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Thread: !!!PDA Dell Axim X51v!!!

  1. #1
    Dell is living through tough times in its history. Since last year

    capitalization had dropped by more than 40%, because of relatively low

    sales growth of PC (the basis of Dellís business). In this conditions

    Dellís management has to undertake unusual steps. Well, recently Dell

    has announced the cooperation with AMD, the fact encouraged Dell shares

    at once. This was just the first step. The company sees the traditional

    PDA market as an optional direction, not a priority. Handheld computers

    by Dell can be developed under several scenarios. The first scenario Ė

    the company sees no prospects on the PDA market and leaves it to spare

    costs. As a matter of fact, in April there were heated discussions and

    rumors in the Internet about Dell leaving the PDA market (discussions

    were activated by the message from pdalive.com). The second scenario Ė

    the company switches to communicators and smartphones from traditional

    PDAs. We think this is more realistic scenario in conditions when the

    management undertakes great steps to restore capitalization. The third

    scenario Ė the company keeps on releasing traditional PDAs. This is the

    least possible way, we think. Remember, the model line hasnít been

    updated more than 1.5 years (Dell Axim X50 was released in October

    2004). Today we tell you about the device, which is an update of the

    old handheld, but not a complete substitute.

    Before we pass to the review, weíd mark distinctive features of the new

    model. Design and appearance havenít been changed, except for new ď1Ē

    on the shell. As for the hardware, Dell X51v is equipped with a new

    flash-memory module with twice as much capacity. Main changes concern

    software: new Windows Mobile version, replaced Bluetooth drivers.

    Thatís all for the changes. As Dell X50v and Dell X51v are almost the

    twins, we resume many parts of the Dell X50v review.

    Dell started its history on the PDA market with the model Dell Axim X5,

    which became the bestseller due to the low price and acceptable

    functionality, even despite of the large size of the device. In many

    respects this very model made many PDA makers to lower prices. Then

    there appear a single-slot wireless solution Dell Axim X3, later on -

    Dell Axim X30. They also played the role in the pricing, however a less

    significant one compared with Dell Axim X5.




    When Pocket PC with VGA-screens came to the market, the prices for Hi-

    End Pocket PC soared by $150-200. It seemed that the prices of the past

    came back. With the appearance of the X50 Dell hit prices on Pocket PC

    making other manufacturers adjust their offer. As the price dumping was

    limited by the US market, vendors lowered prices though, but slightly

    and very slowly. In Europe main competitive devices were offered at

    comparable prices.

    Before the market entrance Dell had been looking long for a contractor,

    which could make large amount of PDA at ultra low costs. Eventually

    they found the Taiwanese company Wistron. Later Dell refused Wistron

    services, Dell X50/X1 are produced by the other company, the Taiwanese

    HTC.




    Currently the situation is the same, almost all ďtopĒ Pocket PC models

    are made by HTC (except for Acer n300).

    The Dell Axim X51 series consists of three handhelds. The X51v; Dell

    X51 520 MHz Ėwith a QVGA-LCD, lower clock rate, lower price, less

    internal memory size; Dell X51 416 MHz Ė more lower price, lower clock

    rate, the lack of the Wi-Fi module. The mid and junior modifications

    belong to mid-range class, they rival with HP iPaq hx2000 series, this

    is the only direct competitor. These models will be interesting for

    those who need PDA functionality and do not care much about screen

    resolution and Wi-Fi module.

    The design of the handheld is good looking, the shell is streamline and

    smooth, with rounded edges and corners, it resembles HP iPaq 4150. The

    shell combines many colors and materials. The back panel smoothly

    spilling over into the side ends is made of uneven black plastic, which

    is pleasant to touch. Due to the material involved and rounded edges

    the devices fits the hand, it doesnít slide, the assembly quality is

    high, there is no backlash. The panels above and below the screen are

    made of glossy black plastic, they become stained with fingerprints,

    but not very much. The canting of the front panel is smooth silver

    plastic. In all, the ergonomics is at high level, itís pleasant to work

    with the device. Taking into account ergonomics and design we consider

    Dell X51v the best model by Dell and one of the best Pocket PCs, it has

    dimensions comparable with Acer n311 (among VGA Pocket PCs only):

