(discontinued) Posted by Lisa
The e750 is Toshiba's follow-up to the successful e740.
It uses the same case design as its predecessor, and has built-in
WiFi, SD and CF type II slots just as the e740 did. What's new?
It thas the new PXA255 XScale processor running at 400 MHz, and
a transflective display making it competitive with the iPAQ
5555 and the Dell Axim X5. Many
users wrote to us stating that they'd buy an e740 if only it had
a transflective display, so this is an important step forward for
Toshiba. You'll also get 32 more megs of memory available on the
The e750 runs the new Pocket PC 2003 OS (also
called Windows Mobile). The first version of the e750 came with
Pocket PC 2002, but is upgradeable to PPC 2003. Toshiba switched
the e750 to PPC 2003 in July 2003. Pocket PC2003 is based on Windows
CE 4.2, while prior Pocket PC and Pocket PC 2002 PDAs were based
on Windows CE 3.0. Microsoft is calling all new devices based on
Pocket PC 2003 "Windows Mobile 2003". What's the difference
between Pocket PC 2002 and Pocket PC 2003 PDAs? You won't notice
much difference at all. There are numerous bug fixes, improvements
in page rendering times and standards support for Internet Explorer,
a new user interface for setting up networking that uses a Mobile
version of Windows XP's zero config networking, and support for
3rd party applications that are written for the XScale processor.
The OS itself still doesn't run natively for XScale, but now developers
can offer enhanced versions of their applications that should run
noticably faster. Basic apps like PIMs can only run so fast, but
gaming and multimedia applications can really benefit from native
What's the difference between
the e750 and e755? The e755 comes bundled with ArcSoft PhotoBase
software. That's the only difference.
Horsepower and What's New Under the Hood
As stated, the e750 was the first Pocket PC to
use the Intel XScale PXA255 processor (now all high end Pocket
PCs use this processor). How is it different from the Intel XScale
PXA250 processor used in previous Pocket PCs? The PXA255 has a
200 MHz internal system bus, while the PXA250 has a 100 MHz system
bus. This means the CPU can talk to the memory controller and LCD
controller (graphics processor) 2x faster. Note that Intel's spec
for the PXA255 states that the system memory interface calls for
100 MHz SDRAM, not 200 MHz. The chip is also more power efficient
than the PXA250, consuming 30% less power when running apps, and
60% less when in idle mode, according to Intel. The PXA255 will
replace the PXA250 on future Pocket PCs. If you're interested in
seeing a simple block diagram of the chip's architecture and what
the system bus connects to, click here to
see a diagram taken from Intel's documentation.
The e750 has 64 megs of RAM available to the
user, and 32 megs of NAND flash memory also available to the user.
NAND flash memory is gaining popularity with manufacturers thanks
to its low cost. The NAND flash memory appears as an additional
location for installing applications using ActiveSync (destinations
are internal, CF, SD and Flash ROM Disk). In File Manger, it appears
as an additional folder, just as your storage card does. In terms
of use, it functions like the iPAQ File Store (which is flash ROM,
not NAND), and is a non-volatile memory area, which means if you
hard reset (erase) the e750, the contents of the NAND flash area
will remain intact. This makes it ideal for backups using the included
backup program, or storing applications that you can't live without
should your PDA get wiped out while you're on the road.
Left to right: power jack, sync connector, hard
reset switch and WiFi on/off switch.
The e750 comes with integrated 802.11b (aka WiFi)
wireless. To use WiFi, you'll slide a switch on the bottom of the
unit (right next to the hard reset switch, make sure you're flipping
the right one!) When not using WiFi, do remember to set the switch
to the off position, as an active WiFi connection cuts your battery
life in half.
The wireless works reliably and has good throughput,
though it doesn't have quite the range of a CF 802.11b card. The WiFi
software comes in the form of a control panel applet under the Settings
menu and has full features including link strength, connection info (base
station you're connected to, transfer rate, channel), WEP (64 and 128
bit HEX and ascii), and MAC address info (a must if you have a closed
network where you manually enter the MAC address of allowed network adapters).
There's also a scan function that will list all WiFi access points within
range. You can specify whether you want the connection speed to be set
automatically depending on signal strength or you can manually set it
to 11 mbps (max) all the way down to 2 mbps (mbps=megs per second). New
for the e750 is the ability to store multiple wireless profiles (home,
work and Starbucks, for example), an 802.1x server validation option
(to make sure you're connected to the right server) and support for certificates
used in 802.1x authentication. If you wish to use certificates, you'll
use Toshiba Enroller, an application that lets you create, edit and install
certificates on the PDA. It's nice to have all these settings available,
since many other WiFi drivers leave you with the dumbed down (though
newbie-friendly) Pocket PC 2003 OS Zero Config WiFi only.
