A vehicle charger is also available for $30 (£20), and two types of leather carrying cases can also be had, although pricing was not finalised at press time.
The tiny Qwerty keyboard isn't going to draw any praise, nor is the lack of an expansion slot. We're also disappointed that the Pre lacks some basic functions, such as video recording and voice dialling, although Palm has said these features can be added later through an over-the-air update. Battery life is also a concern, as the smart phone only lasted about a day on a single charge. In all fairness, though, that's about the same as the iPhone.
All that said, the Pre's deck of cards multitasking functionality and notification system are what make it special, and they're the areas where the Pre beats the iPhone or, for that matter, any smart phone currently on the market. In addition, personal-information management has been completely and positively changed by the Synergy software.
Early adopters, gadget lovers and consumers who need or crave more functionality from their phone will be well served by the Pre, although there's a learning curve to using the device. Also, because of the battery life and some slight sluggishness, we'd don't think it's the best device for business users or road warriors.
Starting from the ground up, Palm has really made a solid and smart platform. It doesn't just match the capabilities of its competitors but offers something more, thanks to its multitasking and personal-information-management capabilities. With the Pre, Palm has put itself back in the game and we look forward to more webOS devices in the future.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet