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Comments on: $69 Touchstone Spotted in Best Buy's Computer System

Palm Touchstone AccessoryAs originally reported by Prethinking, a number of Pre accessories have turned up in Best Buy's computer system, including five different cases (three acrylic, one leather and one labeled "Palm Pre case") and - much more interestingly - the "Touchstone Kit", priced @ $69.99, confirming earlier rumours of the wireless charger's price.

It's pretty pricey for a cradle, but at least the use of "Kit" means it's likely that the required replacement battery cover for the Pre is included.

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Most would say $69.99 is $70

SeldomVisitor @ 5/11/2009 7:53:14 AM # Q
Giggle.

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what about it?

xpan @ 5/11/2009 10:06:48 AM # Q
apart from the stone and the usb (maybe) is there any other way to charge it?

if I usb-connect it to get it charged, am I going to be able to accept any calls? If not, then the stone seems to be the only way to charge and accept calls at the same time...
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"home is where my computer is..."

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So it charges the Pre... what about sync?

zuhmir @ 5/11/2009 11:51:05 AM # Q
Does data flow through the Touchstone too?
RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
hkklife @ 5/11/2009 12:11:56 PM # Q
From everything I've been able to gather:

No data or USB connectivity on this Touchstone cradle. But I would not rule that out for a future iteration of the product, especially if this one sells well. I am sure we'll see eventual Touchstone speaker docks, car mounts etc. I still remain very impressed and optimistic about the that device. It really shows that Palm put some very elegant design and thoughtful engineering into what could have otherwise just been a dumb "cradle".

Also, if you dock the Pre in USB mass storage mode (aka "drive mode"), it will NOT receive a call and they will be routed directly to voicemail, according to the Inside Sprint Now blog post from a while back. That's a huge bummer but rather unsurprising, I suppose, especially for those accustomed to putting up with the shortcomings of the telephone side of the Palm OS smartphones over the years.

But this could become very problematic if we start seeing 16 & 32GB Pre out there and/or if the Pre's flash memory is slow to write to while in USB mode. Yet another potential problem that could have been elegantly resolved had Palm not gotten lazy/greedy and given us a simple microSDHC slot.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
pmjoe @ 5/11/2009 12:38:28 PM # Q
What sync? It syncs to the cloud.
RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
palmato @ 5/11/2009 12:48:54 PM # Q
Sync of video and music is done via usb.
--------------------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?
RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
pmjoe @ 5/11/2009 1:09:35 PM # Q
hkklife wrote:
But this could become very problematic if we start seeing 16 & 32GB Pre out there and/or if the Pre's flash memory is slow to write to while in USB mode. Yet another potential problem that could have been elegantly resolved had Palm not gotten lazy/greedy and given us a simple microSDHC slot.

OK, I'm totally missing how a microSDHC slot would be a more elegant solution (it'd still have to be mounted somewhere to read from/write to it). And can you even buy a 32GB microSDHC card yet?
RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
hkklife @ 5/11/2009 3:55:36 PM # Q
Everyone one of my personal computers as well as all of our PCs at work have at LEAST a SDHC-enabled card reader built-in. Eerything but the cheapest of budget Wintel machines and Macs sports a multi-format card reader nowadays.

At the risk of beating a dead horse into a bloody pulp, 32GB SDHC fullsize cards are out now and dropping in price with each passing month so I would assume that 32GB microSDHC cards will be out by the fall, definitely by year-end.....

At any rate, 16GB micro cards are out and plentiful and quite cheap. That's already 2x larger than what the Pre offers built-in. With a removable memory card slot, I could remove the card from my Pre, drag'n drop media to it on my PC, then stick it back in my Pre and (depending on if the battery would need to be removed to access the slow) only have a few seconds of incoming call downtime vs. however long I need to leave the Pre in USB mode. And that's not taking into account the additional flexibility of a card slot for backups, viewing images taken by another camera etc.

Palm's lovely combination of an underwhelming 8GB built-in + with no expansion card slot + no larger capacity model at launch + no incoing calls during USB mode = FAIL in my book.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: So it charges the Pre... what about sync?
pmjoe @ 5/12/2009 9:10:22 AM # Q
hkklife wrote:
With a removable memory card slot, I could remove the card from my Pre, drag'n drop media to it on my PC, then stick it back in my Pre and (depending on if the battery would need to be removed to access the slow) only have a few seconds of incoming call downtime vs. however long I need to leave the Pre in USB mode. And that's not taking into account the additional flexibility of a card slot for backups, viewing images taken by another camera etc.

I'm still not seeing the elegance of this.

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Should've been built into the Pre.

pmjoe @ 5/11/2009 12:55:46 PM # Q
Sorry, but this was just a huge mistake by Palm. I know the parts for inductive charging are a little more expensive than other components, but forcing people to buy the new cover is going to make the Touchstone accessory look even more cost prohibitive than it already should. Plus having it built-in more easily opens the Pre up to other related accessories.
RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
TooMuch @ 5/11/2009 1:57:43 PM # Q
We need some tissue here.
RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
Tuckermaclain @ 5/11/2009 5:42:40 PM # Q
Yeah. There could be so many other SpringBoard modules...er..I mean accessories for it.

