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Dell Axim X50v Device Spotlight

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Not Much Happening Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:53 pm
Well, I apologize for not posting more information, but I have not had a lot of spare time. Hopefully, I will be able to post some more information. I really need to finish testing by the end of this week because the T5 or the X50v needs to be returned, so expect more information soon.

Best regards,
Lance
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Installing Some Software Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:51 pm
Today, I have taken some time to install some software on the X50v. Some of the titles are as follows:
  1. 1-Calc 2.0: Excellent calculator.
  2. AvantGo 3.3.1302: Does not work with company's firewall, so I will have to wait and test it at home. The Palm version works without any problems.
  3. Betaplayer 0.093a: Works really well playing back the XVid videos I encoded for MMPlayer on the Palm.
  4. GSPlayer 2.09: Simple audio player for MP3, OGG, and WAV playback.
  5. Resco Explorer 2003 5.10: Excellent file manager.
  6. Resco Photo Viewer 5.0: Excellent photo viewer.
  7. SE_VGA 1.01: A must have for 640x480 (VGA) devices. This gives you true VGA resolution which maximizes the true value of a VGA device. Not ideal for everything because the text can get very small, but it works well for spreadsheets and surfing the web. If your eye sight is good, it can be used for even more. I have the screen font turned up as large as it will go, and I am able to navigate most applications.
  8. Wisbar Advance 2 2.0.1.6: Excellent toolbar that lets me go from one task to the other. In addition, it actually closes the application when you want to close it.
Special thanks to Spiral and PixelPusher for software and site recommendations.

In addition to software, I have been able to play with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. I got it working with my Sony Ericcson T616 via Bluetooth to surf the Internet. In addition, I got it working fine with my wireless network at home. I had to take my WEP security down to 64-bit, since the X50v did not seem to support 128-bit. For those wondering, I use a Netgear 802.11g router.

All-in-all, everything has been working out real well. I have been more than pleasantly surprised by my experience thus far. In fact, I have not had to reset the device except for software installations that required me to do so. I have even tried the new PalmOne Universal Wireless Keyboard, and it has worked well.

Best regards,
Lance
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Battery Life - Part 2 Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:47 pm
The Dell X50v played the video for 2 hours and 35 minutes with the standard battery (1100 mAh). The PalmOne Tungsten T5 lasted 3 hours and 40 minutes, and the PalmOne Tungsten T3 lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes

I added some pictures of the Dell Axim X50v. There are some comparison pictures between the Dell and the PalmOne Tungsten T5.

Click Here for Pictures

Best regards,
Lance
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Battery Life - Part 1 Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:46 pm
I have been pretty busy last night and this morning, so I have not had a chance to write down my thoughts. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to spend some time (albeit abbreviated) with the X50v. I have taken the time to connect to the Internet via built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition, I have installed various applications in order to get the most out of the X50v. I will share more later.

As for the battery life, it looks as though the battery level was at 62% after 1 hour of video playback. At 1 hour and 30 minutes, it was 43%. Since the percentages on the battery level versus actual battery life were a little distorted on the Tungsten T5, I will reserve the comparison until the X50v quits playing. Smile Thank you.

Best regards,
Lance
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Initial Setup with ActiveSync Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:44 pm
I came into work this morning and successfully synchronized my data without doing a thing. ActiveSync provides similar functionality as HotSync, except ActiveSync automatically synchronizes with the device without manually initiating the sync. I must admit that this is a nice feature. I even took the X50v out of the cradle, responded to an e-mail, and then put it back it the cradle. ActiveSync automatically picked up the new e-mail and sent it. In addition, whenever I delete e-mail or get new e-mail, it almost immediately syncs with the X50v. This feature appears to work as well for anything that I have in Outlook.

One thing about ActiveSync, it appears you have to use Outlook with ActiveSync. This may not be the case if you use third-party applications, but I get that impression from the default installation on the bundled CD. The CD guides you through two steps: (1) installing Outlook and (2) installing ActiveSync. I already use Outlook, so I do not have any associated learning curve with Outlook.