    Toshiba e800/e830: 134.6x76.2x15.2 mm, 192 g
    HP iPaq 4700: 131x77x14.9 mm, 186.7 g
    FS Pocket LOOX 720: 122x72x15.2 mm, 170 g
    Asus A730: 117.5x72.8x16.9 mm, 170 g
    Dell X50v: 119x73x16.9 mm, 175 g
    HP iPaq 4150: 113.6x70.6x13.5 mm, 133 g
    Acer n311: 110x70x13.7 mm, 135 g





    We started our tests and noticed at once the first shortcoming - with

    the joystick and application buttons. They have no delay when pressed

    like in FS Pocket LOOX 720 (this problem in the LOOX was solved by an

    exterior utility), but they are too small, so they arenít good while

    playing arcade games, which involve application buttons. If you place

    your thumb at the joystick and the other thumb at the button nearby,

    they will catch each other and interfere, besides you can accidentally

    push the action button located in the middle of the joystick. However

    you can get accustomed to it. Naturally I had no problems with the

    control buttons in ordinary applications.




    On the left there are a hole for the wrist strap, a hold slider to

    block buttons, a voice recorder button and a Wi-Fi button. You can

    reassign all the buttons, however just for a single action or

    application, strange, with standard means itís impossible to program

    several functions for a button (only with exterior utilities).

    On the top you find two expansion slots, IrDA port, standard audio jack

    (with a wire or wireless headset itís possible to use the PDA as the

    IP-phone). The sound in the headphones turned to be not that loud as in

    HP iPaq hx4700, subjectively itís a little bit worse, more flat,

    however you can level it out with some equalizer settings.

    Above the screen a power button is located, it also serves as a battery

    indicator (constantly glowing orange when the battery is almost drained

    out). To the top right is a wireless networking indicator. To the left

    Ė a microphone (a hole with the microphone icon). The recording quality

    of the microphone is average, worse than in FS Pocket LOOX 720, but

    comparable with Asus A730.




    At the bottom there is only a synchronization connector, so you can

    plug a docking station or a synchronization cable. There are two ways

    to charge the device: directly or via the docking station, thatís

    become standard. The back panel hides the battery compartment and the

    reset button.

    Some words about the cradle, itís an ordinary one, black color, nothing

    special. However it has a slot to charge a spare battery.

    Like almost all new handhelds this PDA lacks the camera. We can assert

    the built-in camera proved to be unviable in PDA.

    Screen
    New ďtopĒ Pocket PC models stand out with 640x480 pixel screens. As it

    was forecasted handheld computers with such screens become gradually

    common feature. In quality the screen of Dell X50v is comparable with

    that of Acer n311, Asus A730. The diagonal is 3.7Ē long (56x75 mm).

    There is no wonder, both of them are produced by Sharp under CG-Silicon

    technology. As for viewing angles, color rendering the Dell screen

    loses to FS Pocket LOOX C550/N560, HP iPaq hx4700. The lowest backlight

    level is sufficient to work with the handheld in the dark, however it

    lags behind HP iPaq hx4700 greatly. The screen displays 65K colors. In

    all, the quality of the screen is at a good average level.

    Battery life
    The PDA carries a Li-Ion 1100 mAh battery onboard. This is the minimal

    figure compared to the rivals. Remember that Dell X50v suffered from

    short battery life. Due to new memory organization in Windows Mobile

    5.0 battery life has increased and doesnít seem a serious flaw against

    its competitors.




    Under the maximum load (the highest backlight level and clock rate,

    video playback) the PDA worked for 1 hour 55 minutes. In the read mode

    (the second backlight level, the lowest clock rate) Dell X51v lasted

    for 10 hours 10 minutes. In the MP3-player mode (the screen off, the

    lowest clock rate, playback from the storage card) the device was good

    for 9 hours 25 minutes, much longer compared to Dell X50v. Itís

    possible to double battery life, if you buy an extra battery capacious

    of 2200 mAh. Iíd note there are batteries with even higher capacity.

