Dell Axim X30 Wi-Fi PocketPC

Consumer IR and Bluetooth, too


The next most significant change is that the operating system has been upgraded to Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, adding support for a landscape display mode. This can even be activated without having to reset the device. Landscape mode is a useful and long-awaited feature that should have been added to Pocket PC a while ago. It makes viewing web pages and Excel graphs far easier than in portrait mode and is great for movies too. In fact, once you've got used to landscape mode, you'll begin to wish it was the default mode with the four shortcut buttons and the navigatin control placed on the longer length of the device rather than the shorter.

However, while landscape mode enhances the likes of Excel, the screen resolution of 320 x 240 is still a limiting factor. Indeed, if VGA resolution was standard by now, I would image more people might be tempted to buy a Pocket PC over a smartphone.

Dell X30 Wi-Fi PocketPC

The X30 is powered by the same 950mAh Lithium-Ion battery as the X3i but the faster processor doesn't seem to have affected battery life too drastically - one of Intel's design goals. Enabling wireless will inevitably drain power more speedily but with sparing use, the device will definitely get you through a working day. With moderate use, on average I had to charge every three days. A plus is that the battery is swappable so you can carry a spare with you, and Dell offers a higher-rated 1800mAh battery for £45.

Verdict

If you're looking for a well-featured PDA, the Axim X30 has a lot going for it. The high clock speed is impressive and with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Consumer IR built in, the only cutting-edge feature absent is VGA resolution. The Dell is lacking on the bundled software front but this would add considerably to the cost. The iPaq hx4700 is better featured but costs a lot more at around £430. By contrast you can pick up the X30 at Expansys for as little as £250 - a bargain if ever there was one. At that price it won't be too painful to pick up a spare long-life battery and an SD card at the same time. And with a one-year warranty as standard, the Dell Axim X30 is highly recommendable. ®

Dell Axim X30
 
Rating 90%
 
Price £270 (inc. VAT)
 
More info The Dell site

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