A reliable helper
“So much Palm in such a small case?” And “Oh dear, on this mouse keyboard should be typed?”, These were my first thoughts when unpacking the new Palm Centro . Palm users have been accustomed to harsh devices to date, but the Centro is barely more conspicuous than a mobile phone and with its 108x54x19 millimeters well in the hand. The black case in the piano-lacquer look with silver-colored waist I found immediately, even if it is somewhat prone to fingerprints. My concern about the small keyboard was, by the way, unfounded, for with a little practice, the writing went quite fast. The fastest when you type with both thumbs;The clear pressure point and the grippy, rubbery buttons help.
Display & Mute
The 4×4 centimeter edge length makes the touch screen not the largest, but both the luminance and the high resolution of 320×320 pixels give a crisp image that is also clearly visible outside the office. Provided you do not keep the Centro exactly in the sun. Practical is also the mechanical mute switch on the top of the device-even in the dark cinema you can mute the device with a snap, and for confirmation it vibrates again.
Navigation & Synchronization
One of the absolute strengths of the Centro is its fast and intuitive operation. Whether with navigation buttons or on the touch screen – adding new appointments and contacts is only a secondary issue, there are no waiting times. So if you do not have sausage fingers, the built-in stylus (pen) can usually be plugged. Just synonymous with the PalmSuite running under Windows XP, synonymous only with Mac OS X Leopard, I gave up after about an hour unsuccessful. In addition to the classic PIM features, I particularly like the applications for writing SMS, MMS and e-mails – this is fun because it is fast.
Batteries The Centro plays MP3s sound clean and balanced, but a jack adapter (2.5 to 3.5 millimeters) is needed. The built-in loudspeaker is very loud, which I found when navigating with a TomTom in the car very handy. The recharge time is certainly enough for a stressful working day with Bluetooth headset, periodic retrieval of e-mails and SMS writing; After three days at the latest, however, even with limited use, it is likely to be the end.
With a microSD card, the Centro memory can be extended to 8 GB; More I have not tried, and according to the operating instructions work only 4 GB. What bothers me, however, is the fiddly change of the microSD card, because for this, the lid on the back of the device must be subtracted. Normal SD cards are simply “more gripping” and are accepted by most card readers without adapters, but the trend to small memory cards is probably not to be stopped.
Camera & Net
The weaknesses of the Palm Centro also includes the integrated camera, which with 1.3 megapixels only snappy images snip. Furthermore, the surfing due to lack of UMTS or WLAN and the for this case then but small displays are not really fun. Although I find it completely sufficient, in order to look for example on the train website after the next train connection or other Smartphone-optimized sides to steer, but YouTube Vidos or other, normal sides one does not look at the Centro better. In addition, I have, in order not to rely on expensive GPRS or EDGE at home, a Bluetooth Internet Acces Point hangs in the network-range and speed are not as good as with WLAN, but it is enough and even works through a wall.
Additional software & Conclusion Additional software for the Centro, which has not crashed me in the 14-day test period by the way, is in abundance: Whether geocaching or on the way to the next business date (Bluetooth GPS mouse is additionally required ), To learn vocabulary, or to have Office files on the go-for almost every application a corresponding software is available. So if you are looking for a reliable and easy-to-use electronic helper, but not too much emphasis on multimedial applications but on a reasonable price/performance ratio, the Palm Centro will be happy.