Friday, June 10, 2005

Dell x50v Review

I recently bought a Dell axim x50v. I just wasn't happy with the video, wireless, and gaming performance on my Tungsten T5. I now have an account on aximsite.com (a ppc forum) and have seen hundreds of palm users switching to the x50v. Because of this I decided to right a review of it for those of you thinking of making the switch. Please note this is a very PPC friendly review and that palm has major advantages of windows and vise-versa.

At first site I did not like the looks of the dell x50v. It is black and has a silver edge that travels around the front side off the device. But now that I see it in my hand I have changed my mind. It looks very good. It is made of plastic and the sides are a rubber-like texture so the device doesn't slip out of your hand.

Specs

There are Three models the x50v, x50 (mid), and the x50(low). All look exaclty the same except for the v. the X50v has a 624mhz processor, 64mb of ram, 128mb of rom, windows mobile 2003se, VGA display, wi-fi, bluetooth, microphone, and an intel 2700g graphics accelerator with 16mb of ram.

In the box

In the box is x50v, cd-rom, slip case, charger, cradle, charge adaptor, stylus, battery, manual, and 3d games cd. The slip case is elastic and lined with felt. The case can scratch the shiny black part on the x50v though.

Performance

With the x50v's 624mhz processor and 64mb of ram and 128mb of rom you would think it gets along pretty well, but it doesn't. My x50v suffers from serious lag. It seems that out of nowhere the is just plain old lag. The device runs well but then all of the sudden BANG! you get the little spinning wheel. This may be only my device but it is a serious problem. Dell may fix this in the future though.

Screen

Unfortunately the screen on the x50v is not as saturated as the HP hx4700 (the other device with a VGA screen) But in the x50v's defense the Hx4700 screen has a yellow-blue tint and the x50v screen is pure white. The brightness of the x50v screen is very good, better than my Tungsten T5. I also like how I can turn the backlight completely off by holding the power button.

Video

The video on this device is awesome! I can play videos on my x50v that would require the Tungsten T5 to be overclocked to 2000mhz! I guess that the 2700g graphics accelerator really helps. Unfortunately the only program that plays videos and supports the 2700g is Betaplayer. But betaplayer is a very good program and is free.

Buttons

The x50v has 9 buttons , all of witch can be remaped. All of the buttons could be a little bigger but otherwise I am pleased with their response. First there is the power button on the front. It is backlight and lights green and amber when the device is charging. Unfortunately the paint has been known to come off of the power button. The next three buttons are on the left side of the device. First from top to bottom is the lock button, this botton locks all other bottons and the screen. Next is the wireless button, this button turns on the last wireless function you used, it also turns off the wireless and needs to be pressed twice. after that is the record botton for the microphone. then there are four buttons pluse the D-pad that open various apps.

Battery

The x50v comes with a 1100mah removable battery. I wish this battery was a little bigger, but you can get the extended 2200mah battery for about $100. With this battery I get about three hours of movie playback, and better mp3 playback. There is also an internal backup 30 minute battery.

Software

The x50v comes with the usual windows programs. Dell inludes a few extra apps. First is the switcher bar you can use to close and switch programs. Next is the processor manager that allows you to put the processor in 624mhz, 520mhz, 208mhz and auto. It also includes 2 3D games Stuntcar extreme, And Enigmo.

Cradle

The x50v comes with a very nice cradle. It doesn't have the old blue baclite dell name. But it has a charge LED. The cradle holds the x50v and charges a second battery. It is black plastic with a heavy aluminum base. I like this cradle very much. Palmone should learn from dell. The x50v aslo charges in the cradle with or without being pluged into an a/c outlet. but when charging on usb the device must be off.

expansion

There are two slots. SD/SDIO/MMC, and Compact Flash Type II. It also has VGA out, with an extra $80 cable you can connect this device to projectors, computers, TV's with the VGA cable. You can also go to PPCTechs.com and get the 128 ram upgrade.

Audio

The x50v has a standard audio jack and an internal speaker. The speaker is under the Dpad but could be louder. Headphone audio is very nice, probabley because it uses the same audio chip as ipod. The audio chip has an internal equalizer and you can access this with the free software called x50 mix.

Wireless

The wi-fi has very good range and the Dell wlan utility makes it simple to set up. i have not had a chance to use bluetooth but I connected to my sony erricson T610 with it. Wireless is still not as easy to set up as on a palm device but is accomplishable.

activesync

I like this much better than palm hotsynk. When you set the device in the cradle it automatically syncs and constanly syncs untill you stop it. It works very well and easily with Outlook too.

Conclusion

I really like this divice and will keep it for a while. I wish it had better battery life and a better screen but so far it seems ok. you can get the x50v for around $400-500 dollars. I don't know if the extra $200 is worth the better screen and trakpad on the hx4700, but that is up to you. So, if you are thinking of switching to windows, remember Palm is WAY more simple to use.

-mitch

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ActiveSync is a hit-and-miss proposition. I've never really had any problems with it except when I had to restore a device - I could never get that to work.

Lots of folks I know who went to PPC have had a lot of problems with ActiveSync (crashes, it not even working with their device, etc.). HotSync is definitely a more robust and portable technology, and easier to get working and integrate with.

Let's be honest - syncing is a pain in general, be it Hot or Active. And the standard efforts (SyncML) are really pathetic.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure enough, the paint on my power button has peeled off. Not only that, the four buttons plus the DPad below have also worn off. This is just after a few months of use. I called up Dell and asked about the warranty, and no, it doesn't cover cosmetic issues.

Shouldn't have traded in my Tungsten T3 for this piece of crap. After all, who needs to be reminded of the ugly Windows when they're supposed to be taking a break from their workstations?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Anonymous
The paint peels off? OMG!
My t3 is on fifth exchange and still hizzes, has digitizer problems,... .
I definitely would take tke Axim..if it only ran Palm OS!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous.....

If you're taking a break from your workstation then surely you wouldn't want to be looking at ANY kind of screen.....man, go for a walk, take in some fresh air or something.

You could use your break to walk into town and exchange your x50v for another Palm.

But then I guess you'd have nothing to whine about :P

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Just read your review. I've had my x50v about a year now and i dont think that i could do without it.

I plan everything on it for work and its great when going on long busines trips!

1:54 PM  

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