I can't see investing $2.5K over 2 years for this thing when I really don't want anything but a PDA and a phone. Just picked up a new unlocked GSM Centro with lots of extra goodies for $148 on e-Bay. I'd use a Pre if my company bought me one but not with my dime in today's economy. I don't need it and I only want it a little.

Palm Classic forever!

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
anika200 @ 5/12/2009 5:57:50 AM # Q
@Tucker
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Cell companies networks and hardware makers keep coming up with clever ways to bilk us out of thousands a year. I am hanging on to my centro which I use without contract on att.

One good thing about EOL products is that the software price sure drops. I paid triple what the apps are selling for now. Thanks developers :)

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
pmjoe @ 5/12/2009 9:21:27 AM # Q
I'm not sure what the replies here have to do with what I said. My point was that if the Pre had inductive charging circuitry built-in, it'd be a lot easier to convince people to buy that really cool $49 touchstone charger for home, and maybe another $49 one later for their car (and maybe another later for their office). Plus, maybe 3rd parties would be more likely to license the technology from Palm (or a "Touchstone Compatible" logo), and produce more novel and/or cheaper solutions since they'd know it works with all Pre devices (if it was built-in).

Tell them up front that it's $69, and they have to replace their cover and whatnot; it becomes a lot less appealing of an initial purchase. If it's an expensive option, 3rd parties will be less likely to support it as well.

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
SeldomVisitor @ 5/12/2009 9:47:02 AM # Q
Is there any conflict between the standard charger and the Touchstone charger?

If the special back is on the Pre does it interfere?

If a user has the Pre plugged into the standard charger and has the special back on, then places the Pre on the Touchstone, is there a problem? [I easily can envision this happening as a user decides to simply place their Pre on the "dock" (Touchstone) without thinking about how they're already charging it]

Anyone got an answer to any/all?

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
hkklife @ 5/12/2009 11:33:31 AM # Q
The "standard" charger included in the box is a conventional microUSB charger that looks nearly identical to that included with the Treo Pro and 800w.

I haven't used one to be certain, but I would HIGHLY doubt the Touchstone replacement battery door being installed on the Pre would interfere in any way with the regular microUSB charger. In fact, some people are looking forward to installing the replacement battery door just to add some needed grippiness to the Pre.

VERY good question, however, in regards to placing it on the Touchstone while plugged in. I would imagine that something (likely the Pre itself) is intelligent enough to realize what's happening. It would not surprise me if they basically give priority to the USB charger over the inductive charger contacts on the back.

If the Touchstone is relatively successful this generation, I could easily see a future device having it as a standard feature. Perhaps even using it as a clear distinguishing factor between the Pre line and the cheaper Eos line.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
SeldomVisitor @ 5/12/2009 11:52:24 AM # Q
When I said "interfere" I meant "electronically interfere", not "physically interfere".

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
hkklife @ 5/12/2009 12:07:54 PM # Q
I assumed you meant "interfere' as in "overheat" or "fail to charge at all due to the presence of 2 chargers".


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Should've been built into the Pre.
twrock @ 5/12/2009 5:07:13 PM # Q
No, there will be no interference.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
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Dumbest accesory ever - and most expensive too

lobotomic @ 5/14/2009 2:10:42 AM # Q
Whoever buys the touchstone is out of his mind. It is nothing but a transformer split in two halves, one in the touchstone, and the other in the new back.

$70 for something which is nothing more than a toothbrush charger, that cannot offer a data connection (so you need a spare USB cable or a real dock) and whose unique advantage seems to be that your phone sits in the horizontal position? It is a useless piece of crap, that's what it is, and an expensive one, at that.

Please, somebody explain any advantages it has over the $10 version with a plastic stand with a USB plug at the bottom of a slot, and any disadvantages of the latter.

RE: Dumbest accesory ever - and most expensive too
jca666us @ 5/14/2009 3:02:12 AM # Q
I agree, but Palm is expecting the Pre to ooze "cool" - so "cool" that you'll need the "cool" $70 induction charger.

No data connection built into the charger? no problem! The pre is so "cool" it syncs to the cloud!

$70 is a ripoff, but Palm needs to start overcharging somewhere if it wants to make enough cash to stay in business.

RE: Dumbest accesory ever - and most expensive too
Tuckermaclain @ 5/14/2009 8:14:08 AM # Q
It is more convenient to charge. One less thing to plug in. I don't sync very often but every night I charge. I can appreciate the ease that it provides. If you wait a few months the generics will pop up on ebay for <$20 delivered. The price of this tech is getting pretty stiff. I'll stick with the Centro coming in the mail today. I must have a half dozen chargers and cradles from my old tx. Net cost= $0.
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iPhone OS 3.0?

CFreymarc @ 5/14/2009 7:51:23 AM # Q
Isn't the release of the 3.0 OS version for the iPhone about this time? I'm sure Steve and company got something in mind to steal thunder when the Pre is launched.
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Giggle...the Touchstone requires the wall charger, too!

SeldomVisitor @ 5/18/2009 3:41:41 AM # Q
Just visited Palm's Touchstone page because of a post I made over on Yahoo about the Touchstone having wires - Palm's ad for it, of course, doesn't show the wires. I was more than a little surprised to read some new words on the page, though, words that for SURE were not on the Touchstone page I'd visited before on Palm's website:

== "...Wall charger provided with Pre is also required for use..."

Oh my.

Giggle.

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