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We immediately earmarked the Palm Pre as a serious threat to the iPhone when we saw it at CES in January.

Now those credentials will finally be put to the test, with the much-anticipated touchscreen smartphone released in the US this Saturday. Given Palm’s flagging fortunes and the strength of the smartphone market, the $299 Pre may be vital to the company’s survival.

The Pre wowed Las Vegas show-goers at CES in January, with features like its Synergy multitasking system drawing praise. Users can monitor multiple email and social networking accounts via their contacts list, rather than having to access each individually, only needing to log in once.

The Pre also allows switching between windows and programs without losing or saving information.

Other features

It also features a 3.1in touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a 3MP camera plus Wi-Fi, and GPS. However, the 8GB storage capacity is limited compared to its rivals, especially considering the widely mooted new iPhone is expected to boast 32GB memory.

Apple is expected to reveal details of the new iPhone just two days after the Pre hits the shelves at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.  – read more

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