Dell Axim X3 is a good pocket PC

The Dell Axim X3 Pocket PC, which is the slim replacement of the relatively bulky Axim X5, comes in two models: the basic model and the advanced model. The advanced model also comes with WiFi 802.11b wireless networking and is named the X3i.

All three models have the Intel XScale PXA263 processors and Intel StrataFlash ROM, which are both faster and cost more than the NAND Flash ROM that is used in cheaper Pocket PCs. The basic model has a 300 MHz XScale processor, 32 megs of RAM and 32 megs of ROM. It sells for $ 229. The advanced model has a 400 MHz XScale processor, 64 megs of RAM and 64 megs of ROM. It costs $ 329 while the X3i with WiFi connectivity costs $379.

The Axim X3 comes with the Windows Mobile 2003 suite of programs, which include Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, Outlook, and Windows Media Player 9. It weighs 6 ounces, has rounded edges and fits comfortably into the palm of the hand. The plastic casing has a silver finish on the front and back, while the sides are black. The PDA has a central directional pad surrounded by four application buttons.

The basic X3 is reasonably fast and the advanced version has a control panel applet, which allows the user to set the clock speed manually or in the automatic mode. The X3 comes equipped with a 950 mAh Lithium Ion battery. However, the X3i works better with an optional 1800 mAh extended battery.

The X3 offers good sound volume and quality, which improves when headphones are used. It has a 3.5” transflective LCD screen, with 6 levels of brightness and a microphone with an applet to set gain for recordings.

The X3i model has a button to activate and de-activate the WiFi radio, and a black translucent antenna, which flashes in blue when WiFi is activated. The X3 models do not have Bluetooth. When WiFi is turned on, a user can use Windows Mobile 2003 Connection Manager to connect to WiFi access points. A system tray icon displays the signal strength while a pop up menu, which displays the WLAN status, allows users to edit profiles or turn the radio on or off.

In mid-2003, Dell introduced Axim X30 to replace the X3.

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