As the launch weekend for Palm's Pre smartphone comes to a close, I wanted to share some additional information about what is the coolest accessory for the Pre, the Touchstone charger.
The Sprint store I was at on Saturday morning didn't get a shipment of Touchstone chargers. Neither did the Best Buy I went to this afternoon. So I started looking at Palm's website thinking I might place an order directly with them.
The funny thing is, Palm is selling not one; not two; but three Touchstone bundles, which I think, is a little miss leading if you are not paying attention to what your getting, what you want to purchase, and what you need to pay to get it.
The $70 Touchstone kit that we've heard about as we went into the weekend is the entry level kit. It comes with the dock and the new back plate for the Pre. There is no power adapter or extra cable in that kit. The $80 kit only comes with the dock, power adapter and cable. The last, and most expensive kit at $140 includes the new Pre back plate, the power adapter, the USB/charge cable, and two docks. Seems to me, it would be great for power users (no pun intended) if Palm had a kit that include the back plate, the dock, and the power adapter and sold if for $90-100. It seems to me that they are really trying to stear you to the $140 kit which really has the parts that I want; but it's just at the wrong price. I can appreciate the fact that Palm is cash strapped, so are we all, but really? An extra $140 for a docking solution? Yes, it is very cool, no doubt. I guess we can justify the purchase of the $140 kit if we use the $100 rebate check we get from Sprint for the Palm Touchstone Dual Location Charging Kit. At least that way, we can say the kit was $40. To be fair, the $70 kit will be fully functional if you use the power adapter and cable that was bundled in with the Pre. The downside is that you will need to pull the USB cable off the Touchstone when you want to sync the Pre to iTunes or side load other media or documents on the Pre when it is in "drive mode." You can also purchase the various parts separately if you wish.
Another option to get the functionality that you want without breaking the bank it to purchase the base Touchstone bundle, for $70.00, and then purchasing a Palm Travel microUSB cable, which only costs $15.00. That might out for me.
The good news is that Palm is providing free standard ground shipping on all order that are over $49.00. If you are thinking about buying Touchstone, that shouldn't be hard to do.
You can check out all the Palm Pre accessories at the online Palm Store.