Palm Pre: Overhyped Nonsense?

Ah, the Palm Pre. It’s the gadget everyone’s been breathless over for months. And as its launch date grows nearer, the worm has turned, sparking some bloggers and opinionists out there to say it’s nothing more than a me-too device that won’t change the smartphone conversation – or Sprint-Nextel Corp.’s viability – one whit.

Boy Genius did a hands-on with the Pre recently and says the form factor is “plasticky,” and “you often hit multiple keys at the same time while typing.” The keyboard is in fact “really frustrating.”

Responding to Boy Genius’ test drive, Crunchgear opines: “After all the magic, all the tears, all the joy, the Palm Pre will be just another phone. It won’t save Palm, it won’t change paradigms, and it won’t send the iPhone hegemony crashing to its knees. The Palm Pre will launch with a whisper, not a bang.”

And Eric Zeman, gadget guru extraordinaire, has this to say: “I was not impressed with the build quality of the pre-production units I used earlier this year. The QWERTY keyboard, in particular, was a little cheap feeling.”

Will the Pre be sleek enough, awesome enough to live up to the hype? Or, more importantly, to consumer expectations? We’ll find out soon.

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