Q. Hi Judie,
I’m writing to you because I’ve read on geardiary that someone asked you for advice on buying a PDA; I have a couple of doubts in buying my first PDA and I was wondering if you could help me…
The first and basic use I would give to this PDA is internet surfing, emailing (both by WiFi), and reading books (in .pdf mostly). But this is not the only reason why I want a PDA: I’m looking for a powerful PDA were I could listen to music, see movies, use 3rd party software, transfer files wirelessly with my notebook, and the possibility to upgrade it with a GPS compact flash card.
I was researching through the internet and my choices were between the Dell Axim X51v and The iPAQ hx2495. Do you know of any other device (that run under Windows Mobile) that, in some way, matches my requests?
I thought the Dell Axim x51v was the right one, but then I read that VGA-PDAs are slower than QVGA and that it’s Bluetooth capacity was not for transferring files, only for syncing. Is that really so?
Another question: does it really make a lot of difference between having a VGA-PDA and a QVGA-PDA???
I hope that this abuse of confidence hasn’t bothered you, please excuse me for asking you all these questions, but I have nobody of trust to ask. I’ve been reading your reviews for quite a long time, and I trust your opinions.
Thank you very much for your time.
Best wishes from Argentina,
PS: please excuse my lousy English, I haven’t practiced it for quite a long time.
A. Hi Andres, Judie has just pulled an all-nighter with the Virtual Keyboard review, so she asked me if I could answer this question for you. I have owned the Axim X50v (which is almost identical to the X51v) so hopefully I can answer your questions.
First off you have picked two solid PDAs which will both perform your desired tasks quite well. Each has WiFi, Bluetooth, both Compact Flash and SD slots, and Windows Mobile 5. For you, the primary difference will be the screen size and resolution, processor speed, and the integrated graphics chip.
The Axim X51v is ahead of the hx2495 in all three areas, with its VGA screen, fast 624Mhz processor and integrated graphics chip for high performance video. You were correct when you said that some VGA PDAs are slower than QVGA ones, but in general usage with my Axim X50v with Windows Mobile 5 I found it quite fast for most applications.
In your question you said that you wanted the PDA for internet browsing, reading books, watching movies, and possibly for GPS, and for all these activities a large high resolution screen would be ideal. Again the Axim comes out ahead, with a slightly larger screen (3.7 vs. 3.5) and its VGA display.
Because of the higher resolution you can set the text size in Internet Explorer so that you can view more information on the screen at once, make browsing much nicer than on QVGA device. Believe me, my Axim was great for surfing, and if you compared it to the tiny screen on my new PDA it is leaps and bounds ahead. It will similarly be better for reading ebook and documents (like PDF files) as you can fit a larger page onscreen without having to scroll around.
Movie playback is also excellent on the Axim, combining its high resolution screen and integrated graphics chip to provide smooth motion video. I was able to playback most video without any stuttering without converting it on my computer. With a large memory card (which are very cheap these days) it would make an excellent video player.
Regarding the bluetooth transfer capability, I have read the same things about it not working correctly. I never really tried transferring files over bluetooth with my Axim X50v, so it was never really an issue for me. I have read about a few possible workarounds for it, but nothing really confirmed. Unfortunately I no longer have my Axim so I can’t test it, but the simplest way to get around this would be to use a card reader with your computer and transfer files using either the memory card, or using Activesync. While I agree its not as elegant or simple as beaming files via Bluetooth, it would be the easiest method to overcome this deficiency. If this is something that is really important to you, please post a comment below and I will see what I can find that better fits your needs, but if not the X51v is your best bet.
Both the Axim X51v and iPAQ hx2495 are excellent PDAs, but with Dell’s competitive pricing, and the Axim’s higher specifications which directly relate to your intended uses, it if probably the best option for you.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any other questions please comment below.