The soft menus aside, Windows Mobile 5 doesnâ€™t look very different to its predecessor as most of the changes are under the hood. Among the things you will notice are the appearance of a new application PowerPoint Mobile which allows you to view but not to create PowerPoint documents, and some tweaks (including a name change) to Word Mobile and Excel Mobile (previously known as Pocket Word and Pocket Excel).
The Tablet PC metaphor is obvious when you swivel the screen round so it faces outwards, then lay it flat on the keyboard. Now you have a standard looking Pocket PC. The screen automatically reorients to portrait format, (though you can force it to change orientation using a tappable icon on the Today screen). In Pocket PC format, you can tap at the screen and use the Call and End buttons, volume slider, voice dial button and camera shortcut that all sit around the edges of the hardware.
There are two cameras. One sits near the screen and is primarily designed for video calls and only capable of shooting images at 176 x 144 or 352 x 288. The other, a 1.3 megapixel job with a flash unit, sits on the back. This lacks a self-portrait mirror and while you can take shots including yourself with a little bit of jiggery-pokery involving folding the screen back flat, it is unsatisfactory as the available angles are narrow and you have to work with the image of yourself upside down for portrait format shots.
The Xda Exec is tri-band working on 900, 1800 and 1900 networks. It supports class 10 GPRS, WiFi and Bluetooth are both built in. There is plenty of memory. The review unit I had was not quite final product, and the memory available did not match the quoted specifications, so I couldnâ€™t find out how much of whatâ€™s quoted is actually available. However with 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM the assumption is of something in the region of 100MB free, much of that non-volatile (i.e. your data will survive if the battery fully discharges). There is an SD card slot if you want to add more memory, or peripherals.