Introduction First of all before you buy a pda you have to decide between Palm OS or Pocket PC. Palm OS is usually easy to use, they weight much less and of course they are more affordable. Some Palm OS models feature build in digital camera's and other features that Pocket PC models don't have. Pocket PC models are more advanced and are not just for staying organized but playing games and such. Some of the things I noticed about Pocket PC models are 1. The Displays are surprisingly better then the Palm OS Models 2. Pocket PC models usually have two expansion slots, Palm OS pda's such as the sony clie models have only 1 expansion slot. 3. They are more complicated to use then the Palm OS Models. However if you know how to use a actual PC you might want to consider Pocket PC Models. 4. Pocket PC models let you use more advanced features such as Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, MSN Messenger and Microsoft Reader. These will come in to be very handy later on. You may also use the Transcriber expect the keyboard on the screen. With the Transcriber you may actually print words and the PC will recocnize them. this makes writing down notes or other stuff much easier. 5. Pocket PC models have built in speakers for listening to music without headphones or playing games. Palm OS models do not. Affordability O.k. I will ask all of you to open your newspapers and see if you can find a Pocket PC model for under £200. heres a hint, you will be looking for a while. Not only is this the most affordable Pocket PC model out there but it outperforms £300-£500 models out there. Its main competition is the Toshiba e310 and Viewsonic V35. The Toshiba e310 retails for around £230 and the Viewsonic for around £300. The Toshiba e310 is just about the same, even though it might be more portable because it easily weights less I have heard many complaints about this unit breaking down for no reason
about just about everything you can amagine. It will also take a few more dollars out of your wallet. The Viewsonic V35 is just about the same also exept the price which scares people away. So I can easily tell that this is the most affordable unit out there. It might cost less but the features easily compare to a £300 Pocket PC model. Size and Weight This Pocket PC weights about 6.9 Oz. which is a little more then average for a Pocket PC. Usually the weight is not a problem for me so I don't think it will be a problem for you. It might be Pocketsize but you will have to have a big pocket to fit the Dell Axim in. Its height is 5.o4 inches, its depth is .71 inches and the width is 3.21 inches. This is about average for a Pocket PC. Features There are many great features on this pocket pc, first of all there is two expansion slots, the Compact Flash card (type 2) and the Secure Digital Card. Compact Flash will expand your memory (for additional games, music, ect.). Right now i am not sure what the Secure Digital Slot is for. I will update the review once i find out. It also has a built in microphone which just about all the Pocket PC models have. it is made to record short notes. This will also come in handy later on. One of my favorite features in the removable Lithium-ion Battery. This means that when your battery dies out (usually takes 1-2 years), you will not have to send it back to Dell. you can replace it by yourself. this unit also has optional Wireless Network Capabilities. This means that if you want to use the internet on your PDA you will need one. Some Pocket PC models already feature either Bluetooth, Wie-Fi or both. Those models tend to me from a price range from about £500-£800 so you might want to think again before buying them. Unit Description This unit has the following features Basic Model Processor-300Mhz Intel X-Sc
ale Processor Installed Memory-32mb Installed Rom-32mb Display Resolution- 240 X 320 As you can see it has decent Ram to store all your files.It also has 32mb of rom. The 300Mhz processor is fast compared to other models. its competition use mostly 200Mhz processors which tend to be very slow. Advanced Model Processor-400Mhz Intel X-Scale Processor Installed Memory-64mb Ram Installed Rom-32mb Rom Display Resolution 240 X 320 If you can afford the Advanced model for an extra£50 or so I would recommend getting it because of the fact that it has double the space to put your music, games ect. and it also has a 400Mhz processor which is the fastest out there. Everything else is mostly the same. The advanced model also comes with a USB Hotsync Cradle which the Basic Model does not come with. You will have to make an extra £30-£40 investment. Accessories The unit comes with the following accessories -1 Stylus -AC Adapter -Software CD -USB Hotsync Cable As you can see the unit comes with everyhting exept a Hotsync cradle. When I bought my unit it came with a hotsync cradle and a flip case but I bought mine refurbished on ebay and the accessories were included, however if you buy direct from Dell they will not be included. Some Problems With This PDA Of course one of the problems is the Dell Customer Service, I have heard nightmare stories about this and I really hope that this will improve. The £50 Rebate from Dell might make you wait a year if not more. Another problem with this Unit is the Navigation Button is terrible for playing games, so if you are planning to play alot of games you might want to think about it. I think Dell is working on a plan on how to make the Navigation button be more precise. Why Did I Buy this Pda? <
br>There are many reasons that I bought the Dell Axim Basic Unit. The main reason was the price which has decreased over the last month or so. Another reason I bought the Dell Axim pda is because I had a Sony Clie N760C before which I ended up selling because I needed a more advanced unit, this unit was right on my budget.
