LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/12/04 07:00 PM
Dell Axim X50v Review

You've read our review of the Dell Axim X50v VGA Pocket PC at http://www.pdabuyersguide.com/Dell_Axim_X50v.htm . Have any questions or comments? Post them here!

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/13/04 01:07 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I tried it on the X50v, the iPAQ hx4700 and my P4 2.6GHz desktop with an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro for a comparison. The Dell did pretty well considering the encoding rate and resolution of the video-- better than I expected. You could tell it dropped some frames (about 4 times there were short jerky spots) but overall it was very watchable. The iPAQ did similarly running WM9 and BetaPlayer. Thanks for another nice test file to keep in my arsenal!

Artuk
(junior member)
10/13/04 01:09 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Hi,

Two questions on your review:

1) Have they resolved the software issue with dpad where some games which ran at normal priority would have trouble with the controls.. for instance.. does redshift legacy work properly now as opposed to the x30 experience..

2) Did you try using morphgear in landscape mode with no virtual controller? I am wondering if the problem you experienced with the virtual controller may have contributed to the frame rate issue.

Good job on the review!

Regards,

Artuk


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/13/04 01:34 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

The X50v doesn't have USB host. So far in the US market, the ASUS A730 is the only VGA Pocket PC with USB host capability.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/13/04 01:52 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I'll try Legacy.

There was no problem at all with the virtual controller in MorphGear, rather the apps own buttons (for file open, exit app and etc) didn't draw correctly when a game is running. Running Picard's GAPI fix takes care of that problem but doesn't improve the fps.


Artuk
(junior member)
10/13/04 01:54 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Ok, thanks!

Regards,

Artuk


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/13/04 07:23 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

A litle more info for those who play the less demanding ROMs with MorphGear.

I tried some oldie NES games like Galaga and SuperMario Bros. 3 with MorphGear and got around 28fps.


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/18/04 12:10 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Basically, yes the difference between VGA and QVGA prevents a direct comparison in terms of graphics benchmarks at this point.

Also, though the X50v has a nice Intel 3D accelerated graphics processor, it has some memory bottlenecks that make it a bit slower in some benchmarks compared to the X30 which uses the CPU to handle graphics and on-cpu memory rather than external memory.


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/19/04 01:27 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

True, but the problem is we have hundreds of GAPI titles, and it would be better if the 2700G performed very well with those. Looking into the future, the 2700G could be a great thing, but that won't help us playing current titles this year and into the next.

I actually spoke with Intel about this processor at length and it has some great capabilities, but it may be a bit ahead of its time.


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/24/04 02:44 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

It will be slower for 640 x 480 movies. Really 320 x 240 movies stretched to full screen look very good, and I'd let Pocket Windows Media Player 10 stretch the video. That will help keep file size down as well. You'll probably want to encode at 300 or 350 kbps for better quality, 200 is pretty low.

Raynne413
(PDA Addict)
10/27/04 04:47 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I know that the speed with this Axim is less than expected (probably due to VGA), my question is how does the speed compare to a 400 mhz processor? I currently have the Asus A716, and was looking to go to the new Dell. I know it is slower than other 624 mhz processors, but is it at least faster than a 400 mhz?

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/27/04 07:18 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

The processor itself is very fast, rather it's the graphics processor that benchmark slower. In processor intensive tasks, the X50v will be faster, but in gaming which uses GAPI (most do) the X50v will not seem faster, but instead a bit slower.

Raynne413
(PDA Addict)
10/27/04 08:27 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Ugh! So in games, the x50 will be SLOWER than my Asus? How horrible! *sniffle sniffle*

If you use the program that will let you run in QVGA mode, would that help some of the problems you run into with morphgear?


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
10/28/04 12:02 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

That probably won't make much of a difference if any at all in terms of increasing graphics speed. The real issue is the graphics processor used in the X50v (an intel 2700G) which has a lot of merits but unfortunately doesn't do well with GAPI performance and GAPI is used by many, many games.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
11/20/04 01:59 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Yes you can. Just get an AV remote application.

Quote:

Can I use an Axim x50 like a remote control (TV,DVD,etc..) using the IR port?




LisaG
(Head Honcho)
11/21/04 02:31 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I did test it and it seemed like standard IR to me with a range of about 8 to 10 feet. However, Dell told us that it is consumer IR. Confusing, I know.