I am currently in the middle of testing the battery on the X50v. For those who followed my Tungsten T5 battery test, I am playing Finding Nemo using BetaPlayer 0.093a with brightness at 50% with the volume set at 60%, which is very close to the setings for the T5. The T5 lasted approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes. We will see what happens on the X50v.

Best regards,
Lance
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Finished Charging Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:40 pm
The eight-hour charge period is over, and I finally got to spend some time using the X50v. I must say that my initial impressions are favorable of this device.

Take care,
Lance
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Received My Dell Axim X50v Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:40 pm
Well, I just received the Dell X50v via UPS this morning. Initial impressions of the hardware are simply, "Wow!" I was not expecting it to be so small, and this is one of most solid PPC devices I have held in my hand. The 5-way navigation pad and four application buttons seem a little small, but I will wait until I actually get some use out of them to determine their usability. The cradle is nice, and there is a place to charge a spare battery. One thing that I will elaborate on later is the actual connection of the device. It functions well, but it is different than what I expected. It will take pictures to actually describe my thoughts clearly.

My box contained the handheld, a slip case, a charging cable, a cradle, a device connector, a quick start guide, a user manual, and an installation CD. The device connector is used with the charging cable to charge the device. The cradle uses the same charging cable to charge the device in the cradle and to charge the spare battery (not included).

I successfully installed ActiveSync, and I have successfullly connected to the X50v and synchronized my data.

Unfortunately, the manual instructed me to charge my unit for 8 hours before using, so I guess I will share more later this evening or tomorrow. Fortunately, I have sneaked a few glances at the screen, and it is gorgeous! Eight hours will not pass soon enough! Smile

Take care,
Lance
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Little Background Information Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:39 pm
I am getting a little anxious this weekend. I will receiving my Dell Axim X50v this Monday, and this will be my first in-depth experience with a PPC device. I have had PPC acquaintances before with a few iPaqs and a Dell Axim, but this will be the first time that I will use it as my primary handheld for any length of time. In previous encounters, I just casually went through the basic features of the PPC devices with a less-than-impressed feeling with the usability of any of them. I realize things do change, so I thought it was time to look at a PPC device, again. This time, I plan on looking deeper into the PPC experience by making it my primary device while I try to optimize the device for my personal use. I realize this will take extra time up front because I am not as familiar with the PPC devices and their nuisances, but I plan to give it an honest attempt without making any early judgements based on the less-than-successful experiences that I have had in the past.

Just to give you a liitle background on my handheld experience, I have been a faithful Palm OS user ever since the original Palm Pilot became available in 1996. Here is my historical device ownership record:
  1. Palm Pilot
  2. Palm Personal
  3. Palm Professional
  4. Palm III
  5. Palm IIIx
  6. Palm IIIxe
  7. Palm M505
  8. Palm M515
  9. Sony Clie T665C
  10. Sony Clie NR70V
  11. Sony Clie NX70
  12. Palm Tungsten T
  13. Palm Tungsten T2
  14. Palm Tungsten T3
  15. Tapwave Zodiac 2
  16. Palm Tungsten T5
I was sold on the Palm with my first device. I believe it to be a simple, yet powerful solution for the busy lifestyle led by so many people in today's ever-changing world. It provides order in the chaos, and it does so in an unobstrusive and natural manner. I support over 70 Palm users in my company, and most users took advantage of its power within hours of getting it setup on their computer. The solution provided by Palm just works right out of the box. In fact, there is very little support needed after the initial setup of the device.

As you can tell, I have a strong Palm background, and I do have a strong bias towards Palm and the solution they provide. Thus, I will have to make a conscience effort to make a fair assessment of the PPC experience. I realize it will not be easy, but I owe it to myself, and others out there like me, to look honestly into the solution the PPC platform provides.

Since I am a little behind the power curve on the PPC platform, any support from experienced PPC users is welcome. To share any information with me, just click on Contact Me at the top of the page.

Thank you, and I look forward to sharing my experience with you over the next several weeks.

Best regards,
Lance
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