Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hardware Impressions: Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720

A friend of mine showed me his new Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720 today. Damn its nice.

Love the form factor. It is very similar to my HP iPAQ h4150's design albeit a little thicker. Its the same thickness as my Sony Ericsson K700i mobile.

There is a 1.3Megapixel digital camera on the back. The quality looks okay through the screen but we won't know for sure until its transfered to the PC. Personally I don't really care about the camera and wish they saved the money on something else instead (like faster processor and more RAM).

This might seem trivial but there is a standard 3.5mm earphone jack on the top. The SD and CF-II slot is also on the top. The stylus location is on the right side. The IrDA port is also on the top.

I really love the buttons. Its much nicer and easier to use than the one on my h4150. The is a button on the left side and another one on the right. There is also a scroll whell.

Stylus is almost the same size as my h4150. Still prefer the size of my T3's stylus. In my opinion, the perfect stylus size are the one that came with Palm's m5xx series.

The weight is alright. As heavy as my old Sony N770C/U but I have been spoilt by my h4150's feather weight. Even my Tungsten T3 is lighter! But I doubt its heavier than the hx4700 and Toshiba's e830.

The screen is beautiful. Of course at VGA resolution it has to be. The screen size is 3.6". Doesn't sound much but even when compared to my h4150's 3.5" it feels bigger. But its smaller than the 3.8" T3 screen.

Cleartype works well in portrait mode but do not use it on landscape mode. This is due to the nature of LCDs (where one pixel is made up of 3 portrait like coloured pixels), where Cleartype on Pocket PC is optimized for portrait mode only.

Performance wise I can't really tell since he hasn't installed much. He is still migrating from his h1930. But the built in programs were a little faster. The CPU runs at 520Mhz and is overclockable to 624Mhz.

I removed my SD card to installed it onto his new PDA. Launched Flux Challenge. Works great. He had a 4Gb Microdrive in it (he got it from his Creative MuVo) full of dance music. Nice.

The OS was a let down. There are no obvious GUI changes. The icons are sharper and the QWERTY keyboard looks nicer. It has an option to switch to landscape now but its quite pathetic and does not work as well as my T3.


The keyboard layout is at the bottom so it takes up almost half the screen when in landscape mode. It is really that bad! Pocket IE is still the same crappo o-ma-ma. Really crap especially in landscape mode. I also have to go through the control panel to switch to landscape and vice versa. (You can also set a button to rotate)

The Bluetooth connection to my K700i works very well and soon I was connected to my GPRS account. Of course I did not use PIE much since its really crap. Should have installed NetFront.

There are not WiFi hotspots in the tube so I did not test that.

The Loox also contains USB host functionality. I took out my 512Mb USB drive and it recognises it. But I do have concern that it would greatly impact battery life.

Well it was a nice 30 minutes. He played with my h4150 while complaining about how slow it was and how crap the screen was. I just sat there in the tube experimenting with his 720 and feeling my face go red.

It costs less than £400. You can order now from Clove or Expansys.

Will I buy it? Considering that I got my h4150 for only £230 (original RRP was £450), I am expecting the price of the Loox to drop down to that level in 6 months time. And I am still awaiting the release of palmOne's T3 replacement - the T5.

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