- ✓Dual expansion slots (SD/MMC and CF)
- ✓compact, elegant design.
- ✕Moderate battery life
- ✕basic software bundle.
Toshiba, a late arrival in the handheld market, has made a big impact with its Pocket PC e570. Built around a 206MHz StrongArm processor with 64MB of SDRAM and 32MB of Flash ROM, the e570 has two expansion slots -- one SD/MMC and one Type II CompactFlash -- as well as an infrared port. Compact and elegant in design, it more than holds its own against the Pocket PC 2002-powered competition.
The 3.5in., 16-bit reflective colour screen is smaller than those used on the first generation of Pocket PCs. However, it is of excellent quality, proving readable in all lighting conditions -- even outdoors. On the other hand, the software bundle is limited almost entirely to the standard Microsoft offerings -- the only additions are a well-conceived application launcher and a utility for conserving card memory. The supplied USB cradle is a solid yet attractive unit -- a serial cradle is available as an option if required. A connector allows you to plug in the charger without going through the cradle, which is useful when you're on the road.
The latter feature is welcome, because the e570's Li-ion battery -- which is not removable -- doesn't last as long as those of its most powerful competitors, such as the latest models from HP and Compaq. However, this is the price you pay for the reduced size and weight of the device.
The SD/MMC and CompactFlash slots are located at the top of the system, and are easy to access. CompactFlash cards, when inserted, are perfectly flush, making it possible to close the cover. SD cards stick out at the top, but there's a gap in the cover to accommodate this.
Toshiba's first Pocket PC device is a success, combining a compact and elegant design with effective operation. It's not as fully featured as some Pocket PC 2002 devices, but that doesn't detract from its appeal.