    Iíd also mark a good optimization for Wi-Fi work Ė after 3 hours of

    listening to the Internet-radio connected via a hot spot (the screen

    off, the lowest clock rate) the battery drained to 50%.

    Interface
    Top Pocket PC models feature the following: a dual extension slot Ė

    Compact Flash Type II and SD/MMC (SDIO), two wireless adapters Ė Wi-Fi

    and Bluetooth, a VGA-screen. Gradually the above-mentioned wireless

    adapters have become typical not only for top models, but also for mid

    -range and low-end handhelds. Step by step we pay less attention to

    them, as they become the integral part like the infrared port (though

    there appear models without an infrared port). You might have noticed

    we havenít mentioned GPS- and 3G/GSM-modules, with them a PDA belongs

    to another category.

    The situation with extension slots is more difficult. All handheld

    computers can be divided into single slot (respectively small

    dimensions, a single SD/MMC slot) and dual slot (larger dimensions,

    SD/MMC and CF slots) devices. Before the appearance of Acer n311 high-

    end Pocket PCs have belonged to the dual slot category.

    What kind of peculiarities we can face with dealing with interfaces,

    and should we focus on them? Weíll try to find out it in brief.

    Compact Flash Type II. Customary it is marked CF. Frankly speaking CF

    slot has two options Ė either there is one or there is none. Dell Axim

    X5 had the problem Ė its slot was too deep inside, so some CF

    peripherals simply didnít reach the contacts. Dell X50v/ X51v donít

    suffer from it. Officially Dell X50v/X51v donít support Microdrive

    cards (with the voltage Ė 3.3v, instead of 5v required by the hard disk

    drive), but they still do work. However there are some problems (they

    work slowly and not always). Usually CF slot is the criterion to buy in

    the following cases: cheap memory of large size, a digital camera with

    CF slot, the need to copy large-size info from one card to another,

    rarely Ė the need of the simultaneous use of CF slot for peripherals

    and SD for memory (for example, for GPS).

    Secure Digital/ MultiMedia Card (SD/MMC). For a long time there have

    been 4GB cards of this format on the market, and soon weíll see 8GB

    cards. The slot supports SDIO (SD Input/Out), i.e. you can plug

    peripheral devices. Dell X50v comes with SDIO support, but I think the

    slot is located too deep inside. This means there might be problems

    like in Dell X5 with CF slot Ė some peripherals wonít access the

    contacts, however we didnít face with this problem. In all, following

    the appearance of larger-size SD cards, price cuts and emergence of

    non-expensive SDIO-equipment, CF slot will be less popular. Many Pocket

    PC users postpone the purchase of a new VGA PDA expecting a single-slot

    handheld with smaller dimensions.

    USB, Serial. Theoretically all new PDA support USB-host (the

    opportunity to plug other devices, for example, a keyboard or a HDD-USB

    drive) at the plate level (processor, graphical accelerator), but not

    all models have a host led to the connector contacts. In this aspect

    Dell X51v doesnít support USB-host, but it can be charged via USB (when

    the PDA is off) like other VGA Pocket PC (Asus A730, HP iPaq hx4700).

    New Dell model supports TTL Serial (not complete RS232). With Card

    Export II program you can use the handheld as a card-reader, copy files

    without installing Active Sync.

    IrDA. An infrared port can differ in speed: Slow Infrared (SIR, 115

    kbps), Fast Infrared (FIR, 4 mbps). There is also Consumer Infrared

    (CIR) that features long distance effect, it can control remotely home

    appliances. We won't go into details, just tell you that there is no

    PDA with full CIR support, only SIR or FIR with different signal power.

    That's why you can use them as a remote control, the maximum active

    distance varies from 20-30 cm to 10 m depending on the chip. The Dell

    handheld works at some 4-5 m distance as a remote control. The IrDA

    window is conveniently located to operate home appliances.

