I swung by DigitalLife this afternoon and checked out the two big hardware introductions at the show, the Gateway One and the Palm Centro and came away with more favorable impressions. The Gateway One looks a bit like the iMac might have if Apple had continued with the polycarbonate gloss but made it black. It’s more wedge-like than the iMac’s thin “where’s the computer?” look, but may just be the best-looking desktop PC in the market. The multifunction power brick, by the way, is massive but, hey, so is the Xbox 360’s and you can’t plug a tanning lamp into it.
The Palm Centro looks better in black than red and the keyboard, while small, wasn’t that bad even under my large fingers, although part of that may be my greater experience with inferior keyboards in the past few years. I still don’t think the sub-$100 crowd will see a lot of the remaining value left in Palm OS as the consider the Centro versus Sidekicks, EnVs and slim Windows Mobile smartphones with QWERTY keyboards, but EV-DO is a nice plus and the integrated instant messaging looked nice from a cursory glance.