In a mobile market increasingly dominated by smartphones, E-TEN makes an effective stand for the pocket PC.
In the smatphone/PDA battle it seems that the former is beginning to come out on top. Of course, it all depends where your priorities lie: a phone first with PC capability or a PC first with phone capability. We think there is still some mileage in the latter so it is interesting to see someone hit back with a modern handset based around a pocket PC for a change.
Arriving on these shores is the M500 from E-TEN, a funky looking quad band device that integrates some of the latest features we have seen on dedicated handsets and smartphones at shows such as 3GSM and puts them into a pocket PC phone. For a start, there is a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, a standard coming to dominate handsets but until now rather lacking on pocket PCs, while the adoption of multimedia continues with MP3, WMA and WMV support.
Like all pocket PCs the M500 comes with a touch screen/stylus interface and the display itself is a 2.8in, 240 x 320 pixel, 65k affair showing off Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. Powering the M500 is a Samsung S3C 2440 400MHz processor and 64MB SDRAM which means it should feel nice and nippy. Again, like an increasing number of handsets, the M500 has support for SD Cards and Bluetooth while IrDA is there should you be feeling nostalgic? Size is compact too at 111 x 60 x 22mm while it weighs in at a reasonable 170g.
Should you find yourself waffling away to friends and colleagues, E-TEN claims you can get up to four hours talk time or 200 hours on standby. Pocket PC usage lasts up to 15 hours.
Shipping to the UK now via SmartDevicesDirect you can get your eager mitts on an M500 for a not altogether unappealing £310 excluding VAT.