I don’t normally cover smartphone hardware, but today HP started taking orders fro the Palm Pre 2, which is notable because it’s the first device to run the new webOS 2 software.
The Palm Pre 2 is available for $449.99 from HP.com. That’s the price for an unlocked phone. Wireless carriers will probably start offering the phone soon, with deep discounts for customers that sign up for long term service contracts.
The Pre 2 looks a lot like the original Palm Pre and has the same curved design and slide-out keyboard. It has a slightly faster CPU, but the biggest difference is that it runs the latest operating system from HP/Palm — although webOS 2.0 should roll out to older devices soon.
The new operating system packs a number of updates, including support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and Skype (for Verizon customers). It has QuickOffice baked in for viewing office documents. And it has improved multitasking, better integration with web services such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, and more.
You can check out a short video I took recently looking at some of the new features in webOS 2.0 after the break.