MediaFile

Guess what? People are loving the Pre

The verdict is in: The Pre smartphone from Palm is a hit, at least with the reviewers. Sure, there are dissenters and everyone noted some problems with the device, including battery life, limited applications, and the fact that some programs simply loaded too slowly.

Still, for the most part, reviews were of Pre were positive. In fact, all the big names out there — Mossberg, Pogue etc — predicted it could be an real challenger to iPhone. That alone is saying something.

Since we’re here to save you time, we offer a review of the reviews…

Sinead Carew of Reuters:

So what’s Pre like? It’s shaped like a soap bar with a smooth touchscreen display that has a discrete round button protruding from the lower part that minimizes applications. It has an unobtrusive on/off button at the top edge, plus a volume button on the left edge.

Gently push the bottom edge of Pre to reveal a tiny QWERTY keypad that tilts slightly to you. The keyboard is very compact, and people with relatively big fingers may find it too small.

Palm Pre at CTIA: Look, don’t touch

At a show where reporters have cellphones and other devices thrust into their hands around every corner, Palm took a novel approach: treat its hot, unreleased handset like Forbidden Fruit.

Palm showed off its upcoming Pre smartphone at the CTIA annual wireless showcase in Las Vegas. The company was still very, very coy about its launch date for the device except to say that it will appear on Sprint’s shelves before July 1.

It was also very careful about letting reporters play with the device to the extent that the product demonstrator, Tina, would not let it fully out of her hands. Reporters were allowed to play with the keyboard — as long as the demonstrator was able to keep her hands on the phone. One reporter asked if she could feel the weight of the phone in her hand, but TIna again kept her hands on part of the phone.

Obama greenlights analog TV for another season

After all the excitement, endless public service announcement ads and electronics retailers salivating over anticipated high-definition TV sales, it turns out that the United States might not be switching to digital television just yet.

President-elect Barack Obama is backing a move to delay a mandatory switch to digital TV signals on Feb. 17 because viewers might not be prepared. Also, the government has run out of $40 coupons to help pay for converter boxes.

The idea that as many as 8 million homes (according to Nielsen data) might lose TV reception in a few weeks is not the kind of headache a new White House administration wants to deal with so it’s perhaps not surprising talk of a delay, possibly up to four months, is gathering support.