    Bluetooth. The devices supporting Bluetooth 2.0 standard are already

    available, however we still have to be satisfied with Bluetooth 1.1 and

    Bluetooth 1.2 in the PDA. As for the software for Bluetooth, the

    manufacturer has two ways. It can license Broadcom software or use

    Bluetooth support integrated into WM 5.0. Alas, manufacturers gradually

    switch from Broadcom drivers to built-in stack, which affects

    functionality. Unlike Dell X50v Dell X51v has built-in drivers. Iíd

    note that some skilled specialists adjusted Broadcom stack to Dell

    X51v, which works not bad, however such modifications arenít official

    or legal.

    Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b). Dell X51v supports 802.11b standard. At the

    moment PDAs supporting g version are already available. Donít treat it

    as a shortcoming. Is there the need for such speed? Ė The matter is

    being discussed, but manufacturers gradually cut production of b

    chipsets shifting to g ones (this relates first of to the hot spots,

    different adapters for PC and notebooks). Thus, sooner or later PDAs

    will be switched to g, as it is dually compatible with b. Dell X51v has

    good sensitivity of a Wi-Fi signal, and it supports Wi-Fi Protected

    Access (WPA) security standard, which is considered to be safe compared

    to vulnerable WEP standard. You can use the handheld as the IP-phone

    talking on it by wire (the standard 2.5 mm headset with the 2.5-3.5 mm

    adapter, not included in the standard kit) or wireless means.

    With additional adapter (it costs about $50) itís possible to display

    the picture on an external LCD and a 1024x768 pixels projector. The

    Presentation Bundle also contains ClearVue package ??? view PDF

    documents and MS Office files. Itís a great advantage, if you want to

    make mobile presentations.

    Well, weíve done with the story about interfaces.

    Specs, productivity
    There is 49.47 MB RAM available to the user (against 61.78 MB in Dell

    X50v). Thatís enough to cope with almost any task for PDA. You should

    install programs to the storage card or to flash-memory, 195 MB of

    which is available to the user. Larger built-in flash memory size is

    one of the main distinctions in the new PDA.

    The CPU is Intel XScale PXA270 624 MHz processor, the same as in HP

    iPaq hx4700 (FS and Asus have other modification - PXA272 with the

    highest standard clock rate - 520 MHz). The PXA270 processor differs

    from the PXA272 in higher clock rate and it lacks Intel StrataFlash.

    Weíll talk in details about productivity in our comparative review of

    Hi-End Pocket PC. Here letís speak about built-in accelerator 2700G.

    Dell X50v was the first handheld with the integrated accelerator 2700G,

    it seemed to become the mass one. However that didnít happen. Till now

    this accelerator is built in only in the X50v/X51v among PDAs.

    Since the beginning this graphical accelerator had a difficult destiny

    Ė the Dell model showed minimum performance in synthetic tests. In non

    -optimized video players too (till the release of the handheld) the

    situation wasnít better. Naturally everybody was surprised and

    disappointed.

    Well, to the scene comes Intel, which explains results by synthetic

    test packages (see the full test here). The essence is that, currently

    applications (including graphical test packages) and games do not use

    high-level API (Application programming interface) such as GDI , OpenGL

    ES and Direct3D Mobile, so you have to optimize applications to a

    certain hardware (ATI Imageon, Intel 2700G). That means, soon before

    the switch to high-level API applications and games will be divided

    into two camps: one will support graphical accelerators and the other

    won't. This process is familiar to the computer industry, remember

    first graphical accelerators for PC, when games were specially adapted

    to 3Dfx. The same way will follow handheld computers, probably the

    process will take less time, but not an instant. Alas, though the

    process went on, the general situation hasnít changed much.

    Three games optimized to Intel 2700G, optionally supplied with Dell

    X51v. The impression was like the first meeting with 3Dfx many years

    ago: quick, beautiful, uncustomary. Even the graphics level is almost

    the same, as long ago with 3D acceleration on home PC.



    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Itís the port of the popular 3D game about

    skateboarding.



    Stuntcar Extreme. Itís an extreme 3D race. Along with graphics the

    game stands out for the multi-player support via Wi-Fi. You can operate

    your car with the joystick and the touch-screen.





    Enigmo. This is a pseudo 3D nice quiz in the style if the old The

    Incredible Machine. Using different tools you have to deliver jumping

    balls from one vessel to another. Itís possible to build custom levels.

