Palm unveiled the Palm Pre handheld during its press conference at CES 2009. Featuring the company's new Web OS, the Pre is a sexy slider that will be available exclusively through Sprint in the first half of 2009. A UMTS version will follow after Sprint's exclusivity expires.
On the hardware side, the Pre features a 3.1-inch touchscreen, a slide-out keyboard, a three-megapixel camera, an LED flash, a GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 support (including EDR and A2DP), 8GB of internal storage, WiFi support, and a MicroSD slot. The device will run on Sprint's zippy EVDO Revision A network. It features smooth lines and a reflective back (perfect for making sure my beauty marks are properly accentuated). This is, by far, the best-looking handheld Palm has released in a very long time.
The software side is arguably even more interesting. Web OS has a feature called Synergy, which synchronizes contacts and calendars from multiple sources. Contacts can be synced from services and software like Facebook , Gmail, AIM, and Outlook, while calendars can be matched up from Google Calendar, Outlook, and others. Early reports indicate that Web OS is pretty slick and intuitive. I definitely want to see more of the browser and some real-world interaction before getting too excited about it.
Everyone knew that Palm was unveiling new hardware and a new OS at CES 2009, but most people -- myself included -- thought it was too little too late. That said, the Palm Pre is getting a lot of buzz and it just might be the device that takes the company to the next level. I have a soft spot in my heart for Palm. I absolutely loved my Palm V and I fondly remember reviewing the original Handspring Visor for Computer Shopper back in the '90s. With Apple's iPhone and Google's Android getting all the attention as far as consumer handsets go, I'd love for Palm to make a splash with the Pre.
What do you guys and gals think? Is the Pre Palm's ticket back to the big time? Or is it too little too late?