Adrian_Knack
(junior member)
11/22/04 02:59 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Yes the web site (Australia) says Consumer and the manual says Standard. I suspect it is the later which is correct although I have not tryed Nevo or anything.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
11/22/04 12:37 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Ah, but that's why I asked Dell PR about this-- because the manual states it's standard IR while the marketing material states it's consumer IR. They told me the manual is wrong. However, the IR doesn't have great range.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
11/22/04 01:57 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

If you don't care about having a CF slot, then the X30 624MHz gives you the best bang for the buck. The VGA display on the X50v really is nice for web browsing, photo viewing and Excel though, so if it doesn't break your budget, it might be the best long term choice.

The speaker volume seems similar on both models. Keep in mind that they only output mono through the built-in speaker, so MP3's won't sound nearly as good compared to playing through headphones or external powered stereo speakers.


Adrian_Knack
(junior member)
11/23/04 01:41 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Quote:

Ah, but that's why I asked Dell PR about this-- because the manual states it's standard IR while the marketing material states it's consumer IR. They told me the manual is wrong. However, the IR doesn't have great range.




Shouldn't Consumer IR be faster as well? Maybe someone could benchmark it by doing a file transfer to a laptop (which usually have FIR ports) and reading the transfer speed. I would try it myself but I don't get home to my new X50v till Sunday night. I will try then if nobody else has.

Cheers
Adrian


cediener
(junior member)
12/14/04 05:00 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Appreciate the review .. am getting an x50v for X'mas.
Questions on the CF & SD expansion slots...
...I've seen postings that claim one has an inherently faster data transfer than the other - any truth to that?
...A lot of the newer CF & SD memory cards rate themselves at high speeds - what would be the transfer speed to/from the two slots? Are the currently available cards still slower than the unit? Wouldn't want to buy something too fast to use


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/14/04 05:37 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

The difference is that the CF slot data bus is faster than the SD slot data bus. This has nothing to do with the cards themselves but rather the slots.

MUMFORD
(junior member)
12/14/04 08:33 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Wow, my 1st post here! Hello. I'm about to make my 1st purchase of a PDA device and I need serious help!!!

Perhaps someone can help me, as I would like to make a decision this week between the x30, x50mid, and the x50v.

In reading various on-line reviews of the X50v, most have noted the "below-average video performance" of the device. Incidentally, this also appears to be a similar problem with other VGA models such as the Asus MyPal 730 and the Toshiba e805.

Would it be safe to say that the performance issues experienced by these VGA models is a product of software, drivers, etc. not being up to speed with the capability of the units and if so, will it be only a matter of time before necessary updates are made to take advantage of the VGA capability? Or, perhaps the performance of these units is just a function of the current technology available to PPC's and will only improve as later versions of such models are released in the future.

I would hate to consider purchasing a unit with VGA capability only to suffer from substandard performance --- especially if there is no hope of any near term fixes to fully take advantage of the newer technology.

I don't see myself getting much into gaming, but using the unit more as a PIM, book reader, photo viewer, etc. I also like the capability of the x50v to transmit content to a digital light projector. My gut is telling me that the x30 or even the x50 mid would be the better value and leave me more satisfied (performance wise). Unfortunately, I hate buying "older" design/technology devices (x30) when there is more cutting edge technology available. Any opinions, suggestions would be appreciated on this 1st PDA purchase.

Also, apart from "normal wear and tear", how long (years)should I expect on of these units to last?


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/14/04 08:34 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Do you mean typing with an external folding keyboard? If so, I haven't noticed a long lag time compared to other PDAs.

Quote:

Great Review! With the X50v I have heard that when typing (in Microsoft Word, ex.) there is some lag time before a letter actually shows up. Like a delay. Is this true?

Bobby K.




LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/14/04 08:58 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

VGA devices are slower because it requires 4x the processing power form the video chip and 4x video memory compared to standard QVGA devices. So it's mostly a hardware issue and only somewhat a software issue.

Unless you're gaming, the VGA machines are generally decent performers, though the X50v is the slowest at graphics among VGA devices, with the iPAQ hx4705 being the best and the ASUS in the middle. The Dell is a poor performer even though it has impressive graphics hardware because that chip was designed to work with a kind of graphics library not commonly used on Pocket PCs at this time. So in the future things might improve for the Dell if folks decide to write optimized versions of their apps and if Dell improves their driver a bit.


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/14/04 09:00 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Some PDAs have screens that work with a soft touch, like many of the iPAQs. Some require a harder touch as with the Dell X50 line. I like soft but some folks prefer hard so it's a matter of personal taste.

Response with the on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition doesn't have a noticable delay on my X50v.


Raynne413
(PDA Addict)
12/14/04 09:00 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Quote:

---On the internal keyboard - when in Microsoft word - do you notice that you need to press harder on the screen to get a letter to show-up compared to other PDA's? When typing (internal keyboard) do the letters show-up as you touch the keys or is there a delay?




