Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from MacBook Air challengers to Palm's latest smartphone offering.

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By  Imthishan Giado Published  April 25, 2008

Palm Centro

No, this isn't the Treo 500v from January's Inspecting Gadgets, although one could certainly be forgiven for thinking that as the new Palm Centro is virtually identical to its forebear.

Similarities aside, the Centro goes the opposite way to the 500v and uses the PalmOS instead of a Windows Mobile operating system.

While this may lose users who are switching from another Windows Mobile smartphone, most users should be pleased with the operating system, which is consistent from application to application and includes a number of useful apps, such as Google Maps, as standard.

What users won't be pleased with is that many of the flaws of the old 500 remain - the Sim card and MicroSD slot remain trapped beneath the battery, the 1.3 megapixel camera is certainly behind the times and the Blazer internet browser is laughably ancient when compared to Opera and Safari.

The Bluetooth doesn't support AD2P either, but that's not a problem because there is neither a Bluetooth headset or set of earphones included in the box - for shame, Palm.

This may all seem a bit harsh but the truth is that the Centro is actually quite decent and manages its core functionality - phone, e-mail and SMS - quite well, certainly well enough for business users used to clunkier Windows phones.

It's just that it looks and works the same as Palms did in the last century - and in the shiny age of the iPhone, that may no longer be enough.

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