Friday, March 18, 2005

New PDA comments

I got a new PDA this week

A Toshiba E830

Since we cannot officially get this machine in my mother coutry or here in America, I thought it might be useful for some to read my impressions of this machine after a full week of use. So here's some thoughts, randomly dropped in as bullet points.

  • The screen is wonderful!

  • MS Reader works fine in VGA mode (SE_VGA) and the amazingly tiny text is clear as could be, easy to read. I am nearly 40 and don't need reading glasses ...

  • Some dialoges don't like VGA

  • When I first tried to use Transcriber in VGA (first I tried to use it at all in fact) it wanted to get me to read some help. It came up on a huge dialogue that I could not move to find the text. I used Wisebar Advanced to kill the process.

  • Transcriber ROCKS in VGA mode. Suddenly it can read my spidery writing

  • Seem to get lots of "MS Reader can no longer find this file" errors. Not sure if this means my SD card is dodgy, or if there is something inherent with this machine.

  • Need to try a different card to store my books on.

  • Virtual Pool Mobile does not support VGA

  • I was able to install (virtually) ALL of the software I had on my old E755 simply by hooking up the 830 and going to Add/Remove Programs in ActiveSync. This is a great 'feature' of AS ... not sure if it is meant to do this or not, but I love it.

  • Pocket Artist is way better in VGA mode.

  • The various Outlook programs do not like VGA ... the dialoges don't scale.

  • Did I mention how great the sceen is?

  • Screen is bright even at lowest setting. I'd love to be able to set it dimmer for reading in bed. Suggestions anyone?

  • I was even able to install ArcSoft Photobase that came on my E755 support disc.

  • Graphic performance seems poor compared to E755 - probably coz I am running in VGA mode?

  • Flash files play great using the Macromedia Standalone Player, but if set to run full screen, what they do is play full screen, with a 240x360 movie in the middle of the screen. Right-click and select "Show All" then it fills the screen nicely.

  • Performace slower than E755 when played as "Show All" but the same if left at default 100%.

  • Advanced Explorer takes its time to catalogue each folder - a lot slower than E755 - VGA setting makes this a much more usable program though.

  • Pocket Streets seems to support VGA!!

  • Wi-Fi works flawlessly and connects in about half the time E755 did.

  • Web browsing is SOOOO much better, but default QVGA settig has HUGE scroll bars, even though the browser window seems to run VGA. SE_VGA fixes this.

  • I seem to get more crashes in Internet Explorer than ever ... machine? SE_VGA? Dodgy OS?

  • Built-in IPphone software (Gphone) is great for peer-to-peer as a local walkie-talkie. Wife and I can communicate in house and garden.

  • Have tried to register with Gphine but their registrstion page is goosed - the buttons you have to press to register are disabled!!!

  • Battery life not too good - could be bright screen + SE_VGA setting ...

  • I want a Mugen extended battery.

  • Wisebar Advanced works really well! But I still have not found a decent VGA theme.

  • Ulti-Planner seems to work really well in VGA - especially the calendar view.

  • What's with the teeny 2002 keyboard that pops up in VGA mode. Can that be fixed?

  • The speaker is a lot louder than E755 - not that that would be hard!!!

  • The Toshiba voice recorder software looks cool. Not tried it yet.

  • Windows Media Player is disappointing in VGA, the old tiny video problem Need to try Beta Player.

  • RealPlayer dialogues don't support VGA but movies seem to fill screen as expected.

  • Calculator looks funny in VGA (it stretches to fit, without scaling buttons) but seems to work.
  • My favourite card game suite Pocket Solitaire works fine - just rescales to fill screen - unlike Microsoft's version ... which seems to have some nice new card decks.

OK that's it for now.

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