThinkPad notebook computer and an iPad to the internet. For a relatively small group of users, this ability may distinguish the Pre Plus from its competitors. Why pay for separate data service for your smartphone and notebook and, in a month or so, iPad? You can have one Verizon Wireless plan that provides high-speed internet for all of them.

    The WebOS interface is elegant and pleasant to use.

    The Pre also distinguishes itself on the hardware front.

    Unlike the iPhone, the Pre has a physical keyboard. Good iPhone typists won't care. Anyone else should. I found myself typing much more quickly than I could on the iPhone Unlike the BlackBerry,

    And unlike BlackBerrys, the Pre's keyboard slides out of the way when not in use.

    Palm's big rivals, Apple Inc. and Research in Motion, make their iPhones and BlackBerrys nice, functional handsets. But they're inconviently big, even if remarkably small for what they do.

    The Pre, on the other hand, is a gorgeous piece of hardware. It feels great in the hand. It's beautiful just to look at, which pleasant rounded edges and a certain an a just-right weight. I found myself rolling a Pre over and over in my hand almost unconsciously while talking to people or waiting in line. It just feels nice.

    Very significantly, the Pre is much smaller than its peers. A Pre slips easily into a short or blazer pocket or even a trousers pocket. You can do this with some other smart phones, but they don't fit as well.I was able to put the Pre in a big that sits under my bicycle seat and holds a spare and tools. This was impossible with both an iPhone and a BlackBerry.When the Pre Plus is coming soon to AT&T, it will be available on three of the four major U.S. carries, leaving out only T-Mobile.Prices after rebates hover around $149.

    Bottom line: Would I choose a Pre over an iPhone? For some users, yes. If I were going to spend most of my time on the phone, do a moderate amount of e-mailing and use other applications mostly for fun, I'd choose a Pre or Pre Plus.

    If I need a huge array of applications, I'd choose the iPhone.

    If i were a very heavier e-mailer, the BlackBerry would win hands-down.

    A very sad aspect of Palm's troubles is that a truly great smart phone hovers in a cloud of questions. The Pre and Pre Plus are fabulous devices that have potentially remarkable futures if enough people buy them.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    Seems like a decent review. And I do agree completely with the characterization of the Pre's hardware. Manufacturing issues aside, I do love the Pre's overall design and would love to see just a slightly larger version in the next-gen device (with current specs, of course).
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic

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