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It's Official: Palm Pre $199.99, Shipping June 9

The Palm Pre, arguably the most buzzed-about smartphone since the iPhone, will land at Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Wal-Mart on June 9. The price of admission: $199.99, after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.

Sprint will offer the Pre with its Everything Data plans: $69.99 per month for unlimited data and 450 anytime minutes or $89.99 for unlimited data and 900 anytime minutes. I'm assuming you'll also be able to choose the Simply Everything plan, which for $99.99 monthly gives you unlimited everything.

So, why all the pre-Pre hype? For starters, the phone has a slide-out keyboard. But the real attraction is Palm's webOS, which provides true multitasking by way of "activity cards" that you can drag to rearrange or flick to close.

There's also the unfortunately named Synergy, which keeps your calendar and contacts in sync with Outlook, Facebook, the Web, and other locales. Seriously, Palm? Synergy?
I don't mind telling you that Dave and I are co-authoring a book about the Palm Pre, so we'll be bringing you plenty of tips and hacks in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the device? Is it just the anti-iPhone you've been waiting for? Were you hoping for more affordable monthly plans? Sound off in the Comments. [Palm Pre]

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