Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC

Advertisement

Please note: since the Dell Axim X30 is an improvement on its predecessor, the Axim X3i, we are only concentrating on what has changed or improved in this new model. To read more about the general features, please check out our review: Dell Axim X3i Pocket PC.

WHAT’S HOT

    The X30’s greatest attraction, along with its 624 MHz processor and 64MB RAM and ROM, is its integrated 802.11b wireless, Bluetooth, and included Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition operating system. Without these features, you basically have a Dell Axim X3i, its predecessor from the early part of 2004. For more information on the improvements made by the operating system as tested on this Dell, check out our review: Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition: Exposed.

   Size has become more and more crucial as of late in the mobile device market. Note how Axim X30 maintains one of the smallest overall designs in terms of footprint and weight.

Device (no cover)
Size (inches)
Weight (grams | ounces)
Dell Axim X3i/X30
4.60" x 3.21" x 0.58"
138 | 4.80
HP iPAQ hx4700
5.17" x 3.03" x 0.59"
187 | 6.60
HP iPAQ rx3715
4.50" x 2.80" x 0.64"
158 | 5.57
HP iPAQ rz1715
4.48" x 2.75" x 0.53"
120 | 4.23
HP iPAQ h6315
4.68" x 2.95" x 0.73"
190 | 6.70
HP iPAQ 2215
4.57" x 2.95" x 0.63"
142 | 5.01
HP iPAQ 1910/1940
4.46" x 2.75" x 0.50"
120 | 4.23
HP iPAQ 5450
5.43" x 3.30" x 0.63"
206 | 7.26
Dell Axim X5
5.00" x 3.20" x 0.71"
196 | 6.90
Toshiba e740
4.90" x 3.10" x 0.60"
190 | 6.70
Toshiba e310
4.90" x 3.10" x 0.40"
138 | 4.90

BOX CONTENTS

    In best Dell tradition, the Axim X30’s package can be completely customized from start to finish when purchasing. The unit we tested came with all the standard fixings.

From left to right: Slip Case (with non-removable belt clip), USB Cradle, Axim X30, and AC Power Adaptor.

The power adaptor plugs directly into the USB sync cable to power the device and recharge while syncing, but dell also includes a coupler for connecting it directly to the Axim.

The USB cradle is stylish and rock solid. It also has a slot for an extended battery to charge while showing its status with a separate LED light on the cradle’s front. Very nice.

With the sleek and rounded edges, the Axim X30 is professional and elegant.

THE DEVICE

    Let’s take a closer look at the Dell Axim X30.

The fit and feel of this device is superb in the hand, and the screen is very easy on the eye.

The bottom of the device houses the USB connector port.

The front of the device features the application buttons and a 4 way directional pad. At the center of the directional pad is the action button. The application buttons have raised pictograms indicating their function. Application
buttons include (from left to right): Calendar, Contacts, Inbox, and Dell Home.

The Wireless LED cluster, SDIO slot, and infrared port are positioned on the top of the device.

SD cards can be inserted using the push-push loading system.

The Wireless LED arrangement is simple to understand. A flashing or solid blue light indicates a bluetooth connection, and a flashing green light indicates 802.11b WiFi activity. Dell is one of the only units we have tested that actually has an LED that flashes in relation to when the wireless connection is being used, almost like a status indicator.

PICTORIALLY – DELL AXIM X30 AGAINST OTHER SEGMENT DEVICES
   Most of you are probably wondering how this device measures up when compared to other Pocket PCs. For the purposes of this review, we matched the Dell Axim X30 up against several other Pocket PCs.

From left to right: HP iPAQ h6300, HP iPAQ hx4700, and Dell Axim X30. Side-by-side, you can see that the Axim has a lighter appearance.

From left to right: Dell Axim X30 and HP iPAQ rx3700. These devices probably stand to go head to head with one another as their function and feature offerings are similar.

From top to bottom: HP iPAQ h4150, Dell Axim X30, HP iPAQ rx3700, HP iPAQ h6300, i-Mate Phone Edition (XDA II), HP iPAQ h5450, and HP iPAQ hx4700.

Note that the HP iPAQ hz47000 maintains a thinner profile than all of the Pocket PCs except the top two.

And finally from the bottom..

