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Palm Centro Images & Details

As promised last week, below are a few of the images taken at the Digital Life event illustrating some of the unique details of the new Palm Centro.

Palm Centro Keyboard Palm Centro Stylus

I have raved about the Centro keyboard (above left) not only because it’s the smallest usable full QWERTY model that I have come across but also because of the actual design.  Whereas on a traditional Treo keyboard every key is an individual piece, the Centro uses a single rubber sheet on which all the keys are set – each key simply forms a tiny “bubble” on it.  The use of material also provides some interesting tactile qualities and you’ll find that instead of typing with your finger you’ll actually be typing with your nails (it may sound odd but it works really well).

As the Centro continues to use a touchscreen there is naturally also a stylus (above right).  In this case the stylus is all plastic and although it feels mildly flimsy the fact is that it’s light and in most instances will actually be used very infrequently.

Palm Centro Lanyard Slot Palm Centro Silent Slider

A first on the Centro is also the addition of a lanyard hook positoned on the bottom right side of the device through which Centronauts will be able to add a hand strap or more likely some “charms” like those popularized in Asia.

A welcome sight on the Centro is the ring silencer which has remained a particularly useful feature innovation on nearly every Palm smartphone since the beginning (and which Apple copied on the iPhone…).

Palm Centro Battery Palm Centro Battery Door

As I pointed out in my Centro comparison, the battery is unfortunately only 1150mAh (delivering 3.5 hours talk time).  This was most likely done to further reduce costs and bring the smartphone to Sprint’s $99 price point and most people seem to be happy in the knowledge that they will eventually be able to add an extended battery from a third-party manufacturer.

Additionally, the Centro battery has a new format with the connectors in the middle (image above right) which means that no existing battery will fit in this device.  Separately, I found it amusing to see that my particular unit happened to have the name Treo XXX printed in the battery compartment leading me to think that Palm’s decision to name it Centro was a last minute call.

Palm Centro Camera Speaker Palm Centro microSD Slot & IR

I also liked the way the camera and back speakerphone were smoothly and elegantly integrated within a silver band (above left) and also the fact that the microSD slot remains easily accessible on the right side of the device along with the IR port.  The microSD slot also happens to be “locked” in place with the battery cover which helps to give the Centro a more robust feel with no parts randomly “floating” around.

Palm Centro Navigation Keys Palm Centro Material

The new large flat navigation keys and 5Way navigation button also contribute to making the Centro more elegant and refined (above left) and the only minor complaint is that I would have wished for the touchscreen to be flush instead of recessed (this was apparently again done to reduce costs).

Finally, I like the new plastic casing using in the Centro – it’s shiny, very smooth with a lacquered feel and slightly “pearly”.  The fact that the battery cover is now a single piece with no release button again adds to that overall solid feel.

For more information about the Centro also see:

Treonauts always get the finer details


Posted by Andrew on October 3, 2007 at 06:02 PM

Palm Centro

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Comments

1
by Jack | Oct 3, 2007 7:43:10 PM

I think it is a very attractive addition to the Palm line, and I sincerely hope they do well with it. I also truly hope they've learned from their Treo 700p support issues, and begin to do a good job supporting what they sell. If so, I believe this is still a very viable company and one that will maintain a very active, loyal base.

Thanks for some very sharp photos Andrew. Good job!

2
by Serge Ouaknine | Oct 4, 2007 4:08:12 AM

I am a long time Palm user. I own now a Treo 685 bulky but smart. However, I rage daily about the absence of a dictaphone and WIFI access...
10 years ago I wrote a letter to the Psion CEO, and I predictedhim their fall as they had not sought about including telephone and internet access and an easy and smooth communicating software to PC and Mac ( it was tortuous to make a simple transfer). The Psion was geat but belonging to a typing machine mentality.. they vanished 6 month later…The Psion PDA were very smart but missing the essential : the IMMEDIACTY OF COMMUNICATION. PSION closed its line for ever.

