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Centro Stylus Review

In my Treo 800w review yesterday I noted that the included stylus was perhaps the main disappointment (albeit very minor) in an otherwise stellar smartphone – something that reminded me that the Centro stylus has exactly the same characteristics which I wanted to cover more in depth here.

Centro stylus

The typical complaint arises because the standard stylus for Centro from Palm (above) is made out of plastic – a quality that means that it is very light but at the same time can bend easily in your hand.

Centro stylus - bending

In this respect, as illustrated with the image above, the standard Palm Centro stylus can bend quite a bit when you apply pressure not only with your hands (particularly here where I’m really forcing it) but also more importantly using it daily on your touchscreen.  The natural bending basically means that you can feel a little “bounce” when using the stylus on your Centro.

Personally I’m not super bothered by the whole Centro stylus bending issue as I use the stylus far too infrequently for this to really matter.  Having said this I naturally fully understand how some people using a stylus daily might prefer to use one that is completely rigid instead.

Centro pen stylus

Thankfully there is a very simple solution in the form of the “unbendable” Centro Pen Stylus pictured above – a product that combines both a soft tip stylus at one end (the light grey portion) and a rather convenient black ink pen at the other (accessible by removing the cap pictured below) while the whole is encased in a light but very sturdy aluminium body.

Centro pen stylus cap

Whether you choose to get a set of replacement stylus from the standard Palm range or the above pen stylus (both have exactly the same weight of under 1 gram) you at least also get a fun range of color options.  A Palm Stylus 3 Pack provides two black and one red and the new Palm Stylus 5 Pack provides two black, one red, pink and white. 

The Pen Stylus for its part provides you with four choices (3 pack of the same color) with either black, red, pink or white caps (each stylus conveniently includes two caps just in case you lose it).

Overall, whether you have lost your original Centro stylus, want to get some more colorful ones or simply want a more sturdy pen stylus option the fact is that at least nobody will disagree that a stylus is one of the six most essential accessories for your smarpthone (Treo and Centro).

The other five essential products are listed below:

  1. Centro screen protectors: easy protection for your delicate touchscreen.
  2. Centro stereo adapter: essential if you want to listen to music on the go using a standard 3.5mm headset of your choice.
  3. Retractable Sync & Charge Cable: simple, extremely practical with the retractable system that avoids the mess of cable and terrific value.
  4. Cleaning Cloth: keep it in your pocket every day and use it to quickly wipe those smudges and face oils from your touchscreen.
  5. SanDisk MobileMate SD+ Reader: if like me you cannot live without a high-capacity memory card then I can’t more highly recommend this small and light pocket card reader.

Separately, please note that a sturdy Treo 800w pen stylus should become available shortly and that you can find a full range of Treo stylus in the Treonauts Store.

Treonauts are always full of style

Posted by Andrew on July 16, 2008 at 10:53 AM

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by M | Jul 16, 2008 12:06:40 PM

While the Seidio pen/stylus is very nice while it lasts, beware that the pen cap eventually loosens and makes it impossible to pull the stylus out (because the cap just pulls off, leaving the stylus in your device) without pushing it up from the device after removing the battery door. Mine lasted about 6 months.

by Matt | Jul 16, 2008 1:12:08 PM

M: Thanks, that's exactly what I was wondering. Nice idea, but that is a fundamental flaw. Is there a replacement stylus that is just that and not also a pen?

by TomThumb | Jul 17, 2008 1:34:41 AM

Does the metal interfere with phone reception?

The metal styli for the 680 would noticeably decrease reception when inside the phone. Thus Palm's design for a partially plastic stylus for the 680 and in the case of the Centro, possibly why they chose an entirely plastic stylus. Any test results?

by steve | Jul 21, 2008 3:45:28 PM

I just bought a blue Verizon Centro. Is there a replacement stylus in that color?

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