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  (Source: HP/Palm)

HP's Palm Pre 2 features webOS 2.0 and improved internals, but only packs a tiny 3.1-inch 320x480 display.  (Source: HP/Palm)
New device features a tiny 320x480 and won't launch in the U.S. until next month -- what is HP thinking?

Today Palm ended weeks of speculation unveiling the Palm Pre 2 (previously code-named Mansion) and its new webOS 2.0.  HP has shown its hand and it appears as underwhelming at best.

On the surface the device itself seems reasonably well-equipped, containing the kind of high-end hardware you'd find on a high-end Android phone.  The phone packs a 1 GHz processor (doubling the original Pre's processor which was underclocked to 500 MHz).  The camera is bumped from 3 MP to 5 MP.  Memory holds steady at 512 MB -- the same as the Pre Plus.  And the Flash storage -- 16 GB -- is also identical to the Pre Plus'.

The biggest disappointment is the screen.  The Pre 2 still packs the same 3.1-inch 320x480  HVGA display as its predecessor, at a time when Android and Apple have graduated to higher resolutions.  Other potential downside is the lack of microSD support and the lack of support for the latest/fastest 802.11n wireless standard.

If this was Hewlett-Packard's grand scheme to use its recent acquisition Palm to make a splash on the smart phone market, something seems to be missing. 

Compare Palm's launch today with Microsoft's launch of Windows Phone 7 next month and you'll realize that Palm is at a distinct disadvantage.  Palm only has one new handset -- Microsoft has nine (as does Android, for that matter).  Palm supports apps (including Angry Birds and Oprah Mobile!), Skype, Bluetooth, and VPN, but Microsoft is expected to support these things as well (and Android already does).

One of the only advantages that Palm holds over Microsoft is that webOS 2.0, features a refined version of true multitasking, which is available for both third party and built-in apps.  Windows Phone 7 is expected to only support multitasking for built-in apps, not for third party apps.  Then again, the iOS and Android platforms already support true multitasking, so Palm is hardly in a league of its own here.

The success or failure of the Pre 2 ultimately matters little to HP, other than perhaps as a matter of pride (it's chief rival Dell is designing/launching multiple upcoming Android and Windows Phone 7 smart phones).  HP can afford to sustain Palm even if the experiment isn't working out, in interest of one day trying to conquer the phone market.

But in the face of a fast-advancing smart phone market, HP needs to do something at some point if it ever wants to get ahead -- more handsets -- better hardware than its competitors -- some decisive advantage.  That something is not the Palm Pre 2 -- a single smart phone with a tiny, low-resolution screen and lack of brand recognition. 

But HP seems determined to go its own way and will launch the device into the packed market anyways.  The Pre 2 will launch Friday in France and in "coming months" in the United States and Canada.


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RE: Interum Release
By VitalyTheUnknown on 10/19/2010 4:28:36 PM , Rating: 0
This is an example on why idiots on public forums should refrain from their opinion on things that they completely do not understand.

Color depth was previous referred to by the total number of colors that the screen can render, but when referring to LCD panels the number of levels that each color can render is used instead. This can make things difficult to understand, but to demonstrate, we will look at the mathematics of it. For example, 24-bit or true color is comprised of three colors each with 8-bits of color. Mathematically, this is represented as:
2^8 x 2^8 x 2^8 = 256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216

High-speed LCD monitors typically reduce the number of bits for each color to 6 instead of the standard 8. This 6-bit color will generate far fewer colors than 8-bit as we see when we do the math:
2^6 x 2^6 x 2^6 = 64 x 64 x 64 = 262,144

This is far fewer than the true color display such that it would be noticeable to the human eye. To get around this problem, the manufacturers employ a technique referred to as dithering. This is an effect where nearby pixels use slightly varying shades or color that trick the human eye into perceiving the desired color even though it isn't truly that color. A color newspaper photo is a good way to see this effect in practice. (In print the effect is called half-tones.) By using this technique, the manufacturers claim to achieve a color depth close to that of the true color displays.

sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_depth
http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/a/LCDCo...


RE: Interum Release
By inighthawki on 10/19/2010 7:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for copy and pasting information from another website. We all know what color depth and dithering is.

Also, you completely changed the definition of the OP's comment. He referred to 16-bit color as the total color depth, not the 8v6 bit you are talking about. It is you who sounds like an idiot intermixing two definitions then blaming others for not understanding.


RE: Interum Release
By VitalyTheUnknown on 10/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Interum Release
By inighthawki on 10/19/2010 8:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to:
quote:
The EVO and incredible and Nexus one are just plain old 16 bit displays.

to which you responded with:
quote:
Most LCD panels for TV and computer monitors are 8 bit and you are not satisfied with 16 bit on tiny 3.2-4.3 inch screens, this is ridiculous.

to which you took out of context and changed definitions. Also I would apologize since I did not think before osting that when in fact I meant 24-bit. I am very used to working in 32-bit color models specifying an alpha channel in graphics programming.


RE: Interum Release
By dsumanik on 10/20/10, Rating: 0
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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