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MWC2011. HP/Palm Impressions Ц Veer, Pre3 and the TouchPad tablet
Palm has turned into HP and it has immediately changed the way Palm representatives announce their products. They have not become any more flamboyant but the employees are now talking about the phones' future much more confidently Ц which is a big success for this company. For me it means that the chosen policy is correct. At their stand I could try out all the new products and listen to a brief presentation. We have already told you a lot about these new gadgets right after the presentation and I am going to skip certain points since it would be an unnecessary repetition. I will try to tell about my impressions. Beforehand, I would also like to mention that HP is looking for partners to launch these products in Europe Ц so far they are only meant for the US.
It is the smallest device that sinks in your hand and looks like a toy. You could not possible imagine that it is packing some serious hardware (and it does). The key pad is tiny and almost toy like Ц but it is there and it is amazing. Many have looked at the phone at first as at Sony Ericsson X10 Mini (only it is even smaller) Ц as at something not very convenient to use. I personally liked the phone and in some respects exactly because of its miniature size that has not dramatically damaged the ergonomics. An HP rep that was showing me this phone was using it very smartly Ц I decided to try to match his speed and could do it in just five minutes. There is, though, another issue: it is not a manly model but it would be if not perfect but at least interesting for women.
A perfect match for this phone would be companionship with the HP tablet Ц only it does not feature wireless sync with the latter as Pre3 does. It is a serious drawback as I imagine many business ladies would be ready to drop their present phones for such bound products. Partly the lack of the sync is explained by the fact that Veer was developed first and it has a previous version of WebOS.
To conclude I would say that the phone is very attractive for the target audience but you should not expect soaring sales or popularity. There will be moderate sales typical for such unusual products. I liked the phone but I would still opt for something bigger for everyday use.
It is the Pre2 successor that for the first time for the company uses a 1.4GHz processor. In fact in summer 2011 it is going to be one of the first phones featuring such a processor. My counterpart, Alexey Ikonnikov has recently posed a question in his article what for do we need this processor since there are not many applications or games available for WebOS. In my opinion it is obvious Ц the phone is very fast Ц it is the fastest Palm there is.
We can criticize certain aspects of the phone e.g. the 3.58" screen with the resolution of 480x800 and say that it is obsolete. But In general terms it is not bad. Moreover, I would like to assess the product as a whole as well as my impressions of it. And the latter, as usual for WebOS, are quite positive. It is an alternative for Android and iOS that is on the level. But there is an issue: this OS is not very popular and it is the palm's marketing shortcoming: the company is having problems with sales promotion and other issues. But the product itself is worthy.
Why? It is different and attracts attention of other people. It is not a second grade manufacturer's phone but a major company's product which guarantees certain quality level (it is not always true but Palm is known for good quality).
A small demo video and pictures of the phone Ц below them are the specs:
There are a lot of tablets this year. There are e.g. a whole bunch of tablets on Android 3.0. The public is still not very familiar with such products, but taking the Android popularity into consideration they will be gaining popularity. No doubt, Apple iPad's popularity is not going to fade out but, quite contrary, it will turn epidemic. To enter this market with your own original product with a different interface is q daring move. I think this device will become a niche product Ц there are not many Palm devices, many do not even know that HP is now producing such devices. But still this is not the main issue: this tablet basically different from iPad and it is being released a year after the latter. Many will judge by the facts that it does not have a metal body (for iPad it is a very prominent part of the design) and does not have a lot of applications and games (the biggest drawback). But for those who uses Pre3 this tablet is going to be a perfect companion. I am impressed that you can simply place the phone onto the tablet and will transfer data, e.g. the messages, to it. And to answer your messages you may use the tablet and its key pad. Undoubtedly it is very convenient. I am sure that similar bound devices will be released more often and companion devices will eventually become popular. Unfortunately, HP has outrun the time: the absence of mass interest to the company's products will not allow to develop this idea. Such an enterprise should be better undertaken by a company like Apple or other major player. This technology should be unified and promoted.
On the video you may see the basic interface features so take a look. Below are the specs:
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Published 17 February 2011
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