Engadget, the gadget blog really doesn’t like Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system.
Still, some of us at Engadget (well, one of us, at least), feel like the folks in Redmond missed the mark by a longshot. Instead of demonstrating its technical prowess and vast resources, Microsoft limped out a half-hearted rehash of an OS we’ve seen all too much of, and managed to blind most onlookers with a storm of big time partnerships and bloated PR.
They go on to give ten reasons why Windows Mobile 6.5 misses the mark!
I will say that I am not a great fan of Windows Mobile, for many years I used an iPaq as a PDA, but recently (an Acer c530 for GPS and Satnav aside) I have been using either my Nokia phone or an iPod touch as my personal organiser.
GPS devices are getting smaller, and over the next couple of years more and more mobile phones will come equipped with chips that communicate with satellites in space, providing pinpoint data about your location, in theory at least. In fact, mobile market leader Nokia expects to ship 35 million GPS-phones in 2008.
I have been using a few GPS devices recently and they work well in their own ways, a Nokia N95 which can add geo-data to the pictures it takes; a Nokia N810 which can tell me where I am and for an extra €99 will show me the way to where I want to get to; a Windows Mobile PDA, the Acer C530 which comes with GPS and Co-Pilot software which tells me where I am and how to get to my destination.
As part of our Glossy Project (part of the MoLeNET programme) we are looking at the differences between learners using their own devices and the college providing devices.
One particular lecturer was interested in using PDAs with GPS capability. After difficulties in finding a suitable product, in the end I went for a “cheap and cheerful” product, the Acer C530, this is a Windows Mobile device with GPS capabilty built in (through a large external aerial).
Summary of features
64MB SDRAM / 128MB ROM
2.8 inch, TFT-LCD Touchscreen display with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution
108 x 58 x 16.8 mm / 122g
Bluetooth® 1.2 / Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
Integrated SiRF Star III LP GPS receiver
CoPilot 6 Navigation Software with Full Maps of UK, Ireland & Western Europe
Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system
Full MS Office Mobile Suite
Includes Window mount, AC & car charger, case
EU map coverage: including UK and Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia (up to 100% coverage), Spain and Portugal, Russia (detailed coverage in Moscow and St. Petersburg).
The key thing with this device is that it has a rather small screen for what is quite a bulky device.
I was impressed it came with Pocket TV which is a much better application for playing back video than the included Mobile Windows Media Player which comes as standard with Windows Mobile.
So far all I have really done with the device is charge it up (well once I remembered to put the battery in it).
I have not yet managed to get the GPS working, but I know that is because I am indoors and GPS can be so flaky when you are indoors. In a previous life I had a TomTom GPS unit I used with my Sony Ericsson P910i phone and that never worked until I took it outdoors.
It’s raining, so I am not going outside.
The problem with GPS is that it kills the battery fast, so it’s nice to see that the box comes with an included car charger (not that our learners will be using that) but also that it can be charged via USB.
As for expandability it comes with a SD card slot which means at least I am not going to need to find another different memory card format as I seem to be having to do with phones.
Alas it doesn’t have sound recording capability which would have been nice, but then at the price it was much cheaper than more powerful PDA GPS options, currently £176 at Amazon which includes VAT.
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