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View Full Version : Toshiba e310 getting good reviews


Ed Hansberry
05-01-2002, 12:50 PM
<a href="http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2863174,00.html">http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2863174,00.html</a><br /><br />ZDNet has some great things to say about the new Toshiba e310. "Even if they still don't sell at quite the same rate as Palm OS-based PDAs, Pocket PCs have won several battles over the years. The hardware is more advanced. The software can do a lot more. And with the release last fall of Pocket PC 2002, the operating system is getting nearly as easy to use. The only areas where Pocket PCs still can't match Palms is size and weight--not to mention their big price tags."<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/e310.jpg" /><br /><br />Oh, wait. That is good things about the Pocket PC in general! ;-) Here we go. "In our humble opinion, the e310 is the most significant improvement in Pocket PC design since Compaq introduced the original iPaq" and "At first glance, in fact, you would assume the e310 was a Palm OS device. At 4.9 ounces, it actually weighs the same as the Palm m515, and is significantly lighter than the iPaq H3835, which weighs in at 6.7 ounces." <a href="http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0-2709830-404-9789407.html">CNet has also been giving good reviews of the e310</a> with such comments as "The e310 has all the makings of a groundbreaking product that will have the kind of impact on the PDA market that the original iPaq did" and "... everything points toward the e310 being the product that bridges the design and economic gap between Palm OS-powered devices and Pocket PCs. Sorry, folks, but it looks like the choice of which handheld to buy just got a little harder."<br /><br />The only real downside I see to the e310 is the 32MB of RAM, and being a new product, great third party peripherals like a Stowaway Keyboard simply don't exist yet. But if this comes to the US in quantity and at the $399 price level it could well be a groundbreaking prodcut CNet predicts.

Coolwater
05-01-2002, 01:33 PM
I have 2 questions about this:

1) Since it is a cheaper device, does that mean it's screen is like the ones HP Jornada 525 & 548's had? I'm not sure what it is called but it was nearly impossible to use those under any kind of daylight or brightly lit environments. Or will the display be like the ipaq's which works great in any kind of lighting?

2) Is Compact Flash being replaced by SD as a standard? I realize that SD costs more than CF memory right now, but what are future devices more likely to have? for example, if I bought a digital camera a year from now, what will it likely have CF or SD? So far I've been heavily invested in CF, so should I be switching to SD?

Ed Hansberry
05-01-2002, 01:48 PM
This has a reflective screen, just like all Pocket PC 2002 devices.

As for SD vs CF, I really think SD is the future but the problem today is there are no SD IO devices like modems, NIC's, etc. I think we are still a couple of years from those things.

jpzr
05-01-2002, 01:54 PM
At first glance, in fact, you would assume the e310 was a Palm OS device. At 4.9 ounces, it actually weighs the same as the Palm m515, and is significantly lighter than the iPaq H3835, which weighs in at 6.7 ounces

e310 is smaller than iPAQs 38xx but it has BOTH SLOTS: SD and CompactFlash.

I need to buy PocketPC with Xscale processor of 400 MHz and of RAM at least 128 MB (not counting expansion slots). If Compaq (or FiorinaPaq or HP after merger) will not release iPAQ with 400 MHz/128MB AND both slots then I will drop Compaq/HP altogether and I will go for Toshiba. I think that it is a shame that there is no standard CompactFlash slot in iPAQs 38xx !

Janak Parekh
05-01-2002, 02:34 PM
e310 is smaller than iPAQs 38xx but it has BOTH SLOTS: SD and CompactFlash.

No, I'm pretty sure the e310 has only a SD slot.

As to the 32MB: I think this is geared more towards the average user, who's going to use basic PIM functions, play a few MP3's, and not need the 64MB RAM. PPC is perfectly useable with 32MB if you don't need to install that many applications.

--bdj

Ed Hansberry
05-01-2002, 02:37 PM
e310 is smaller than iPAQs 38xx but it has BOTH SLOTS: SD and CompactFlash.

No, I'm pretty sure the e310 has only a SD slot.


Yup. The 570 had both but the 310 dropped the CF slot.

entropy1980
05-01-2002, 03:03 PM
I still think the price point is a little too high, this needs to be around 300-350 to be a palm killer, hopefully we will see that drop soon enough, the main sticking point for me is lack of CF due to not being able to use my 802.11b or my modem.

Scott R
05-01-2002, 07:35 PM
What's the battery life like? They didn't mention it in their article. That would seem pretty important to me. Considering that this isn't an XScale device, I'd be concerned that smaller size and weight equates to smaller battery as well. IMO, the Audiovox Maestro (and Toshiba equivalent) is a better option for a PPC shopper. CF expansion is one of the advantages of the PPC and the devices I just mentioned are still a good deal smaller/lighter than similarly equipped PPCs.

Slightly off-topic...Once again I hear about how with PPC 2002, usability has improved to be closer to the Palm OS. Can someone please outline just what usability improvements were made in PPC 2002? I've heard this statement several times but there weren't many (if any) usability improvements made with PPC 2002, IMO. Features added? Yes. Usability improvements? I don't know about that.

