Dell Puts a Rocket in a PocketPC

Handheld PCs offer small business owners an inexpensive way to organize contacts, meetings and to-do lists. And handhelds that support Bluetooth or Wi-Fi let you wirelessly connect to a variety of peripherals or to your business network no matter where you roam. Dell’s Axim XO PocketPC series offers three new models outfitted with powerful new processors and priced to meet the need of any small business owner.

Priced at $199, $249 and $349, the new Axims are the first Pocket PCs that feature the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, which offers several enhancements over the previous OS; more on that later.

In addition, two models support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies. Bluetooth lets you connect wirelessly to personal computer systems and other Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as mobile phones, GPS receivers, keyboards and other handheld computers. The integrated Wi-Fi lets you connect wirelessly to the Internet via hotspots and local area networks in the office and on the road via Wi-Fi access points.

The Dell Axim X30 series handhelds are powered by Intel’s speedy new PXA270 XScale processors, which offer improved multimedia and power management over older XScale CPUs. When purchasing an Axim X30, you have two speed choices the 312MHz version or 624MHz &#151 &#151 the fastest processor speed available in a handheld.

The lightweight Axims weigh a mere 4.9 ounces and measure a relatively compact 4.82 x 0.59 x 3 inches and feature either 64MB or 32MB of RAM as well as 64MB or 32MB of ROM, depending on the model you choose. All three configurations include a built-in Secure Digital I/O slot for peripheral and memory expansion, a 3.5-inch transflective (a type of flat-panel) TFT color display with a 240 x 320 resolution, a headphone jack and recorder, as well as a scroll dial.

While Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition allows for 640 x 480 (VGA) displays, Dell built the Axims with the standard 240 x 320 resolution capability that handhelds have offered for years. However, you can view the Axim XO display in either portrait or landscape mode thanks to the OS. Other enhancements include a settings panel with a slider that lets you control the size of the fonts.

The $199 and the $249 models come with a travel sync cable, while the very reasonably priced $349 version includes a 624 MHz processor, dual wireless capability and 128MB of memory. Other features include a sync/recharge cradle with an extra battery charge slot that accommodates either a spare standard battery (950 mAh) or an optional high-capacity (1800 mAh) battery ($99).

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