I am afraid to be the Palm Cassandra: Palm is missing the target. Contrary to your opinion the Foleo would have been a very nice idea if doted of WIFI !!!!. Being a theatre director I do not need a simple machine to consumme datas but to create and transmit them. I dearly wish and look for a IMMEDIATE ACCESS COMMUNICATING MACHINE . My smart Treo is aging rapidly and endlessly… Are you listening Palm ?
The NEW GENERATION of students, the business people, artist and designers and corporate members persons - want a FREE IMMEDIATE DEBUGGED access to the INTERNET via WIFI... with a universal access for any SIM card in the world !!! Plus a dictaphone and a smooth and elegant tool.
APPLE understood it fast and brillantly ( not sacrifying profit…)

I confess I am a Mac addicted and I try as much as possible to avoid the tortuous and freezing Window declination. Palm is still trapped with a tragic corporate attitude. Does Palm comited itself and sold itself to the greedy telephone companies to skipe WIFI from its machine... ( so not getting royalties…) like the brand new Centreo ?
Poor Palm CEO you missed the boat of immediacy and free access … You are not feeling the rapid, drastic changes of the world !

By willing to make profit ( this is the only stupid reasonabale argument) Palm has not yet digested the necessity of an OPEN , SMART and FULL FURNISHED MACHINE doing ALL and WELL.
As a result, I hesitate between a Nokia E90 or a an Iphone and, to my sorrow, I said saddly : God Bye PALM - you served me almost well but have missed the momentum... Stop looking at short term profit and question with creative people the long term perspective consummers and creators needs...
Sorry for my broken english I am a francophone.SO.

3
by Danilo | Oct 4, 2007 8:23:57 AM

Very well done, Serge.I could not agree kore.
I have been a palm user since the treo 600 and model after model i wished palm to improve their treo, to make it a wonderful machine.
But they lost me with these new events.I just cannot understand how they cannot see that the treo as it is now it's NOT a complete machine.. and in my opinion never will be.Profit it is a bad cover for the eyes, habit, and at the moment palm it is trapped in their own nightmares.
How can a smartphone (if it wants be considered so) have missed to have a wi-fi, a big memory and a very stable OS?
We are asked to pay a lot for a treo (i do not consider these latest toys .. they are just not worth), and in exchange for our loyalties we are just ignored by palm.
Well, enough it is enough.. i am out with palm, and the iphone will be my next real "smart" phone.
Cheers

4
by icoco | Oct 4, 2007 9:27:46 AM

Serge and Danilo, you took the words right out of my mouth.

I wonder what Palm is doing all the time? Just giving new shapes to old devices? Does anybody see any development of the good Palm OS on the horizon, which many of us prefer to that odd WinMob? Ok, now this new Centro has a lanyard hook. Wow, great! And they gave us back the ringer on/off switch they took away incomprehensibly with the Treo 500. Hmpf, well done. :rolleyes: They include the same old Palm OS we know for years. Not a bit of development there. Well come on ...

5
by Dave | Oct 4, 2007 2:32:16 PM

Question: I notice the Push to Talk feature is implemented on the Centro. Does Palm have any intention of implementing it on the 680, as was the original reported intent? If so, does anyone know of an ETA on that implementation?

6
by Roberto (robracca) | Oct 4, 2007 4:34:05 PM

For all the anguish and wailing over missing new features, I must say that I consider the Centro (or Palm 500p) a positive evolutionary development. As a firm believer in the "Palms in your pockets" philosophy (no holsters, thanks!) I welcome the appealing new form factor and I hope that Palm will continue adding features to this new series. Once I get my hands on a GSM edition of the Centro - I travel a fair bit, so CDMA just won't do it for me (and I hate WM) - I'd be reluctant to go back to a full size next-generation Treo to get the power user features that I crave as well.

7
by Roberto (robracca) | Oct 4, 2007 4:55:53 PM

Did I say Palm 500p? I meant Treo 500p. I had a Palm 500 once... it was a long time ago... it was thinner than any Treo... {dream sequence}

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