In all the topics I've reviewed in, PDAs/Pocket PCs, this is not one I am familiar with. But here goes.
I bought this PDA of a friend; it came installed with Windows Mobile 5.1 as included as a free upgrade by dell from the 2003 version. I used the features of the PDA quite extensively and dislike the device a lot but for the price I got it for it was not too bad.
First off the processer is not too good; it doesn't do video very well at all and really needs to be in high performance to make the PDA any decent speed, which rapes your battery life something chronic. Quite graphic intensive applications such as PointUI's Home 2 do not run very well at all, as a result I uninstalled.
The device I bought came with a dock, a decent and a cheap spare battery as well as a carry case, a worn stylus and the install CDs plus a manual. After having some trouble with the device I updated the ROM from A01 to A02 which now makes it run a lot smoother. The device also has WLAN and Bluetooth as well as GPS software which is unusable due to the lack of a GPS receiver.
The WLAN is not too great either, it doesn't support WPA2 and does not seem to like WPA either even when I did the setup manually and input the IP/DNS information. I can't figure out whether WPA2 support is lacking due to the OS or the wireless card/chip but for now the USB sync suits me fine for the internet on my device.
The Bluetooth ability is however superb and was easy to set up and supports Windows SideShow very well and transfers files well, albeit very slow due to the limits of Bluetooth technology.
The screen is very durable and has not had any screen protector on it what-so-ever but it does not show marks at all. The stylus, as with all, is fiddly and rubbish; roll on a Windows Mobile OS with stylus-free interface like the iPhone and most other smart phones on the market.
The device lacks SDHC support due to the OS and Dell in their wisdom does not offer Windows Mobile 6 to purchase or as a free download so us Axim owners are stuck with an old and sometimes temperamental OS.
Overall though a rugged little device which still seems to be quite popular given its age and lack of modern features. If you can get this device cheap, like me (£40), then a definite purchase for anyone looking for just a PDA. Make sure to get extra batteries if you use the WLAN and/or Bluetooth which rapes battery power endlessly, plus a docking station might also be handy to sync and charge your device with your PC.
Dell Axim X50 Series is the ultimate handheld device that delivers performance and connectivity at an affordable price.