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This item was bought to use for navigation when walking. I use digital mapping and have used many different units for the mapping, some better than others.
This system is a general PDA and so not the best for taking out on hikes like the Garmin or the Satmap but still does a good job at it.
It is not water proof so if using in this way then it will need a water proof cover to make sure it does not get water damaged. This does then increase price of it but as you can pick one of these up second hand on eBay o Amazon for about £70 this is not such a big deal.
This is a really good buy for a cheaper version of outdoors navigation if you do not want to spend £400 on a unit. For GPS it needs a separate device which connects via Blue tooth and works pretty well. A bit annoying to have to take this out also on hikes though so an all in one is better and this is what you pay the money for.
As for the other uses for ths PDA it is hard for m to comment in detail as it is only used for navigation. I have flicked through the programs and they are the bog standard windows Mobiles, once you have seen one you have seena nd used them all!! The faster OS on this means that things do tend to be quicker and easier to use than the older models.
Follows is the specifications and my reviews on each part:
Installed Memory RAM 64 MB
Operating System Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0
Processor 520 MHz Intel XScale PXA270
Being Windows 5.0 it runs smoothly and will run things like the mapping and audible audio books well.
PC Interface Bluetooth, Infrared, Wi-Fi - This can be connected up to the internet for emails and surfing. I use my iPhone for this and so have not really used the Axim for emails. Bluetooth is good for connecting to things like the GPS unit so that it can be used for car or outdoors navigation.
Color Depth 16-bit (64k colors) - This means the screen is quite clear and colours nice and bright. The only probelm I have is that I am hooked on my iPhone now and going back to the Axim from my iPhone it is quite dissapointing. Its screen is nowhere near what the newer Smartphones are like and so a bit dissappointing there. The mapping is not very clear on this unlike the iPhone and so it is preferable to use the iPhone or anyother smartphone really.
Wireless Capabilities Bluetooth, Built-in Wireless, WLAN 802.11b
Devices Display Technology Transflective Color TFT
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium - Battery life is always a major issue and this battery is really good to be honest. I use it for hours out in the field or on the moors and it last for the time I'm out there which is superb. Some PDAs I've bought hav had a really bad battery life and so caused a problem when trying to use them out in the field it not good. This does pass that test though. If using this for other features then it would easily withstand along day of travelling and no charging point.
Input Method 5-Way Navigator, Microphone, Touch Screen - the navigatordoes tend to get old quickly. The "down" button on it is a but slack and needs a strong long hold for it to work. Mine was bought second hand and so has had usage. Had it been new it probably would not have this problem but somehting to think of if buying new as this will go eventually if used a lot.
Included Accessories AC adapter, Charger Cradle, USB Synchronization Cable - the charger cradle is very smart but it will not charge the device from the computer alone. It will need to be plugged into the computer and the plug at the same time. This is dissapointing as most connecters will charge the item too. However the cradle does look quite posh on the desk!
Built In Music Player MP3 Player
Audio Output 3.5 mm Stereo jack, Built in Speaker - These are tinny as it is only a little device and cant really expect much else!
Processor Speed 520 MHz
Voice-Recorder With Voice Recorder
Processor Type Intel XScale PXA270
Screen Resolution 240 x 320 - this makes not very clear details and if you are used to an iPhone or smart phone then this will be really annoying. I dont particuarly like it as you can not see maps clearly when zooming out.
Depth 1.78 cm
Height 11.94 cm
Width 7.37 cm
Weight 167.27 Gram
Screen Size 3.5 Inch
The unit is a nice size and sits very well in your hand. Te screen is a nice size and means you can see a nice lot of information at any one time. The item is very light for what it can do and so nice to carry on walks or business. It is larger than a phone so a little bulky but its weight is less than a phone and so does not weigh your bag down.
The screen is touch screen and so nice to use, there is a stylus on the side which is hidden and secured nicely in the unit and no chance of losing it like some units.
All in all it really depends on what you want from this unit. For a cheap out doors navigation device it is fine and works okay but lacks the speed and detail of smart phones. For word and excell type programs it is quite fast and works very well.
It looks very smart and professional and I can see why it would be used for lots of businesses. It is so light that it can easily be placed in a ruck sack for hiking and so gets my vote for that.
If you have not been spoilt by the iPhone or other smart phones then this is brilliant. However it has taken a back seat since the purchase of my iPhone as it is frustrating when the OS is slow and the display not very good.
However most things have taken a back since since being bitten by the iPhone bug and it is hard to rave about things like the Axim when there are units out there which are so much better.
This is cheap though!!!!
Probably the most useful gadget I have ever owned! Seriously! My Axim X51 has the PXA270 processor running at 416MHz with 64Mb RAM and 128Mb ROM. What this all means is that it is surprisingly fast and handles most tasks easily. I have, in the past, tried a GPS receiver with it and it functioned quite adequately as a satnav, although not brilliant. it uses TomTom software and maps, so the info is pretty good. The unit comes with mobile versions of Word and Excel, which is very useful. it has a voice recording function. I have used it to record my band but never sure how to extend the record time beyond the standard 500 seconds. Having said that, the record quality is very good and it can record in stereo Wav up to 44,100Hz at 16 bits. The memo function also allows (as does Word) for handwriting recognition so you can write and it either appears on screen in handwriting or can transpose it into print.
The touchscreen is surprisingly effective, considering this model is about five years old now. The unit also has bluetooth and I have managed to transfer all of my telephone contacts over and stored them. It has the address book function, as well as the calendar. It also has email and, with a suitable card (the top of the range has WiFi built in) one can access the internet through suitable WiFi access point. When on the internet, it browses pretty fast.
The really useful feature is the use of Microsoft Activesync whereby I can connect the unit (via the supplied base unit) to my computer in work (you can add one more sync location) and it automatically dowmnloads all of my contacts, mobile favourites and appointments, so that I have the appointment reminder come up on my PDA even when not in work.
It also has a (windows) media player and photo viewer built in. It will accept SD card and CF card in separate slots. I use the SD for the WiFi card.
The battery life is not bad but I understand you can get bigger capacity batteries for this.
All in all, a very useful and reasonably priced unit.
The Dell Axim X51 is the ultimate handheld device that delivers style and outstanding features at an affordable price.