PsiXpda pocket computer
Psion of the times?
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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