THE DISPLAY

    Although the photos in this review do not do it justice, I believe that one of this device’s greatest strengths is its display. The colors are vibrant and warm, and the on screen text is crisp and smooth. My only complaint is that it is a bit glossy, the light seems to reflect back more than normal when in environments with a lot of artificial light.

The following photo was taken in a room that was completely dark to show the true color of the screen.

The display on the Axim shows rich colors, despite the way it seems in this photo.

DEVICE SPEED

   Continuing the speed tests we have performed with other Pocket PCs, we’ve updated the speed table to include the results from the Dell Axim X30. All of these benchmark results come from the Pocket PC application Spb Benchmark from Spb Software House.

The Dell Axim X30 scored at a top level. The best achieved yet through our testing.

Yet again, the Axim dominates in terms of sheer CPU Speed.

It’s obvious that the 624 Mhz processor on both the Axim X30 and the HP iPAQ hx4700 account for an increase of nearly a third when decompressing a JPEG photo.

Although the Axim X30 holds its ground in second place, the iPAQ hx4700 embarrasses the competition in the first graphics test.

The Axim X30 is back on top in the second graphics test.

The X30 tripled the score of its 624 MHz equipped competition, the iPAQ hx4700, in the third graphic test.

Surprisingly, the Axim X30 comes up short when displaying files in File Explorer.

After contemplating these test results, one might say that Dell has been able to maintain a really high standard for performance while keeping the price low. Although it may not receive top rankings in every test, generally speaking the Axim is a device by which others should be judged. This Pocket PC has the two ingredients for success: performance and value.

BATTERY LIFE

    The Dell Axim X30 comes by default with a 950 mAh Lithium-Ion battery, with the option to swap out for a physically extrusive 1800 mAh module.

The battery comes out quickly and easily using the stylus to release the locking mechanism.

The optional 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion battery pack adds a bit more bulk, and prevented me from using the included slip case.

Here are the results of our run it to the ground tests:

Full brightness, normal utilization, 72 hours of standby allocated (where applicable):

Device

Time until 0% battery

Dell Axim X30 (w/ standard battery)3h 38m
Dell Axim X30 (w/ extended battery)6h 15m
HP iPAQ hx4700 4h 19m
HP iPAQ rx37007h 13m
HP iPAQ rz17003h 13m
HP iPAQ h63006h 42m
i-mate Phone Edition 3h 53m

While the Axim X30 had the worst battery life of all with the standard pack, the optional battery produced much more respectable results. HP has been doing an excellent job packing higher capacity into their handhelds, and we commend them as the results speak for itself.

PURCHASING

    The Dell Axim X30 is available from Dell . The MSRP is $349.00, but people have been known to use discount codes and pick one up for prices close to $100 less than that.

PURCHASING

    The Dell Axim X30 is available from Dell . The MSRP is $349.00, but people have been known to use discount codes and pick one up for prices close to $100 less than that.

PROS


  • Excellent display

  • Extremely small considering all the functionality offered
  • Very affordably priced
  • 30 MB file store included

CONS


  • Design is getting outdated

  • Poor battery life, unless using an optional extended battery

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is excellent. Whenever someone is looking to get a Pocket PC, and asks for advice, no other Pocket PC comes to mind.

This product helped bring Pocket PCs with serious features down to a level of affordability. Whether someone needs this Pocket PC to keep his/her schedule, or a power user needs a new device to put through its paces, this Axim does not come up short. I simply can’t say enough good things about it.

PROS


  • Excellent display

  • Extremely small considering all the functionality offered
  • Very affordably priced
  • 30 MB file store included

CONS


  • Design is getting outdated

  • Poor battery life, unless using an optional extended battery

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is excellent. Whenever someone is looking to get a Pocket PC, and asks for advice, no other Pocket PC comes to mind.

This product helped bring Pocket PCs with serious features down to a level of affordability. Whether someone needs this Pocket PC to keep his/her schedule, or a power user needs a new device to put through its paces, this Axim does not come up short. I simply can’t say enough good things about it.

Share This Post
Advertisement
What's your reaction?
Love It
0%
Like It
0%
Want It
0%
Had It
0%
Hated It
0%
About The Author
Derek Snyder