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Round Table

Welcome to Round Table, which in fact is not a table at all. It’s a new series here at PreCentral and here’s how it works: we pose a question to our writing staff and they answer. The question could be something simple like “what’s your favorite webOS app?” or something a bit more complicated, like “what do you want from the next Palm device?” In fact, we’ll go with that one for this first time around the table. We’ll also branch out from the PreCentral realm and grab somebody else from the Smartphone Experts empire to throw in their two cents.

So here goes, after the break, What do you want from the next Palm device?

 

Derek: I’d like a follow-up to the Pre, a Pre II if you will. I really like the compact slider design, but it needs some work. For one, a tougher shell and sturdier build quality, which probably means doing away with the curved slider. Honestly, I’m fine with that. And without the curve, the phone could also be thinner - the Motorola Droid has proven that a QWERTY slider phone can indeed be iPhone thin. Inside, more memory. At least 16 GB, though I wouldn’t be upset if you offer me a 32 GB option. And do something about that high-gloss finish, will ya?

Dieter: I definitely think Palm needs to take advantage of webOS’s ability to scale to multiple screen resolutions, which is a roundabout way of saying I’d love to see more pixels. Palm has already established that they can make a small device, now it’s time to prove that they can make a multimedia beast that can stand toe-to-toe with the Droid. I want something definitively high-end. Cute, pocketable: done. Now I want Palm to give us something with a beastly big screen and speed to match.

Keith: You can’t go wrong with the candy-bar Pixi style, it’s worked for Blackberry for years for a reason. It’s business oriented in terms of firing off an email without the hassle of moving parts. What you can go wrong with is the Pixi specs... so I’d love to see the Pixi form factor with the Pre specs tweaked. First, Palm might want to look at an OLED screen. This should be a flag-ship device that deserves top notch screen quality, blacks are BLACK and colors are crisp with OLED (think notification area being completely black around the SMS icon and up top at the time, you know you want). You also don’t take that hit on battery life that you get with the current screens because they are lower power consumption. You most certainly don’t get that bad press over the “oreo effect” that can occur; even better you can’t get mistaken for being a “cheese slicer”. I wouldn’t care about 80 less pixels if it meant vertical and instant keyboard. Secondary to the screen is removable media! Using my Hero with a microSD card and the ability to back up to the card has been a sorely missed feature; I feel safer knowing that an on-the-road device wipe is a restore away. Just two simple upgrades that make it worthy of calling it the Pre 2.

Robert: I’d say their next device needs to be another flagship-tier one: bigger screen, bigger keyboard, more memory, all running an OS that’s been further refined in terms of both memory management and speed. A device that nicely rounds out the “family” of webOS products by being as big a slab of a phone as it needs to be. I think what we'll actually see, though, is an iterative upgrade of the Pre, maintaining the form factor and upgrading the innards: processor, RAM, storage memory, camera sensor, similar to the iPhone’s yearly updates.

Rene Ritchie, Editor, The iPhone Blog: Palm has now released the vertical sliding Pre and the candybar Pixi. I say they skip the horizontal slider and the flip and pull the trigger on the slab. That’s right, call me a mindless Apple fanboy if you must, but the era of physical keyboards is diminishing (the kids aren't dependent on them the way the old folks are). Give me a great webOS mini-tablet with a glass 480p screen, solid build quality, and let the - frankly spectacular - software do the talking. Oh, and GSM in North America would be nifty, thanks.

And that’s what we think. Now there are two more steps: (1) we want to know what you think (the comments await), and (2) we’d like to hear about what questions you would post - send your suggestion for a Round Table question to roundtable@precentral.net.