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.
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.
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…).
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.
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.
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:
- Centro Specifications & Comparison Chart
- Palm Centro – the Mini Treo For The Masses
- as well as our Palm Centro News Index
Treonauts always get the finer details…