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Dell's Next-Gen Windows Mobile PDA

Persistently Better

I'll more fully review the Axim X51v a bit later. For now, suffice it to say that the most significant of the improvements is the increase in ROM memory to 256 MB while keeping the RAM memory at 64 MB. Compared to previous Windows Mobile devices, this is huge.

It's huge because it takes advantage of Windows Mobile 5.0's persistent storage concept in which all user data, applications, and operating system components are stored in flash ROM rather than RAM memory. The RAM is only used as working space when running applications.

Persistent storage has several advantages. Most importantly, applications and data are retained when the power is lost. During testing, I ran the batteries completely down several times, and never lost a single piece of data or had to reinstall a single application. The x51v also no longer needs the backup battery common on the previous generation of Pocket PCs. Also, updates to the operating system and core applications can be applied without completely flashing the ROM memory so, again, no applications or data are lost in the process.

After the operating system, there is a generous 195 MB of space left for applications and data. That is a significant amount of space, almost making the Secure Digital and Compact Flash slots on the X51v irrelevant.

More, Better Software
Software-wise, the updates are almost as significant. The user interface has been refined from previous versions, as have the personal information management (PIM) applications.

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