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The Palm Pre is an amazing web device, which is not a big surprise since it uses the Webkit engine – the same one Apple uses for the iPhone. We tested several complex sites with multiple sections and languages – IGN.com, ESPN.com and iGoogle.com – and the Pre rendered the sites perfectly.
Like the iPhone, you 'pinch and spread' to zoom in and out on the page, and when you flick down to scroll through a page, you can press again to stop quickly.
WEB: Best-in-class web browsing is a highlight of the Pre
The web features on the Palm Pre are the best we have seen, even compared to the iPhone and Hero. There are quite a few hidden surprises as well.
For example, you can add a website to cards in the main browser window so you can visit the site quickly.
Rendering is fast and never got bogged down unless - once again - we had too many apps running, which was a common occurrence during our testing (we think the average user won't try to run 30 different apps, start a new email message and browse the web at the same time – so it shouldn't be too much of a problem).
CARDS: You can add bookmarks and place then on homepage cards
We tested another 10 sites and never saw any rendering problems, even when we visited Twitter.com, Last.fm, Pandora.com and several other Web 2.0 sites that tend to break the browser on other smartphones.
SHORCUTS: Add your favourite sites to your shortcuts list
Really, there are only a couple of minor gripes – there is no 'global view' that we found that lets you see all open pages, and we would have liked a back button that shows previously visited sites so we could back up three or four sites before the last one we visited.
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John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.