Thursday, June 3, 2010

Palm Pre Experience

After receiving several emails regarding Verizon's Palm Pre, how about I share my experience with all my readers.

For me the Palm Pre is essentially a phone. The Palm Pre has all the apps to compete with the iPhone and Blackberry products. However, that is not why I purchased it.

The purchase of the Palm Pre was for its WiFi hot spot capabilities. Many mornings as I have my breakfast shake, I turn on the hot spot capability and use the Apple iPad to surf the internet for news and some other sites. Since the iPad is mostly an eReader, there may be a check for another eBook to download for one of the many eReader applications (Kindle, B&N, etc.) on the iPad. If there is no reason to get on the iMac computer for intensive internet searches or downloads, I may do more browsing on the iPad using the Palm Pre hot spot. Depending on the size of the blogging requirement for the day, I can also do a Wandrin blog entry there.

I am not quite ready to give up the Verizon USB760 air card. If I could keep my usage below 5GB, the Palm Pre would be the perfect solution. It would be both a phone and data access. Over the next 20 plus months, I will see. However, by that time there will be new technology to consider.

The major reason for keeping the USB760 is that it has the capability for an exterior antenna. Attaching it to a Wilson truckers antenna with the use of an amplifier improves a weak signal and having access to the internet. (Yup. Would be called an addiction.) In a recent stay near Flagstaff, the Palm Pre reported no signal where via the antenna and amplifier I was able to get two bars.

At one time I had a MacBook and an iMac (desktop). I sold the MacBook and purchased the iPad to replace the MacBook for those times when I wanted a portable method to access the internet. Since the iPad is portable and I can take my portable hot spot (the Palm Pre) with me, I don't have to rely on the free and unsecured Wi-Fi availability -- which is becoming rarer each day.

I have used the Palm Pre as a hot spot for the iMac. Works fine. Just like any other WiFi site -- if the signal is good.

When the Palm Pre is in hot spot mode, it does get quite warm as it requires more power to send the signal to the receiving devices. That additional power usage does drag down the battery. Typically, I charge the Palm Pre every other day -- depending on usage. I haven't seen a need to get another battery. Yet. Considering my limited usage, I don't think the spare battery will be a requirement. The other alternative is to plug in the charger while using the Palm Pre in hot spot mode.

Verizon is in business to make money (surprise). The monthly charge for the USB760 is $60 a month. The voice minutes on my Palm Pre is $40 a month. The charge for data usage on the Palm Pre (accessing the internet and hot spot requirements) is an additional $30 a month for 5GB of data. On top of that are all the taxes and surcharges.

Oh. By the way. I love the Apple iPad. Beats the Kindle as an eReader. There must be a lot of other people loving the iPad. There have been two million units sold in the last two months since I purchased mine on the first day it was available.


  1. I'm considering it and thanks for the info. Of course I do have one more question - how does the response time of the Palm Pre compare to the air card?

  2. Didn't measure the response times... Based on my use of the iPad, the response time to load Yahoo News is what I would have seen with the USB760 on the iMac. With the same signal strength the response should be the same.


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