Scott

Ed Hansberry
05-01-2002, 07:48 PM
Slightly off-topic...Once again I hear about how with PPC 2002, usability has improved to be closer to the Palm OS. Can someone please outline just what usability improvements were made in PPC 2002? I've heard this statement several times but there weren't many (if any) usability improvements made with PPC 2002, IMO. Features added? Yes. Usability improvements? I don't know about that.

There weren't a lot, given this is Pocket PC 1.1, not 2.0. :-) But to list a few:

Buttons in Calendar to toggle between various views
Hotlinks in contacts for email and URL launching
the red circling dots - visual indicator as to what tap-and-hold is doing
File Manager remembers setting and double-tapping on storage system icons returns you to the root of the storage system unless it is RAM, then to My Documents
View by Company in contacts
Email wizard setup for POP3/IMAP accounts
Separate Grafitti SIP
Transcriber in ROM
Tap-and-hold implemented in Excel

All of those either reduce necessary taps or are very clear as to what those taps do.

Then there are network file shares, spell checking, blah blah blah which all enhance the usability of the device.

Not sure if that is what you are asking or not. Hard to distinguish between some new htings as to whether those are "usabiltiy" or "functionality." Clearly Terminal Server falls on the functionality side and hotlinks in Contacts/Calendar toggle buttons on the usability side. MOst of the rest falls in various stages between.

jeffmckean
05-02-2002, 03:09 AM
The $399.99 price point is the same as the Palm m515.

So let's see:

Palm: 160x160 16-bit display, 33Mhz processor, SD slot, 16mb RAM

e310: 240x320 16-bit display, 206Mhz processor, SD slot, 32mb RAM

+ voice recorder, Windows Media player, soft input panel, etc. etc. etc.

I think the price point is about right, since you get more for the same price. I'm sure Palm will reduce the m515 price at some point in the near future, but I think as long as there's enough volume of the e310 in the pipeline (and enough retail partners) the e310 will make significant inroads into Palm's marketshare.

Pony99CA
05-02-2002, 01:00 PM
What's the battery life like? They didn't mention it in their article. That would seem pretty important to me. Considering that this isn't an XScale device, I'd be concerned that smaller size and weight equates to smaller battery as well.

I wondered the same thing. When ZDNet said, "The only areas where Pocket PCs still can't match Palms is size and weight--not to mention their big price tags", they obviously forgot about battery life (unless the newer Palms don't last as long).


IMO, the Audiovox Maestro (and Toshiba equivalent) is a better option for a PPC shopper. CF expansion is one of the advantages of the PPC and the devices I just mentioned are still a good deal smaller/lighter than similarly equipped PPCs.

If CompUSA is still selling the Maestro for $299, I would get one of those instead of an e310, too. Compact Flash support is a big plus.

However, I would not say it "is one of the advantages of the PPC". Compact Flash is not specified by the PPC spec (obviously, since not all devices have them, including the most popular one -- the iPAQ). It's a nit, but I'd say that it's one of the advantages some of the PPC devices have.

Steve

Scott R
05-02-2002, 04:18 PM
However, I would not say it "is one of the advantages of the PPC". Compact Flash is not specified by the PPC spec (obviously, since not all devices have them, including the most popular one -- the iPAQ). It's a nit, but I'd say that it's one of the advantages some of the PPC devices have.

What I meant was that CompactFlash is one of the selling points of getting a PPC over a Palm OS device. Even the iPaq can use CF if you're willing to add the bulky sleeve (or get a slimmified aftermarket version).

Scott

Pony99CA
05-02-2002, 05:17 PM
What I meant was that CompactFlash is one of the selling points of getting a PPC over a Palm OS device. Even the iPaq can use CF if you're willing to add the bulky sleeve (or get a slimmified aftermarket version).


Yep, and I understood that, which is why I wrote a slightly modified version discussing devices (as opposed to the Pocket PC platform). Of course, I was only considering Pocket PCs with integrated CF support.

However, if you start talking about hardware add-ons for Compact Flash support, like the iPAQ CF sleeve, then your assertion that CF is an advantage for Pocket PCs is false. There exist Compact Flash adapters for Palm-platform devices, too. Specifically, there are CF adapters for the Handspring out there. Check out the MemPlug (http://www.pitech.com/hardware/Memplug.htm).

Steve

Ed Hansberry
05-03-2002, 01:24 PM
However, if you start talking about hardware add-ons for Compact Flash support, like the iPAQ CF sleeve, then your assertion that CF is an advantage for Pocket PCs is false. There exist Compact Flash adapters for Palm-platform devices, too. Specifically, there are CF adapters for the Handspring out there. Check out the MemPlug (http://www.pitech.com/hardware/Memplug.htm).
The difference is virutally 100% of CF devices have Windows CE/Pocket PC drivers written for them. Handera (PalmOS) has to write the drivers themselves usually for CF devcies for their 330 and therefore they only hit the high points and generally lag the CF device release date by quite some time if they deem it popular enough to bother with. The memPlug AFAIK only supports memory cards (Type I too, so no microdrives), not IO devices like NIC's and modems.