Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer
dougs

All about my new toy.

Okay, so a couple of people have asked me for more information about the new toy I got today.

It's an XDA Exec, which I've got in replacement for my old XDA. It's been out a couple of weeks. It's a PDA and a phone, essentially, with assorted kinds of Internet access built in. But that's what the old unit was, surely? So why upgrade?

The old unit had a screen resolution of 240x320, in portrait orientation only. This unit is 640x480, and can flip betwen portrait and landscape modes. The landscape mode makes the RDP client (terminal server, remote desktop) almost usable ... which is excellent. It's also got 16-bit colour instead of 12-bit (65536 colours instead of 4096), which makes a surprising amount of difference.

In addition, the new unit opens clamshell-fashion to give me a keyboard -- one of the things that stopped lproven moving on from the Psion 5 was that no more recent unit offered a decent keyboard. This one's not great, but then neither is the Psion's. It's a lot better than tapping away at an on-screen keyboard, and miles better (for me, at least) than the various kinds of handwriting recognition.

It runs Windows Mobile 5, with all the usual applications -- so that's Outlook, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player ... it's got 128MB of Flash, 64MB of RAM, and takes SD cards for more storage, so it's a perfectly good mobile media centre for people who don't mind their MP3 player weighing this much It's got stereo speakers as well as the headphone socket.

And the reason why I set out looking for an upgrade in the first place -- it's got WiFi and Bluetooth, in addition to the phone/modem. So that means I'll find it that much easier to get connected when I'm out and about. But additionally, the old unit only worked over GSM and GPRS, and because it wasn't tri-band, it wouldn't work in the USA. This unit is tri-band, it's also 3G, and works in all sorts of places, including the USA. Those of you who know what's going on will realise that having a unit which works over there is going to become progressively more important for me.

As for prices ... I'm on a contract called "O2 30", which gives me (on the old unit) 30 minutes of voice and 5MB of data per month, and the ability to carry a certain amount of unused capacity over to the following month. Retaining the same contract, the handset upgrade cost me one penny short of £220. I have no doubt I'll use more bandwith over 3G than I did over GPRS/GSM, but we'll see how it goes.

Bear in mind that I've only owned it for about six hours, so this shouldn't be taken as a considered review of the unit. But I like it.
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