Dell's Axim X5 PDA gets top marks

Dell's first handheld computer has won praise for its low price and wide range of features

Dell has plunged into the handheld computer market and come up with a winner, according to one of the first reviews, conducted by ZDNet Labs.

The Dell Axim X5 was found to be well-priced, feature-rich and particularly strong on battery life. It doesn't feature cutting-edge technology and isn't particularly small, but these were only minor gripes, according to ZDNet's reviewers.

Despite its low price -- £269 inc. VAT -- the X5 has a full set of features, including a 400MHz XScale processor, 48MB of ROM and 64MB of RAM, a 16-bit transflective display and both CompactFlash Type II and Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMedia Memory (MMC) card slots. A version is available with a 300MHz XScape chip for about £199 inc. VAT.

ZDNet's reviewers found that the performance of the XScale chip ranged from satisfactory to outstanding, despite some glitches with video playback and games. Especially impressive was battery life -- the machine played MP3s for six hours on a single charge, with another hour of normal usage to spare.

On the downside is the X5's chunky size: it is 8.15cm by 12.8cm by 1.8cm and weighs in at 196g. The device doesn't include any fancy technology; Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, for example, must be added through one of the expansion slots.

The full review can be found here.


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