    The game is nice and fascinating.

    Beside these 3 games there arenít many games optimized to 2700G:

    optimized PocketSNES emulator (the way to plenty of SNES games), 3D

    Chopper Fight, GeoRally EX, Quake Mobile 1.2, Quake 3, space shooter

    Solterra. Thatís all, I hope I havenít missed anything. We can add Cube

    too, but this is a 3D engine, not a full featured game.

    Hardware acceleration is supported by 2 program video players.

    TCPMP. The best media player has got the support of Intel 2700G almost

    right after the release of Dell X50v. It revealed its potential at

    once, outpacing in speed ATI accelerator integrated to HP iPaq hx4700,

    which used to be the leader with video playback speed. To say the

    truth, the speed higher than 120% at the heaviest clip is excessive.

    The major advantage isnít related to video processing speed (CPU

    without the graphical accelerator can ensure the normal video

    playback), but to the fact that itís possible to lower CPU speed by

    shifting video decoding to the graphical accelerator and thus increase

    battery life of the device.

    Hardware video decoding also supports Windows Media Player 10.

    2700G accelerator wonít become the standard and soon be replaced by the

    new generation of accelerators. It turns out that we have the minimal

    set of adjusted games, they are good to demonstrate opportunities. The

    users oriented at video and games will choose better Sony PSP than the

    Dell handheld.

    Software
    The PDA is powered by Windows Mobile 5.0. You can read about it in the

    respective review on our site. Remember, the main changes in the new OS

    are focused on better work of Windows Mobile communicators, there are

    little improvements for an ordinary PDA Ė new organization of memory

    (the data wonít be lost at the strong discharge), improved Mobile

    Office. The set of preinstalled programs remained the same, the poor

    one.

    Impression
    Dell X51v is an update of the previous model. Main changes are double

    flash-memory capacity, new Windows Mobile version, replaced Bluetooth

    drivers. Positively, battery life got longer due to new memory

    organization in WM 5.0. In other aspects we have the familiar Dell

    X50v.




    This time Dell hasnít initiated a price revolution, the device costs

    $500 without discount in the US. The situation is witness in Europe,

    the current price in Moscow varies from $470 to $500. Taking into

    account the price/quality ratio Acer n311 looks more attractive, youíd

    better choose the Dell model, if you need high productivity in video

    and games and work with Wi-Fi much.

    Earlier we highlighted short battery life as the main shortcoming, and

    now it is the high price ($500 greatly exceeds the price of Acer n311

    and the new HP iPaq hx4700).


    Description:
    Class: Hi-End;
    Position in the line: above Dell Axim X50v;
    Rival modes: Acer n311, FS Pocket LOOX C550;
    Operating system: Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC;
    Processor: Intel XScale PXA270 624 MHz;
    Graphical accelerator: Intel 2700G;
    RAM: 64 MB (49.47 MB available to the user);
    ROM (to store files and settings): 195.01 MB;
    Connectivity: SD/MMC-slot (SDIO), Compact Flash Type II, IrDA (Consumer

    infrared? SIR), Bluetooth 1.2, IEEE802.11b (Wi-Fi, chip maker Ė Texas

    Instruments), USB for synchronization;
    LCD: 3.7Ē (active zone: 56x75 mm), 640x480 pixels, 65K colors;
    Battery: removable Li-Ion, 1100 mAh;
    Dimensions: 119x73x16.9 mm;
    Weight: 175 g.

  2. #2
    now now..people..anybody seen this

  3. #3
    this ios not fair..it took me while to upload and get this stuff so that u all can see..dnt abash me this way !!

  4. #4
    wow looks good! i like the black one in the middel and the left one next. i dont have too much time lekin i will surely read what you posted. and hey thanks for sharing :-)
    price seems ok as well, lekin is may ek phone daal dain to zyada acha ho ga...coz i dont think you can phone with this haina? or can u? I seriously dont know, i did read what you posted lekin not all so sorry if i am asking something i can read the answer to...

  5. #5
    Thanks ...Will tell

  6. #6
    ok will wait...

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