Today's PDAs purport to do a lot more than simply manage your appointments. The motivation of various manufacturers in expanding PDA functionality is no secret: sales figures have been falling sharply for several consecutive quarters. Multifunctional devices represent an attempt to stem the downward tide, and to make the pocket PC appeal to a far broader target group than was the case a year ago.
PDAs such as the Mypal A730 from Asus feature goodies like integrated digital cameras. HP trumps even that with its Ipaq rx3715 , luring would-be buyers with WLAN and AV streaming, and touting the device as a multimedia control and play center.
Dell would like to jump into the fray as well, with its top-of-the-line X50v. While the Texas-based engineers at Dell didn't put a digital camera in the new X50 series, they are hoping that the 3.7" VGA screen and dedicated graphics controller - the Intel 2700G Multimedia Accelerator - will jumpstart sales. These features only come with the top model X50v, at a price tag of $425.
The two smaller models, the Axim X50/520MHz and X50/416MHz, have to make do with a QVGA display and no dedicated graphics controller. The midrange Axim X50/520MHz has integrated WLAN and Bluetooth like the X50v, while the barebones X50/416MHz features only a Bluetooth module and half the ROM (64 MB). The prices are appropriate to the features, at $339 and $254 respectively.
Before we turn our attention to the X50v and its benchmark results, we'd like to introduce you briefly to Intel's 2700G Multimedia Accelerator.