A Dell Axim review shows the power of Dell handhelds

It is not easy to do a Dell Axim review. The company, ever since it launched its first Dell Axim in 2002, has flooded the market with one great model after another. Each Dell Axim as been accompanied by a great market blitz and huge consumer interest.

The first of the famous Dell Axims was Axim X5. It was basically a Pocket PC that ran on the Windows platform. Over the next few years Dell launched a variety of models ranging from the entry level Axim X5 to the compact Axim X3 and Axim X30 and the extremely sleek and cool Axim X50 and Axim X51 series.

Axim X5 was launched in two models, one for the basic users and another for the high end customers. The basic model had a 300MHz Intel XScale processor with 32MB RAM and 16-bit TFT screen. The higher end model ran at 400 MHz (Intel XScale processor again) with 64MB RAM. The models weighed about 6.9 ounces and had a form factor of 5 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches.

The Axim X3 was the next model to be introduced in the market. It had a smaller form factor. Its clinching feature was that it supported Wi-Fi. This Wi-Fi supporting model sold for about $400.

The Axim X30 had a 624MHz Intel XScale processor and ran the Windows Mobile 2003 SE. Its 3.5” QVGA TFT screen had 16-bit display and was a real eye-catcher. Its bright display coupled with excellent speed made it a good buy. Add to this Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support and you had a real winner in your hands.

Cashing in on the success of the Axim X30 Dell launched the X50. Three different models were launched. The high-end one had a huge 3.7” VGA LCD screen supporting 16-bit color and was called X50v while the other two had a 3.5” QVGA TFT screen. The X50v also had 16MB video RAM and a 3D accelerator. All the models ran the Windows Mobile 2003 SE. Also all had Bluetooth support. The X50 mid and X50v had Wi-Fi as well.

The most recent model in this series is Axim X51. It was launched in 2005, and is considered the best handheld ever. Using the Windows Mobile 5.0 it packs in a whole lot of features. It has most features of the X50v such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, 3.7” VGA LCD and a 3D accelerator. Along with this it has 64MB SDRAM and Intel 256MB StrataFlash ROM. It also has USB cradle and VGA-out support. The model is retailed at a slightly high price of $449, which might be out of reach of certain customers.

There is little doubt that the Axim series has made Dell a major player in the handheld market.

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