Sunday, April 7, 2002 at 10:30PM
|Psion 5mx v Sony Clie N770CU v Nokia 9210|
|Thought it would be nice to do a comparitive review of the PDA's I currently own- although I'm comparing 3 very different machines after a lot of thought I came up with a surprising winner.|
|I have used Psions for the past 10 years ever since I purchased an original 128kb Psion Series 3 in 1991. I steadily upgraded through every new machine and finally stayed with a 5mx. I still use it now and have to say that most of it's advantages are hardware related- the keyboard is still the best I have used on a PDA and I type just as quick on it as I do on my Toshiba laptop. It's solidly constructed and looks (in my opinion) very professional with a unique hinge which slides the keyboard out as you open the unit. The screen is very clear (monochrome) and has en excellent backlight which works well in all conditions.|
Yes, Psion have moved away from the consumer market and this machine lacks some features that are seen in a lot of modern PDA's- colour screen, MP3, video playback and good quality web clipping to name but a few. It's advantages lie in the overall design and the EPOC OS which is outstanding for generally organising your day to day adventures- it's still the only OS that truly integrates applications which each other i.e. you can put a 'wrod' document into the 'agenda' application with a couple of key presses and the same goes for 'sheet' files, sketches etc. etc.
It's main disadvantage is size (sort of)- it is big in comparison to Palms and Pocket PC's but the trade off is an excellent keyboard and the fact that it is still the best PDA to use as a laptop replacement!
Keyboard / EPOC OS (Ease and speed of use) / Build Quality
Monochrome screen / starting to look a little bit dated / size
Portability: 7 OS: 9.5 Ease of use: 9.5 Features: 8.5 Flexibilty: 9 Overall: 8.7
Sony Clie N770CU
|Well, here's the machine that inspired me to set up Clie World almost from the day I purchased it. I was using a Palm m505 as my main machine and bought this more out of curiosity than anything else but it was a very good choice and to this day I still marvel at the quality of the screen! Although the Palm OS is not as practical or quick as EPOC in everyday use it is the nearest there is and comes in a much smaller hardware package which has it's own benefits.|
So why do I use this Clie over the other Palm Powered offerings? Firstly the battery life is quite superb, even when playing MP3's for long periods of time. It also has a feeling of robustness which a machine like the T625 does not have- it feels like it could be dropped from a fair height and survive to play another day. The screen clarity and colour dfefinition are excellent and really show off photos in all their glory. Finally, the MP3 playback sounds wonderful- this may sound over the top but within a few weeks I had sold my Sony mini-disc as this was the only machine I could find to match it's sound quality.
It's not all gushing praise and this machine does have it's faults- the screen is easily scrathable and I already have 3 scratches on mine (had never scratched a PDA screen before in 10 years so it's not just me) and it is fairly bulky in comparison to some of the new Palm units but in this review it wins by a mile.
Screen quality / MP3 playback / Build quality
Data input (Graffiti) / Fragile glass screen / Poor cradle (too light)
Portability: 9 OS: 8 Ease of use: 8 Features: 9.5 Flexibilty: 8.5 Overall: 8.6
I have only been using this machine for a week but have already managed to ascertain the good and bad points already. The main dissapointment for me is the fact that it has onboard a development of the EPOC OS but the hardware does tend to take away many of the benefits normally associated with EPOC. Although programs like conatacts, agenda, sheet etc. are colour variations of the programs used in the 5mx the screen on the 9210 is just too small to take full advantage of their usability. The processor does not seem fully capable of handling the OS either as there tends to be long waits whilst opening and navigating in some programs.
On the good side the keyboard, whilst small, is surprisingly usable and with a small amount of practice I can get up to some fairly quick typing speeds. The combination on a mobile phone and PDA does work well here- it's a pleasant experience sending SMS and email quickly from anywhere you like and to be able to scroll through your contacts and then press 'call' to reach them is nice. The Web application is quick as well with some complex pages loading a lot quicker than with a Clie and standard GSM mobile for instance. One other very useful feature is the hands free function which is superbly implemented- I managed to hold a conversation with my Mother yesterday whilst the phone was open 10 feet away and she thought I was on my land-line. There are many other features which I won't go into here but you can get more information at allabouter6.com.
Phone/PDA integration / Keyboard / EPOC OS
Size & weight / small screen / speed
Portability: 5 OS: 9 Ease of use: 7 Features: 8.5 Flexibilty: 8.5 Overall: 7.6
So the 5mx wins by a very small margin- the choice between these 2 machines is purely down to what the user requires- if you need to input lots of data on the road and want a laptop replacement the 5mx is the one. If portability and MP3 are your main wants the Clie is the one to go for (it has been discontinued though so be quick). Finally- the Nokia 9210, whilst very desirable, does not quite feel like the finished article yet.