The NDA has lifted, and the reviews of the Palm Pre are in. jkOnTheRun has a full roundup. Very positive across the board, and after skimming through them, I don’t think there are any surprises here. Everything works pretty much as previously discussed. Interface is engaging. Sync grabs everything. The card metaphor for multi-tasking works as advertised (and takes the expected toll on performance and battery). Keyboard is small but there for those who want one. If you were on the fence about the Pre, I don’t think the reviews will sway you against your initial leaning. On the other hand, if you were waiting on confirmation of your first impressions, then I think you’ve got it. However, I did make a couple of fresh observations.
First, I didn’t realize how small this thing was until seeing it being handled by several sets of hands. Those different points of reference emphasize the smaller area compared to the iPhone. Second, the interface is rather cutesy. Nothing wrong with that, but Palm is such a business brand that the shift in direction on the Pre is somewhat jarring, particularly since it has a sleek black case and more traditional Palm-styled keyboard. Hardware looks business but software screams fun and personal. Still, their marketing is hitting the latter points hard, so it should reach the appropriate audience. I expect the Pre to be a crowd-pleaser.