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Toshiba e330 (and e335) Pocket PC

by Lisa Gade, Editor-in-Chief

(Discontinued)

The e330 Pocket PC, introduced at the end of October 2002 is the follow-up to the very successful and relatively affordable Toshiba e310. It's the first Pocket PC to hit the market with a 300MHz rather than 400 MHz XScale processor (the iPAQ 3900 series and Toshiba e740 have 400MHz XScale processors). The e330 looks identical to the e310, but you'll find some great changes under the hood and a lower price too! What does the e330 add? The new XScale processor running at 300 MHz (the e310 has a 206 MHz StrongARM processor), 64 megs of RAM rather than the e310's 32 megs, a much brighter, more evenly lit screen, and a better directional pad. Kudos to Toshiba for listening to users' requests for a better screen, more responsive D-pad and more memory. The e330 and e335 are identical, except that the e335 comes with ArcSoft PhotoBase software.

Toshiba e330

Like the e310, the e330 does not have a CF expansion slot, but it does have one SD (Secure Digital) card slot for memory expansion and the Toshiba's Bluetooth card. The e330 supports USB keyboards if you purchase the optional USB adapter cable (we haven't tested this). As with previous Toshiba Pocket PCs, the 3rd party software bundle is not as generous as that of the Jornada and iPAQ.

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. Unfortunately, there is no SD WiFi (802.11b) card that will work with this model. 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 at the moment, then this could be the Pocket PC for you.

Battery Life, Screen, Sound, Software and Gaming

The e330 is a standard Pocket PC with the usual Pocket PC 2002 operating system, Pocket Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Outlook. Also included as part of the base Pocket PC package are MS Reader, Media Player 8.5 and Acrobat Reader. Note that Microsoft is now including Outlook 2000 rather than Outlook 2002 with Pocket PCs. The e330 is the first Pocket PC 2002 PDA to ship with Outlook 2000 rather than 2002. You won't be getting a generous selection of bonus 3rd party software as you do with the iPAQ and Jornada. The e335 comes with ArcSoft PhotoBase, a very nice image viewer and editor with a desktop component. It sells for $399, but Toshiba tells me it'll be $349 after a $50 mail-in rebate. In all other respects, the e330 and e335 are identical. Both units are labelled "e330" on the back.

 

 

 

 

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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.

The screen is sharp, bright and evenly lit-- has been greatly improved from the e310 which had a dimmer and somewhat unevenly lit screen. The speaker is not very loud compared to other Pocket PCs. Don't expect it to work as an alarm clock substitute. Sound when using headphones is quite good and this unit will make a nice MP3 player. The directional pad, which is round and rotates in any direction like a joystick offers good tactile feedback (great for games!) and is comfy.

 

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.

Performance Comparison and Benchmarks

I used VOBenchmark v. 2.12 from Virtual Office Systems to test the new XScale Pocket PCs and the older Toshiba e310 with the StrongARM processor. Higher numbers are better (shown in bold).

Below the benchmark table, you'll find a comparison of dropped frame rates playing some popular movie (.avi and .mpeg) files using the latest version of Pocket DivX.

Test Toshiba e310 (Strong ARM, 206 MHz) Toshiba e740 (XScale 400 MHz) iPAQ 3970 (XScale 400 MHz) Toshiba e330/ e335
(XScale 300 MHz)
ViewSonic V35
(XScale 300 MHz) 
CPU Floating Point 8.02 12.66 12.66 9.49 6.34
CPU Integer 15.50 26.92 26.95 20.11 13.30
Graphics Bitmap BitBlt 56.86 76.31 26.42 56.41 16.66
Graphics Bitmap StretchBlt 0.35 0.25 0.79 0.30 0.50
Graphics Filled Ellipse 2.24 1.00 0.51 2.14 0.85
Graphics Filled Rectangle 7.76 5.26 2.10 6.52 1.02
Graphics Filled Round Rect. 1.72 0.74 0.50 1.32 0.66
Memory Allocation 8.69 11.48 11.16 9.53 6.42
Memory Fill 0.39 0.95 0.95 0.95 0.85
Memory Move 0.74 0.39 0.37 0.36 0.30
Text 3.77 1.48 (1.30 with ClearType enabled) 3.24 3.88
(3.80 with ClearType)
2.20
SD Storage Cards 128 meg SanDisk and SimpleTech were used 128 meg SanDisk and SimpleTech were used 128 meg SanDisk and SimpleTech were used 128 meg SanDisk and SimpleTech were used 128 meg SanDisk and SimpleTech were used
LRR/ LRW 0.84/ 0.34 0.46/ 0.24 0.50/ 0.24 0.52/ 0.34 0.62/ 0.02
LSR/ LSW 0.83/ 0.40 0.46/ 0.33 0.84/ 0.35 0.52/ 0.41 0.61/ 0.02
SRR/ SRW 16.0/ 0.80 13.46/ 0.86 166.32/ 0.84 18.10/ 0.84 25.16/ 0.80
SSR/ SSW 15.64/ 1.99 12.43/ 10.15 21.71/ 10.27 16.65/ 2.05 19.16/ 1.00
Movie Toshiba e740 iPAQ 3970 ViewSonic V35 Toshiba e330/e335
Spiderman trailer 240 x 136, high quality 5.95MB .mpeg 497 dropped out of 2639 frames. (New pre-release version drops only 2 frames!)

0 (zero) dropped! Av. fps: 24.00

In auto mode: Dropped 896 out of 2639.
Av. fps: 15.85
In high performance mode: Dropped 146, av. fps: 22:67

263 dropped out of 2639. Av. fps: 21.61
Matrix Reloaded trailer, high quality 2.6MB .avi 164 dropped out of 1887 frames. New pre-release version drops only 3 frames!) 0 (zero) dropped! Av. fps: 24.00 Dropped 106 out of 1887 frames.
Ave. fps: 22.65

8 dropped out of 1887. Av. fps: 23.90

Conclusion

If you're on a budget or have no need for myriad expansion possibilities, the Toshiba e330 is an excellent 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 than its predecessors Pocket PC and Windows CE operating systems.

Suggested list price e330: $349
Suggested list price e335: $399

Pro: The cheapest new Pocket PC 2002 PDA available today. This PDA allows more people to get into a new Pocket PC 2002 PDA. Very slim! Zippy performance and a bright, evenly lit screen. D-pad is good for gamers and non-gamers alike. 64 megs of RAM, now the industry standard, gives you room to install 3rd party software. Con: No CF card slot for cheaper CF memory cards, and modem and network cards. You do get an SD slot. Not as fast as 400MHz XScale Pocket PCs, but a solid performer nonetheless.

 

Specs:

Display: Reflective TFT color LCD, 65,536 colors, Screen Size Diag: 3.5", Resolution: 240 x 320. MediaQ Graphics chip with 256k cache.

Battery Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user-replaceable.

Performance: Intel XScale 300MHz., 32MB Flash ROM, 64MB built-in RAM.

size: 4.9 x 3.1 x 0.4. Weight Approximately 5.9 oz.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and stereo headphone jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player included.

Software: Pocket 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.

Expansion: 1 SD (Secure Digital) slot. Supports SDIO, but doesn't work with SD WiFi cards.

 

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