From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A brief history of Palm's handhelds

Will the Palm Pre be the last in a storied line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for the once and former Palm, Inc.?

Finally, the Pre



Released by Sprint earlier this month, the Palm Pre is shaping up as Palm's Hail Mary pass--a late-game attempt to regain its former preeminence in the handheld universe.

Based on the completely new WebOS and featuring a slide-down hardware keyboard, a first-rate touchscreen, 8GB of internal storage (but no expansion slot), 3G (EvDO) and multitasking support, and intriguing integration with Web applications and services such as Facebook and Google, the Pre is the most innovative Palm product in more than five years (which is an eternity for a smartphone manufacturer).

At $200 with a two-year contract, it's competitively priced. But will that be enough to battle the iPhone juggernaut (and to stave off competition from BlackBerry and Android competition? Pundits are all over the map on the Pre's prospects: Here's an assessment from someone who thinks that the Pre could be an iPhone killer; and here's the Pre could be an iPhone killer.

What do you think?

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