Axim X51V vs X50V?

Discussion in 'Other Device Manufacturers' started by MTHall49, Feb 16, 2008.

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  1. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    Both, really. 2003 Second Edition was better than 2003, but I still prefer WM5 and up.
     
  2. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    The biggest improvement in WM2003SE ("Second Edition") was proper provision for landscape/portrait graphic support. Plus the usual incremental little tweaks and changes which always get put into any minor OS build; most of these primarily concerned Microsoft's ideas about how they'd like your apps and networking to function, and most of these were of no real consequence if you chose to install third-party apps which replaced WM's native functions with something more powerful.

    Think of the differences between WM2003 and WM2003SE as being roughly similar to those between WM6.0 and WM6.1 - not much overall improvement, except insofar as providing better drivers, support, and the latest compatibility revisions for the PDA's integrated hardware. Nobody really cares much about Microsoft's improvements in Pocket Internet Explorer or Media Player Mobile when they use Opera Mini or TCPMP instead.

    The big difference between WM2003x and WM5 is that WM5 (and later versions) use a "persistent user storage" model. In essence this preserves your data when the device is suddenly powered off or loses batter power; older (WM2003x) devices would be wiped factory-clean if their power was completely depleted. (Most of these devices had an internal backup battery to provide "reserve" power when changing the main battery; it could usually maintain the device in low-power standby for several days if needed, long enough to swap main batteries or hit a charger.)

    WM5 devices accomplish this by making heavy use of nonvolatile flash ROM instead of volatile RAM. The tradeoff is speed; although ROM architectures and technologies have improved, and although the OS/drivers make much more efficient use of them, flash-based memory is still somewhat slower than good old RAM. For a pocket PC this is hardly noticable unless you compare devices side by side (or you're a stubborn purist like me); for a desktop or laptop PC it would be frustratingly slow.

    In any event, the only OS versions available for the X51v at this time are WM5- and WM6-based. No stable WM2003x was ever released, and the few beta-type attempts didn't work very well anyways because the X51v's ROM is designed to operate within the persistent storage model. Do not confuse this device with the older Axim X50v which is nearly identical but runs WM2003SE.
     
  3. Girt

    Girt Gadgeteer

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    I hear what you're saying, but I see this - several "pro" software makers, for example Ultrasoft Money, still support older PPC's... but it stops at WM2003SE, not 2003. Seems like there must be something significant?
     
  4. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    Software for WM2003 and 2003SE - what I call "WM2003x" together - is generally interchangable, unless it specifically requires SE's improvements to landscape/portrait support and such. Both are based on the WinCE 4.20 core.

    PPC2002 and earlier (pre-CE4.2) OS builds might or might not be able always run this software.

    The easiest way to find out is to simply try installing your software on your device and see what happens for a while. You can always uninstall stuff that doesn't work properly. If it doesn't work it could be caused by the OS or by the hardware; probably easier to just get a more recent device.
     
  5. Girt

    Girt Gadgeteer

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    I'm having fun continuing this thread, but let me know if I should start a new one.

    So - I have a fairly used Axim x51v and a PPC 6600. I'm testing WM5 vs. WM2003SE with other variables like screen and new-ness.
    I found New-ness makes a big difference. The used Axim has mild digitizer issues - hard to Graffiti an A or T, for instance. The older, but never used 6600 is great. So digitizers seem to wear, even if unscratched.
    But - this could be an Axim issue as well - anybody?

    As far as QVGA vs. VGA - augh! Having had HVGA for the last many years, QVGA is just unacceptable. Call me spoiled.

    So it just comes down to: Axim or HP 4700
    WM5 or SM2003SE

    Off hand, '03SE seems snappier. I am also getting crashes on WM5 - but could that be age? I am getting frequent crashes on Pocket Artist and HandBase.

    I would love input and experiences...
     
  6. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    I would go for the Axim over the 4700. It's slightly easier to obtain new or salvaged components for the Axims (X50, X51, X50v, and X51v share largely interchangable parts), although not always cheaper. New LCMs, batteries, styli, and carrying cases are still being made for all these devices, and new external hardware accessories tend to consider compatibility with these devices important; not all are created equal (thus your Axim may have a lower quality or somewhat worn digitizer, Girt). The "trackpad" button panel thing on the 4700 is very difficult and costly to replace with a new part. Some people are having difficulty procuring replacements for the internal secondary batteries on all these devices, although I don't think many realize that "out of spec" substitutions can be made.

    Both devices provide excellent VGA, and though the matter was much debated there seemed to be a very slight consensus that the 4700 offered better still-image display; the X50v (and X51v) was clearly superior wherever the 2700G acceleration was invoked.

    There are (unofficial) WM5.x/6.x ROM upgrades available for all of these devices, though SDHC support still does not function (and maybe never will) on the 4700.

    There are also linux releases available for all of these devices, though again the 4700 seems to be the only one of these which is not quite 100% complete and functional.

    The 4700 would operate a little longer on a single battery charge, but this may no longer be as significant since new batteries (for all these devices) offer considerably larger capacities than they did 5 years ago.

    Yes, WM2003x is more responsive, faster, and snappier than WM5/6 ... of course there's no persistent user memory so once your WM2003x device exhausts it's batteries and loses all power then you'll basically start again with a hard-reset and have to reinstall everything from scratch. Backups and/or frequent charging are required. ;)

    It has finally gotten to the point (for me, anyways) where WM5/6 is required to run the software and services I use; most WM software makers still support WM2003x ... but the number who do not is slowly growing.
     
  7. Girt

    Girt Gadgeteer

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    Thanks, as always, for your input, Konrad. I think I'll try the x50v one more time.
     
  8. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Mobile Deity

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    I had a X50V (WM2K3.2). Still have it actually. I only moved to a X51V (WM5) because of a mechanical issue surrounding the sync connector on the X50V that made syncing fussy. WM2K3.2 is definitely snappier. WM5 doesn't self-lobotomize when it runs out of power. VGA screens, tho, both! Oh, and I install everything to the device, although I store data, pictures, video, music, and so forth on the SD & CF cards.
     
  9. Girt

    Girt Gadgeteer

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    Thanks, JD, that all really helps.
     
  10. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    I'm unsure about X50v ROMs, but I think there's some Kozura WM2003SE and WM5 versions available ... I would expect Kozura's 2003 (as always) to be better than whatever Dell stocks in the unit. I wouldn't go near WM5/6 on a 2003-native device, too unstable and too slow (even slower than it would be on a WM5-native equivalent like the X51v).

    PPCTechs 128MB RAM upgrade is available for the device, though under 2003 it "segments" memory into two 64MB chunks ... unsure whether they implemented it as a "T2T" RAM Drive or as 64MB+64MB Programs+Storage.

    There's plenty of DIY hardware mods and hacks available at Aximsite and beyond: "rubber ducky" or cellular antenna plugs (for WiFi and BT), extra internal battery capacities, firmware revisions for the WiFi and BT chips, modified button placements, antiglare/hardness coatings for the display, headphone audio amps, countless cosmetic/ergonomic changes, and of course there's linux and the xda WM ROMs. I'm quite fond of disabling the stupid lock controls.
     
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