Dell Axim X3i Pocket PC Review - Dell Axim X3i Review


The stylus is often a bone of contention but I found the one supplied to be suitable, with just enough weight to it.

Despite the presence of Bluetooth, most will choose to sync via the supplied USB cradle, and this worked well and speedily with Outlook 2003. When the charger is plugged into the back of the cradle it charges the Axim when docked; this is indicated by the Dell logo on the front, which impressively glows blue. The cradle also contains a slot for a spare battery and this can be charged while the PDA is docked. You can also charge the Axim without the cradle. However, the power cable doesn’t plug directly into the Axim X3i itself but rather into a supplied adaptor. This isn’t ideal, but you have the same situation with most iPAQs.

While you don’t have to lug the hefty cradle around to charge the Axim, if you need to sync while travelling you’ll have to purchase a separate cable, available from the Dell website for £9 plus VAT. Carry cases are also available, in both hard and soft variety. Dell was good enough to include samples in the review box. Both have integrated belt clips. The leather case is stylish but the hard case has a transparent front so you can see the screen – useful if you need to use the Axim in the rain.

So how about the crucial battery life? The Axim is powered by a 950mAh lithium-ion battery. Inevitably, running with both WiFi and Bluetooth on will hammer the battery and when I did so I had to recharge at the end of the day. Used more sparingly, you could reasonably expect to only have to charge the Axim every three days or so. As the battery is removable you could also buy a spare and carry it with you.

The software CD contains a number of applications but disappointingly most of these are trial versions. The only free ones are a Dell diagnostic utility and a PowerPoint converter.

Overall, the Dell Axim X3i is a fine PDA that’s good looking and feature rich, with WiFi and Bluetooth being a big draw. The problem however, is that the stylish and slightly more svelte iPAQ h4150 is available for less. Unless you’re kitting out your office and can get a special deal from Dell, the Axim X3i is just too expensive to recommend.


This Dell is a smart and professional looking PDA. It’s nippy to use, has a great screen and best of all offers integrated WiFi and Bluetooth. The trouble is, so does the iPAQ h4150 – and for less money.


Trusted Score

Score in detail

  • Usability 8
  • Value 7
  • Features 8

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