Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pocket PC - impressions after the first week

So, I spent the first week (or a little more) with my new Pocket PC, and here are my impressions.


  • The screen: it is nothing short of gorgeous. Reading from this screen is a pure pleasure; games look just great.

  • File system: it’s good to have at last a normal file system, to be able to easily put any files on my handheld (Palm didn’t want to work with unknown file types – at least, without some special utilities. I’ve heard that it’s no longer an issue with more recent Palms – but I had to live with this).


  • No vibration. I don't understand this - it always seemed to me that vibration alert is one of the most useful features for a PDA. I just loved being able to switch my Palm T2 to vibration mode, and safely get my alerts while being at some long meeting. Why didn't Dell include this feature? Anyway, I miss it. And with the standard reminder sounds being soft and short, this becomes a real problem for me.

  • Synchronization. I think my situation should be pretty common: I use Outlook as an organizer at home and in the office. I want to be able to synchronize my PDA to both of them - but I want to be able to prevent some of my items from being copied to the office Outlook. With Palm that was easy. With my PPC, I didn't find a good solution yet.

  • Stability. I don't remember having so many glitches with my Palm. Nothing serious - I mean, nothing which can't be fixed with a soft reset - but annoying. Though I am currently in search for PPC equivalents of my favorite Palm programs, so I'm installing and removing a lot of software, and not all of the programs work well with WM5 - that might be the reason. But still, overall feeling is shaky.

  • ActiveSync. I don't know what made Microsoft switch to using TCP for syncing PDA with desktop. Probably, they had their own reasons. But as a result ActiveSync causes problems with firewalls - I was unable to make Sygate firewall work with ActiveSync.

  • Responsiveness. I know, this is a common problem of people converting from Palm to PPC - but I have to say it: Palm was much more responsive! Sometimes the slight pause between click on a control and the reaction just drives me crazy.

Don't get me wrong - I am not going to discard my new PDA just because of those issues. I probably will find solution for some of them, and will get used to others. But, still, the impression after one week is less than excellent.

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