I don't notice a delay at all when in Microsoft word.


Raynne413
(PDA Addict)
12/14/04 10:02 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I haven't had any sensitivity problems at all. The screen of the x50v is actually more sensitive than my previous PDA, which was the Asus A716. Coming from the Asus, which has a 400 processor, I have not noticed an sluggishness that others have reported. Personally, I love it.

MUMFORD
(junior member)
12/14/04 10:07 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Quote:

VGA devices are slower because it requires 4x the processing power form the video chip and 4x video memory compared to standard QVGA devices. So it's mostly a hardware issue and only somewhat a software issue.

Unless you're gaming, the VGA machines are generally decent performers, though the X50v is the slowest at graphics among VGA devices, with the iPAQ hx4705 being the best and the ASUS in the middle. The Dell is a poor performer even though it has impressive graphics hardware because that chip was designed to work with a kind of graphics library not commonly used on Pocket PCs at this time. So in the future things might improve for the Dell if folks decide to write optimized versions of their apps and if Dell improves their driver a bit.




Lisa,

Thanks for the comments. Here's my bottom line. If we assume that my major tasks will be PIM type stuff, book/photo/video clip viewing, internet surfing and a little Word/Excel, will the x50v still render sluggish perfomance (i.e. delays in generating screen displays or when running multiple apps.)? Also, how long might I expect to use such a device --- that is, assuming I don't break it?


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/14/04 11:29 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

It should be fine for those tasks. You might see a 1 second delay when switching between apps whereas you'd hardly see the delay on a QVGA device.

A Pocket PC should last at least two years and generally 3 or more. By them, many folks want to upgrade anyhow. . .


MUMFORD
(junior member)
12/14/04 11:36 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Quote:

It should be fine for those tasks. You might see a 1 second delay when switching between apps whereas you'd hardly see the delay on a QVGA device.

A Pocket PC should last at least two years and generally 3 or more. By them, many folks want to upgrade anyhow. . .




Lisa,

Thanks again for the feedback. I suppose 1 second won't kill me! I'm planning to visit a local Dell Direct store to look at the devices within the next few days. I hope to make a decision no later than Sat.(12/18).


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/15/04 02:22 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Well, it costs more, so it should have a few features that are better. It does have the nicest display (not that the other two are poor but the hx4705's is exceptional and large). It also has a large battery that beats the others, lots of flash ROM memory and WiFi which the ASUS lacks. The WiFi version of the ASUS should be out shortly and we'll be getting our review unit today. So far, none of the VGA models are screamers in the graphics department but the iPAQ gets the best numbers. That's great for gamers but the iPAQ's touch pad isn't ideal for gamers *sigh*

Quote:

Is the Ipaq better then the Dell and Asus?




LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/16/04 03:47 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

If you're asking me, yes I own an hx4705 and have used it as my main Pocket PC since it came out. The performance level is quite good and it's wonderful for videos. Response in applications and even games is good. It is slightly slower than a QVGA device when it comes to menu response, but that's currently the price we pay for VGA.

Quote:

Have you used the Ipaq? How's the performance level?




cediener
(junior member)
12/16/04 05:27 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Thanks for the answer on the two expansion card slot data buses.

Any specs on the actual/theoretical max transfer speeds for each bus?

Eric


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/17/04 12:12 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Yes it is faster than the Dell X50v.

We just got the ASUS A730W in for review and it has 128 megs of RAM and WiFi added to the standard A730 configuration. For some reason, it's very fast though. So if you like, stay tuned for that review. The A730W sells for $569.


Bobby
(junior member)
12/22/04 04:19 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Hello Lisa,

I am awaiting the arrival of the HP hx4700/4705! I am very excited! Question - are screen protectors needed- or does that flip cover work? Also where can I find a good portable keyboard?

Thanks.


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/22/04 07:32 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I personally don't use screen protectors, but some folks wouldn't be without them. The flip cover is very effective at protecting the display when you're not using the unit.

The HP folding keyboard, which attaches to the sync port works well. If you prefer wireless, check out the Think Outside Bluetooth Wireless keyboard reviewed on our site.

Hope you enjoy your new iPAQ! I still love mine.


Bobby
(junior member)
12/22/04 08:13 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Would you be able to recommend a screen protector name?

Bobby
(junior member)
12/22/04 08:24 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I went to HP's site - the foldable keyboard is about $100.00 - and the Stowaway Bluetooth Portable Keyboard is also $100.00 - is there any sites that offer keyboards that are less expensive?

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/22/04 08:30 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

For screen protectors, you're best off asking others since I don't use them.