And now that you've got your CF slot freed up, you'll
enjoy using IBM Microdrives, CF memory and modems in the type II slot
(which, like all type II slots, can accomodate both type I and type II
cards). There's also an SD card slot which supports SDIO, making it a
top of the line unit in terms of expandability. What is SDIO? It means
communications SD cards like Toshiba's Bluetooth card will work with
the e750. And the slot is 4 bit, meaning it runs at maximum speed for
data transfers (though the iPAQ does post better speed numbers for the
SD slot). You'll also be able to use existing e740 accessories, including
the high capacity battery pack, VGA + USB adapter, along with chargers,
cables and cradles.
I used VOBenchmark from Virtual
Office Systems to test the e755 vs. the e740 and iPAQ 5555. Our
e750 ran Pocket PC 2002 OS. 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 PocketMVP (formerly Pocket DivX).
PocketMVP Multimedia Player Dropped Frames(movies
stored on built-in memory, not expansion card). Latest version:
trailer 240 x 136, high quality 5.95MB .mpeg
6 dropped out of 2639 frames.
dropped! Av. fps: 24.00
trailer, high quality 2.6MB .avi
0 dropped out of 1887 frames.
0 (zero) dropped! Av. fps: 24.00
As you can see, the graphics processor really
shines in many tests, and surprisingly, the CPU doesn't rate significantly
higher than the e740 running the PXA255 processor. The faster system
bus should show higher numbers than we see here for the two CPU
tests. Granted, nothing will improve XScale performance as much
as a native OS (Pocket PC 2002 and 2003 OS's was written for the
ARM processor, so the XScale runs in compatibility mode without
faster XScale native code). How does the e755 feel? Very fast,
and all basic operations feel zippy. Movies play back flawlessly
at near 24 fps (frames per second) and action and graphically intensive
games run exceptionally well. You won't be disappointed by the
performance of this PDA.
Battery Life, Screen, Sound, Software and Gaming
The e750 comes with a very basic software bundle:
Pocket PC 2003 operating system, Pocket Word, Excel, Internet Explorer
and Outlook, Windows Media Player, MS Reader, IA Presenter and
IA Mirror. You'll also get Toshiba's Home applet, which serves
as a tabbed application launcher, their backup program which can
backup the contents of main memory to NAND flash or a storage card,
and a secure certificate app (Toshiba Enroller) that lets you use
certificates for secure web sites (nice touch for corporate users).
The e755 adds ArcSoft's PhotoBase software, which allows you to
view albums and slide shows on the PDA and create and edit these
on the desktop.
Battery life has improved compared to the e740,
likely thanks to the new more power efficient processor. The battery
is a user-replaceable 1000 mAh unit. Toshiba's extended battery
pack for the e740 will work on the e750. It clips onto the back
of the PDA.
The screen is sharp and exceptionally bright
at 75% and 100% brightness settings. It's not as bright as the
iPAQ 3900 series, but it is noticably brighter than the Dell Axim
X5 (comparing all with brightness set to max). White backgrounds
appear bright cold white, compared to the more neutral tones on
the iPAQ. The e750 has 4 brightness settings represented by a slider
with 4 gradations. These settings are effectively equal to off,
25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.
As with all Toshibas so far, the speaker is
not very loud compared to other Pocket PCs— don't expect
to use it as an alarm clock substitute. The sound through headphones
is excellent: loud, clear and it has decent bass. The directional
pad, which is round and rotates in any direction like a joystick
is improved over the e740 and feels great playing games.
This is a great gamer's PDA. Games play fast
and smooth. The only significant problem we saw was in Racing
Days: the game didn't respond to the d-pad at all. Playing Age
of Empires, often the map would scroll uncontrollably after
pressing the d-pad in a diagonal direction (same problem the Dell
Axim had before Dell issued an updated driver). Games that played
well include Interstellar
Flames, EverQuest, Siberian
Strike and Geopod.
New Intel processor which feels fast even if the benchmark numbers
don't impress. Has built-in 802.11b WiFi networking. Replaceable
battery. Excellent 3.8" transflective display, equal to
Dell's, but not as good as HP's. Very expandable with both a
type II CF card slot and an SD slot capable of SDIO. Very slim.
Con: Speaker volume is too low. I'd like to see more software
bundled, but at this price, the lack of bundled software is acceptable.
color TFT LCD, 65,536 colors, Screen Size Diag: 3.8",
Resolution: 240 x 320. ATI Imageon Graphics chip
with 384k video memory.
Ion rechargeable. Battery is user-replaceable.1000mA.
XScale PXA 255 400 MHz processor. 32MB NAND Flash
available to user along with 64 MB built-in RAM.
32 megs ROM (for OS).
size: 5.0" x
3.2" x 0.7". Weight Approximately 6.9 oz.
in speaker, mic and stereo 3.5mm headphone jack.
Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player
PC 2003 operating system (the first version of the
e750/e755 came with PPC 2002 but is upgradeable).
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.
ArcSoft PhotoBase included with the e755 only.
SD (Secure Digital) slot, 4 bit data bus, supporting
SDIO.1 CompactFlash type II slot.