Palm Pre Plus First Hands-On: Super-Fast, Button Removal Is No ProblemS

Jon Rubinstein dropped the news only minutes ago that the new Palm devices—the slightly-upgraded Pre Plus and Pixi Plus—would be arriving on Verizon later this month.

I got some hands-on time with them, and while the Pre Plus has had the navigational button removed, little else has been touched aesthetically. The inductive TouchStone back comes as standard now—but looks just like it always did. Still feels rubbery, which I like. Makes you feel like you're holding a proper gadget. The removal of the button isn't big news, I don't think it'll hamper use of the Pre, with the touch input being reliable most of the time anyway.

Otherwise, everything else is exactly the same. The keys are still gummy pegs that are too small for your fingers The keyboard is actually improved and a lot less mushy—instead it feels solid when you press down and each key comes back up quickly. The bottom edge of the slide-out QWERTY can still cut cheese, it's still that sharp. Shame they didn't improve upon that aspect. Or make it even SHARPER to do the "Plus" name justice. I want to cut a steak.

It's speedier, thanks to the double RAM that's been added, and noticeably easier flipping between apps and programs. The screen is responsive, but no more responsive than it was before. All in all, it's the same Pre experience you've had before, just faster. Oh, and guess you'll have to fork out for a TouchStone now.

Palm Pre Plus First Hands-On: Super-Fast, Button Removal Is No ProblemS

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