All in all though, the specifications of the Pocket Loox 420 are remarkably similar to those of the iPAQ 4150. The 3.5in TFT display features the same 240 x 320 resolution, while Fujitsu Siemens supplies a docking cradle, just as HP does for the iPAQ 4150. The cradle is pretty basic and sports a connector for the PDA at the front and a port for the sync cable in the back.
There’s no power connector on the cradle, with juice provided though the sync cable which has an input for the power adaptor. As it might be awkward to carry both the charger and the sync cable along with you if you’re travelling, Fujitsu-Siemens supplies a connector that can be attached to the charger so you can charge the PDA without having to bring the sync cable along with you.
To protect the Loox 420 against accidental damage and scratches, a leather case with a soft inside is supplied. Although it works well in theory, the question is where you put it when you want to use your PDA. I tend to prefer cases with a flip lid that house the PDA as you can’t lose the case. What’s more, I found that when I kept the Loox in its cover I kept hitting the voice recording button all the time, as that was the natural place to grab it when you pulled it out of the case. Again, not a major issue, just something that bugged me.
Fujitsu Siemens doesn’t supply any additional software in addition to what is supplied with the Pocket PC operating system. You only get a voucher in the box that allows you to download a couple of applications of your own choice for free.This is a shame as there are plenty of utilities that would have been really useful, especially a third party application for changing the wireless network settings. I found that you can only set up your wireless network settings once a new connection has been discovered and although it is easy to do the first time around, it is very hard to make any changes to that connection. As far as I could tell, it is also not possible to scan for available networks manually or set the Pocket Loox 420 up to be used with a network that doesn’t broadcast its SSID.
Bluetooth is fortunately easier to set-up though you can’t use Bluetooth audio devices such as a headset. It’s a shame, as this could be really handy for VOIP or even voice recording, but this is really a minor issue.
This is the first PDA review where we provided benchmarks and we’ve decided to use Spb Benchmark – a cross platform PDA benchmark. The base line is a Compaq iPAQ 3600 with a 200MHz processor which has a score of 1,000 in all the benchmarks. I wouldn’t get too hung up on the numbers but they do give a rough indication on the differences between various PDAs.
The Pocket Lox 420 managed quite well in all the tests, doing especially well in the graphics and Active Sync tests. However, it lagged a little in the file system tests.
Overall I was impressed with the Pocket Loox 420. It could be accused of being nothing more that an iPAQ 4150 clone in a different chassis with some Fujitsu-Siemens applications thrown in for good measure, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a good PDA. The final point is the asking price, which at £263.19 is on par with what you’d expect to pay for the iPAQ 4150.
The Pocket Loox 420 doesn’t offer anything new to the PDA market, but it is a good alternative to an iPAQ.