OK, I admit it. I'm a technophile. I'm one of those people who believe something that has 20 extra buttons and 100 extra functions must be inherently better than something that doesn't. And so the time came to upgrade my basic, and, quite frankly, boring, Palm personal organiser (can't even recall which model it was - but it was black-and-white, and had hardly any memory with no expansion sockets...) And, as many technophiles do, I researched... and researched... and researched. In fact, I read around the subject so much, I almost forgot what it was I wanted one for in the first place. So what did I want? Affordable. Much as I love the top of the range Compaq Ipaq, I don't feel I can justify £500 to my wife. Function. I was sick of just having a portable address book/diary. I wanted easy connection to my PC, I wanted games, I wanted full colour screen, I wanted MP3 playback, and video, and photo storage. I wanted easy storage upgrades. Looks. Less important, but, hey, it has to look good too, right?!! And so after looking through websites and magazines endlessly, I settled on the Dell Axim. Why? If you compare raw power/memory, like for like, you'll see that the Dell Axim X5 Advanced is on a par with the top of the range pocket PCs, such as the IPaq. But it's less than half the price!! In fact, it's the same price as most machines with 1/3 or less of the memory/power capacity. That was the main draw. It also has support for Compact Flash/MMC and SD memory, so I could swap cards from my digital camera (SD), and also buy a cheaper CF card for permanent use in the Axim. Which reminds me - one slight low point of being a technophile is that you tend to "experiment" with your new toy a lot. Buy a large capacity storage card - you'll need it. My 256MB card is already full... In terms of connection to my PC (running XP, a
lthough it works with anything from Win 98 up, I believe), things really couldn't be simpler. The Dell Axim ships with a docking cradle, which looks lovely (with a nice blue light spelling out "Dell" on the front), but, in all fairness, is a bit fiddly to line up with the pocket PC during docking. Once the Axim is connected, the software takes care of updating all the information, synching with Microsoft Outlook 2002 (which is included with the Axim). THis takes care of the business side of things (Address Book, To Do List, Calendar, E-Mail Inbox). Then you can use the ActiveSync programme to add programs or files, use Microsoft MediaPlayer to download MP3s.... the world's your oyster, really. The screen is full colour, and generally brightness is very good. The viewing angle is quite narrow, so you can't really have more than one person watching the screen at a time, but looking directly, you find the images are sharp and the colours are clear. In fact, the output is so bright, I've occasionally used it as a makeshift torch in the dark... Sound quality from the inbuilt speaker is about as bad as you'd expect, but you can certainly recognise tunes etc. (despite slight distortion at higher volumes). Plug in the headphones, however, and you really notice a difference - the quality is fine - not quite CD, but perfectly OK for a portable device. Video playback depends on the compression and size of the original video, but is generally good. I've had a few clips "stutter", but these tend to be the bigger, higher quality ones, and, really, on a screen this size, they should have been compressed more. OK, so, there must be something to moan about, surely. How about the general design of Pocket PC 2003. As everyone knows when you finish with a programme in Windows, you tap the "X" in the top right, and the programme closes. Not in PPC03 it doesn't... It minimizes
. And so does every other programme that you open and then "close". Until, without realising it, you've got 8 programmes running, and a top of the range PPC running close to melt-down. There are free add-ons to easily close programmes down, but, to me, it seems a bit of a design fault in the programming. And sometimes the machine does move very slowly indeed. But then, I suppose we're used to powerful PCs, and this is only 400MHz.... Many people moan about the size of the Axim, saying it's too big to be a handheld. Actually, it's very comparable with the IPaq. Yes, it's chunky, and you'll know it's in your pocket, but I consider that a good thing... I'm less likely to lose it! As to the day to day use of my machine.... Text input is great. It uses one of 4 methods - text input via an onscreen keyboard, character recognition (like Palm-based machines), block recognition (a bit like that too...) and transcriber, which really cleverly takes your handwriting, and converts it to text - even in full sentences. The buttons are recessed, and not easily pressed by accident, although easily usable when needed. It goes without saying that all buttons can be reconfigured, as can the start menu, the desktop background, the sounds.... Battery life is goodish. Expect to get about 6 hours continual multimedia use out of the machine before recharging. (More if you're only using the diary etc.) As a general rule, I charge up each night - it also gives me a chance to download the day's news in the morning. All in all, if you're after a powerful pocket PC, which could easily be considered "top of the range", but at a fraction of the price, head to Dell.