Toshiba is a relative newcomer to the US PDA
market. Their e570, a full-featured Pocket PC which preceded the
e310 was a sucess here, despite the fact it was hard to find and
not marketed strongly. The e310 was more strongly marketed and
sold through many retail channels. At the end of October 2002,
the e310 was discontinued and replaced with newer models.
The e310 was the first "affordable" Pocket
PC device, and lists for $399 (you'll find it for a bit less
at competitive retailers). Why was it cheap? 1) It has only 32
megs of built-in RAM which is also true of some other lower-priced
and not so lower-priced PDAs. Generally, folks are wanting 64
megs these days, but that can put a Pocket PC out of price range
for some buyers. 2) While all Pocket PCs (except the iPAQ which
uses a separately purchased expansion sleeve to accomodate CF
cards) have CompactFlash (CF) card slots, this unit does not
have one. It does have one SD (Secure Digital) card slot for
memory expansion and I/O card such as the Toshiba Bluetooth SD
card. 3) The 3rd party software bundle is not as generous as
that of the Jornada and iPAQs.
Does the missing CF card slot mean anything to
you? CF storage (memory) cards are much cheaper than SD storage
cards and come in larger capacities. Read our RAM
/ Memory article and Storage Card article
for more info on the difference between these two kinds of cards.
If you want to use modem or Ethernet network cards you'll be out
of luck because those are available as CF cards and not in the
SD format. Toshiba does offer a $149 SD Bluetooth card for those
of you with Bluetooth enabled cell phones. If you don't want to
use modem or Ethernet network cards, then this could be the Pocket
PC for you.
Battery Life, Screen, Sound, Software and
The e310 is in all other respects a standard
Pocket PC with the usual Pocket PC 2002 operating system, Pocket
Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Outlook. You won't be getting
any bonus 3rd party software as you do with the iPAQ and Jornada.
Battery life has been decent so far, but we get
less life out of it per charge than the Casio E-200,
iPAQ 3800 and Jornada 560 series. How much less? About 80% of the
runtime that the iPAQ and Casio give us in a mix of gaming, word
processing and contacts/calendar/tasks use. While other PDA batteries
last at least one year, we've found our e310's battery has gotten
old and tired after 8 months of heavy use.
The screen is sharp and reasonably bright. However
it's brighter at the bottom, which is a result of the frontlight which
illuminates from the bottom (the iPAQ and Jornada use sidelight which
is more even). The speaker is not very loud compared to other Pocket
PCs. The directional pad, which is round and rotates in any direction
like a joystick with no clicks or tactile feedback is comfy but hard
to control when playing games.
The unit, like some other recent Pocket PCs, doesn't
have much in the way of style or curves, it's a business like angular
device. It's like an oversized credit card shape. But boy is this thing
thin! This is the slimmest Pocket PC on the market.
If you're on a budget, the Toshiba e310 is a wise choice
and likely a better investment than buying a discontinued Pocket PC.
With the Toshiba you'll be getting a device with the latest operating
system, Pocket PC 2002, which is friendlier and more robust that its
predessors Pocket PC and Windows CE operating systems.
Suggested list price $399.
It was one of the cheapest new Pocket PC 2002 PDAs in its day. This
PDA allowed more people to get into a new Pocket PC 2002 PDA. Very
slim! Has SD slot supporting SDIO. Con: No CF card slot for cheaper
CF memory cards, and modem and network cards. You do get an SD slot.
Only 32 megs of RAM. Directional pad doesn't offer feedback when playing
games. Battery doesn't last as long compared to other current Pocket
PCs, and ours is in need of replacment after 8 months of heavy use.
TFT color LCD, 65,536 colors, Screen Size Diag: 3.5",
Resolution: 240 x 320. MediaQ Graphics chip with
Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user-replaceable.
x 3.1 x 0.4. Weight Approximately 5.9 oz.
in speaker, mic and stereo headphone jack. Voice
Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player included.
PC 2002 operating system. Microsoft Pocket Office
suite including Pocket Word, Excel, Internet Explorer,
Reader, and Outlook. Also, Terminal Services, MSN
Instant Messenger for Pocket PC and Voice Recorder
as well as handwriting recognition.