As for the keyboards, check Dell's web site. They sell the Think Outside BT keyboard under their own brand name (it's the same keyboard) and it may be less.


Bobby
(junior member)
12/22/04 08:51 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Thanks! One last question (for now..ha ha) is the hx4700 the same as the hx4705? - Do they both have Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, Professional Second Edition?

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/23/04 12:46 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Yes, they are the same unit running the same operating system.

Bobby
(junior member)
12/26/04 09:35 AM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

How can I take videos from my computer and put them on the ipaq? There is a sync option with Windows Media Player 10 -- I tried it and it says that the video cannot be converted to be played on the selected device, or something like that. The format is mpeg.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/27/04 02:44 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I'm guessing the problem might be that the iPAQ runs Windows Media Player 9 rather than 10. I can use Windows Media Player 10 on the desktop to transfer non-DRM files (ones that aren't copy protected and are free) but the DRM ones sometimes don't transfer correctly. For non-DRM videos, you can always just drag the file to your iPAQ using ActiveSync.

Bobby
(junior member)
12/27/04 07:41 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Got It! You were right - the hx4700 is stunning. The screen is breathtaking and the features are great?I absolute love it.

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
12/27/04 10:56 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

So glad to hear you like your new hx4700, Bobby!

Bobby
(junior member)
01/13/05 08:05 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

I'm Back! Lisa, I'm still searching for a keyboard for my Ipaq -- what do you think about infrared keyboards? I have been looking at the Belkin, (http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=&Section_Id=200588&pcount=&Product_Id=144042) Please Let Me Know.

Thanks!


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
01/15/05 08:26 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Make sure the IR arm has enough movement to work with the hx4700 which is a little odd: it's the only Pocket PC to have the IR window on the bottom. You should be able to put the iPAQ in landscape mode however, as long as the arm can swing to the side.

Jones
(junior member)
01/20/05 09:50 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Considering how the x50v is the only PDA with the OpenGL/GDI graphics chipset, do you think that others will catch on? Personally, I don't see how 1 company can make a difference in putting out a product that has no support except for 2 games. Now if it were as widespread as the VGA kick, I could see it.
Do you think that Dell made a good choice with only 2 games? Or could they have altered it so more applications can stick with the GAPI programming when necessary AND be able to use the Intel chip the way it was meant to be used?

Just a question.
Thomas


LisaG
(Head Honcho)
01/24/05 03:09 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Well Thomas, there's the million dollar question. It certainly is hard to guess whether other manufacturers will decide to use the 2700G since they keep such info as private as possible until product launch. My guess is that Dell was a little ahead of their time and we won't see many other manufacturers using that graphics processor for some time due to the added expense and the fact that current apps don't support it well.

Having spoken with Intel about that graphics processor, it seems they feel graphics performance is aqdequate and it would take a good deal of work on their part to add better GAPI support.


Jones
(junior member)
01/24/05 07:38 PM
Re: Dell Axim X50v Review

Thank you!

orbsplateau
(junior member)
02/02/05 05:52 AM
x50 vs x30

In Canada, the X30 624 sells for $CDN 404
The X50 416 sells for $CDN 359 and the X50 mid sells for about $CDN 449.

I have to make-up my mind about which unit to buy but it's hard to decide. I'm leaning towards the X50 416 - but i want to make sure i'm not giving-up too much CPU power - or the ability to use wi-fi.

what do you guys think?
how does the x50 display compare with the x30?
anyone tried to play movies with the 412Mhz CPU?

any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.



voodoochild79
(junior member)
02/09/05 11:11 PM
Dell Axim x50v vs. iPaq 4155?

I'm having trouble deciding whether to purchase a Dell Axim x50v at a bargain price of $375, or go with an iPaq 4155. Obviously, the Dell's features and performance definitely surpass the iPaq, which is already being phased out for the newer (uglier) HP models. However, I'm not a PDA gamer nor will I be using my PDA to watch a lot of video. My PDA will mostly be used for medical databases, PIM, Microsoft Word and Wi-Fi, with occasional video usage. I really love the iPaq's form factor as it can easily fit in my pocket, whereas the Dell is a bit too chunky for that purpose. Would getting a 4155 be a good deal for me, or will I be missing out on some great Dell features (not to mention a bargain), especially considering the 4155 came out 2 years ago?

LisaG
(Head Honcho)
02/11/05 12:33 AM
Re: Dell Axim x50v vs. iPaq 4155?

Honestly, if you really like the size and design of the iPAQ 4155 (who can blame you) and don't need or want VGA, then go for the iPAQ if you can find one. That iPAQ is still a fine machine.


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