Axim X50v - Page 2

By Troy Dreier

November 18, 2004

A 624-MHz Intel X-Scale processor drives the X50v, as with the top model in the earlier X30 line. It has 64MB of RAM, as the X30 does, but 128MB of ROM storage versus the X30's 64MB. It also bundles both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking.

The X50 line has the distinction of being the first handheld to come with the pocket version of Microsoft Windows Media Player (WMP) 10 installed. As with the desktop version, the mobile edition o f WMP is a big improvement over WMP 9. WMP 10 integrates digital rights management support for streaming services, so it can access content from Musicmatch, CinemaNow,, among others.

After a few weeks of testing the X50v, we can say that it's specs don't just look good on paper. The X50v is a pleasure to use, whether for work or play.

It comes with pocket versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Messenger, and MSN, and has more than enough processing power to use them. The Pictures application displays shots well in either portrait or landscape mode, although the screen isn't as vividly colored as other handhelds on the market. It also comes with a handy Switcher Bar application, as did the previous Axims, which places a small icon at the top of the screen that lets you switch or close applications quickly.

The X50 bundles with a charging cradle that's much smaller than the one that comes with the X30, yet it also contains room for a charging a second battery. The package bundles a slipcase cover, but our early test model didn't have it so we can't comment on how it looks.


Back of Cradle with Extra Battery

So Many Choices
There are now three Axim X50 and three X30 handhelds, so choosing the right one for you could be difficult.

The top X50, the X50v, sells for $499, which is far less than other top Windows handhelds. If you have the money and crave the VGA screen and multimedia processing power, we say go for it.

The top X30 has been reduced to an amazing $314, which is a steal for a handheld with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Plus, it also has a 624-MHz processor. It doesn't have the X50's styling, but it's great for power users on a budget.

It's less obvious who the ideal users are for the middle and low-end X50s. The middle sells for $399 and has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 520-MHz processor, and both CompactFlash and SD card slots.

It differs from the X50v by not implementing a VGA screen (it has QVGA), the multimedia accelerator, or the game bundle. Unless you plan to watch a lot of videos or do other things that would use the multimedia abilities, you could save $100 and buy this model instead of the X50v.

The lower-end X50 sells for $299 and has a 416-MHz processor. It's similar to the middle X50, except it lacks Wi-Fi and has only 64MB of storage. The high-end X30 is only $15 more and seems a much better deal since it has Wi-Fi. Even if you don't think you need Wi-Fi in your day-to-day, it's incredibly useful to have on hand.

With the X50 line, Dell has put more distance, in terms of overall bang for the buck, between its handhelds and everyone else's. The only thing missing is a digital camera. But if that feature isn't important to you and you're thinking about buying a Pocket PC, you can't do better than taking the time to consider one of Dell's X50 handhelds.

Reprinted from

Pages: 1 2

Comment and Contribute
(Maximum characters: 1200). You have
characters left.