#PalmPre Touchstone - The Good and The Bad

When I picked up my Palm Pre on its launch day of June 6, the store I went to had 25 Pre, but only 3 of their Touchstone charger, so I had to order one.  If you're not familiar with the Touchstone, it is a charging base for the Pre that uses a special battey cover to magnetically couple the Pre to the charger and charge the device.  Personally, I am a big fan of charging docks and have several of them for my Blackberry Bold.  They're nice because you can just drop your phone into (or in the case of the Touchstone, ON) the charger and the device will be charged.  Very easy to use without having to worry about having the cord drop behind the desk or even worse, damage the USB connector by constantly plugging and unplugging the cord from the device. As a charger dock, the Touchstone works very well.  It has a "micro-suction" base that let's it stick to the desk or table so that it stays in place when you pick the Pre up from it, which is very nice.  With other docks, I've had to use FunTack to keep the docks from moving around on me.  Very nice attention to detail Palm!  The Touchstone is angled so that it is viewable without having to be directly above it and it can hold the Pre in portrait or landscape orientation. This is nice when you want to take advantage of the media capabilities and watch a movie or even Sprint TV.  The magnets in the Touchstone hold the Pre firmly without being too strong, so it's easy to pick-up the Pre when you're ready to roll.

Like many charging docks, you still need to provide a power source with the Touchstone. And here is where I started to have issues.  I have had a number of phones that used the micro-USB port for charging, so I had a few AC adapters in my drawer.  All of them worked great when charging the Pre using the USB port on the side of the phone.  But when I plugged any of them into the Touchstone, the phone wouldn't charge.  Even those that had the exact same power output as the USB wall converter that ships with the Pre.  Interestingly, I also had another USB wall adapter that met the same specifications as the Palm version and that would not work with the Touchstone either. In most cases the Pre would switch between charging and not charging every few seconds.

So I'm stuck using the Palm USB wall adapter and the micro-USB cable that came with the Pre to use the Touchstone.  That wasn't the situation I had envisioned, but it is quite workable.

Would I recommend the Touchstone charger? Yes.  It makes charging the device quite easy and much simplier than plugging into the side of the phone.  Just set it down and it will make a sound telling you its charging.  When you're ready to go, just grab it.  Nothing more to do. Now go power up the device - its hungry! :-)

Sorry for the lateness of this review.  Somehow it got caught in the drafts folder of Wordpress and didn't get published back in June when I originally wrote it...