A stylish introduction to truly mobile computing...
PDAs have become so ”Blah” recently. With smartphones increasingly winning the hearts and minds of yuppie businessmen everywhere there hasn’t been much to shout about. HP’s new iPaq hw6700 series looks pretty tasty, but mostly we’ve been feeding off scraps. So imagine how pleased we were when Asus showed up with these two yummy treats.
The Windows Mobile 5.0 based MyPal A636 (above) and A632 make their way to retail stores next week and come jam packed with goodies and neat little touches. For a start, both machines’ 3.5in 320 x 240 displays can operate in portrait and landscape modes, meaning practical web surfing on one hand and a widescreen aspect for movie viewing on the other.
There is full GPS capability courtesy of the acclaimed SiRE Star III chip (famed for working accurately even off weak signals) and a neat fold away antenna, b wireless (A636 only) and Bluetooth. A 416MHz Intel XScale PXA7 processor powers things along, helped out by 128MB of flash and 64MB of SDRAM leaving 85MB reserved for user storage. Extra capacity can be added via an SD Card slot, while the A632 gains an extra miniSD memory slot to make up for the lack of wireless.
Portability is a key aspect of both models too and their 122 x 73 x 18.8mm dimensions and 186g weight group them amongst the lighter PDAs we have seen. Perhaps most impressive of all, however, is the stamina of these devices. Asus quotes a staggering 44 hours usage, up to 18 hours playing MP3s or 7.5 hours of continuous navigation from a single charge. Certainly, I have never heard of any PDA lasting anywhere near this long so if you’re a road warrior out in the field for long stretches you can’t look past this.
Inside the box buyers will also find extensive accessories including an in-car mounting kit and charger, AC adaptor, 128MB flash card, sync cable, stylus, windscreen mounting holder, protection case and a bundle of software. The A636 will set you back £349 with the A632 a little cheaper at £299 (both including VAT).
All of which inspires me towards a new saying: It’s not the size that matters, but how long you can use it.