As is the convention for this type of software the Huawei Mobile Partner application can be used to manage SMS messaging and voice calls as well as data connections. The all-important Sim card is positioned beneath a cover on the underside of the casing.
Also available in white
We found the 1GHz Intel Atom Z510 processor was efficient at keeping things going as long as we didn’t open too many applications at once or ask it to think too hard. It baulked at having 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth running as well as streaming music from a USB stick, for example, but it made easy work of Web browsing and playing video.
There is 16GB of SSD storage on board. Windows XP consumes some of this, of course. There were several other apps pre-installed on our review sample, including the aforementioned OpenOffice, Pidgin and Firefox. We added the free version of AVG to the mix immediately and we were left with about 9GB free for more apps and data.
Battery life is crucial in a device like this. In general use we found we could get half day from the 1850mAh battery, but nothing like a full day. A more stringent test was to play music from a USB flash drive with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, and the power scheme tweaked so that the screen remained on. In this configuration we managed 1hr 50mins of music before the device conked out.
The PsiXpda leaves us with mixed feelings. The comms capabilities kept us happy and it worked well enough as far as the internals are concerned, provided we didn’t ask the processor to keep too many balls in the air at once. However, the screen, while very readable, is too small and the keyboard too fiddly to allow the PsiXpda to be a device you’d want to rely on for serious tasks. At £500 we reckon it will be difficult for many to justify the expense. ®
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PsiXpda pocket computer
What a disappointment
I never had a Series 5, but I did have both a Series 3 and 3a and both were positively svelte compared to this.
Dare I say it? Psion at their best were like a UK Apple when it came to industrial design.
This is pig-ugly and running an OS that really isn't tailored for the form-factor.
Contrast to the Series 3/3a OS (only because I know less about the Series 5): proper multitasking, extremely capable PIM/word processor/spreadsheet/database/programming environment, and all running in 256k of RAM. And about 3 months on 2xAAs. OK so it lacked a touch screen and any kind of multimedia which would be essential now, but in a decade of use I think I only had to reset the thing about 3 times. Now that's stable!
Something this clunky, with a desktop OS that only lasts a couple of hours on a full charge, really doesn't cut it in a world where you can get a netbook for less if you want to type a lot, or you can get an iPhone or Android phone for less: both much more pocketable and entirely capable of doing most of what you want to do on the move apart from write a thesis.
The previous poster who suggested that someone should licence the Series 5 case design and put modern hardware and software into it was spot on.
Psion of the times?
If this is 'state of the art' for 'the times', then I think there's been an interruption in the blah, blah, blah.
Psions had style, a bullet proof OS and were works of art in their own right. Just give me a Series 5 chassis with network connectivity...
I want it
But with a better battery. What I've wanted from my phone for some time now (and this does voice calls from the sound of it) is a Windows (real, not CE) device that I can, when required, do real work on.
I don't mind charging it each night. But it has to last a day.
Good step now lets see what they can do next
I like this direction. We do need a pocket computer that's not deficient in todays tech. It's my hope the next one has even more RAM and storage. Also good to see the very good Windows XP in use here. It would do MS well to keep it available just for this kind of device.
Yes, yes, yes....
...it's all well and good, but what does JF Mezei think?
There's no point making this device if it's only going to end up as yet another £500 paper weight.