New 5mx - initial impressions

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Dave Farme » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Well, I finally did it. After a couple of years with a 3c I bought a 5mx.

I thought you might like to hear my initial assessment:

The applications look fabulous. They seem very well 'specced' and are
generally a joy to use - especially with the touch screen.

The machine itself is lightening fast. Everything happens when you ask with
none of the time lag I've been used to on the 3c.

Psi-win 2.3 (so far) seems excellent. Even automatically converted all my 3c
files (agenda, data, sheet, word) to 5mx files for me, backing up the 3c in
the process.

The mains power requirement is different :-{ Now I have to remember to
switch between 9V -ve core and 6V +ve core depending on which machine I'm
plugging in - grrr!

External sound recording buttons - brilliant (and the sound quality seems
much better too) though the sliding cover takes quite a knack to operate.

The keyboard is OK. The keys are quite stiff - more so than the demo model
in the shop. Will they loosen up with use? I find I'm failing to make
sufficient contact quite often - possibly more so than I did on the
button-keys of the 3c.

The screen - notwithstanding the excellent size, 16 greyscale (as opposed
to, er, 3 I suppose on my old machine) and fine definition) is dreadful! My
study at home has a window on the wall behind me when i'm at the desk and
the room light is behind and over my left shoulder. I can hardly see
anything despite fiddling with contrast, backlight and seat angle! Due to
the room having other purposes I can't really rearrange it so I'm stuck. The
3c is so clear and non-reflective that I really notice the difference.

I don't like the system screen as much as the 3c. The 3c seems much easier
to organise and navigate. Maybe I'll get used to it - but I'm not sure.
Judicious use of groups on the 3c allows a very logical arrangement on the
screen for both applications and data files - I can see my extras bar
becoming a random mess if I install as many different things on the 5 as on
the 3. Are there any free/shareware offerings to five me a more structured
'home' screen?

Overall - it's great! I've got a couple of things installed - Purple's Chess
for instance - and the extra speed and the refinement offered by the larger,
greyscaled screen have been used to brilliant effect by the software
authors. I'll not be ditching the 3c just yet (not until I've got Scrabble,
Route Planner etc. for the 5mx at the very least, and still not even then
probably) but I feel that the 5mx is a world class machine. If only the
screen was up to the standard of the rest of the package it'd be perfect.

Dave.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Will L » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00


On Sun, 12 Mar 2000 00:29:34 -0000, "Dave Farmer"


>The screen - notwithstanding the excellent size, 16 greyscale (as opposed
>to, er, 3 I suppose on my old machine) and fine definition) is dreadful! My
>study at home has a window on the wall behind me when i'm at the desk and
>the room light is behind and over my left shoulder. I can hardly see
>anything despite fiddling with contrast, backlight and seat angle! Due to
>the room having other purposes I can't really rearrange it so I'm stuck. The
>3c is so clear and non-reflective that I really notice the difference.

Glad to hear you're enjoying what in my opinion is an excellent
machine.  One of the compromises with the addition of a touchscreen, I
guess, was an extra screen layer.  Yeah, this does tend to make the
viewing a bit more difficult but I think you'll get more accustomed to
it.  I can't really suggest anything that might help as it seems you
tried everything already!

Quote:>I don't like the system screen as much as the 3c. The 3c seems much easier
>to organise and navigate. Maybe I'll get used to it - but I'm not sure.
>Judicious use of groups on the 3c allows a very logical arrangement on the
>screen for both applications and data files - I can see my extras bar
>becoming a random mess if I install as many different things on the 5 as on
>the 3. Are there any free/shareware offerings to five me a more structured
>'home' screen?

I would recommend trying MenuS5
http://home.worldcom.ch/~hspagnol/menus5gb.html
It presents you with a configurable program launcher that overcomes
the problem of seamingly random Extras bar icon placement.

Quote:>I'll not be ditching the 3c just yet (not until I've got Scrabble,
>Route Planner etc. for the 5mx at the very least, and still not even then

You won't find an official release of Scrabble for EPOC unfortunately.
However, if you get yourself a copy of the free Spectrum emulator from
http://www.palmtop.nl/spectrum.html and install a free copy of
Scrabble from http://www.void.jump.org/games/s.html.
It's not the easiest interface to use, but if you're a big Scrabble
fan (like me) then it's worth it!

I think it'll grow on you and one day you'll look back and think
"Series 3?  Nah!".
--
Willee
*** Remove the caps to email me ***

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Colin Buckle » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00


No offense, Will, but I can't understand why people still excuse the 5mx's
poor viewing quality because of the touchscreen.  The Revo has a perfectly
capable touchscreen and suffers little degradation.  The newer Palm devices
have touchscreens, and backlights, and are tack sharp.  I expect that Psion
felt such an upgrade required too much time and money to fit into the S5's
upgrade.

Colin


Quote:> One of the compromises with the addition of a touchscreen, I
> guess, was an extra screen layer.  Yeah, this does tend to make the
> viewing a bit more difficult but I think you'll get more accustomed to
> it.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by JF Meze » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00



> capable touchscreen and suffers little degradation.  The newer Palm devices
> have touchscreens, and backlights, and are tack sharp.  I expect that Psion
> felt such an upgrade required too much time and money to fit into the S5's
> upgrade.

Don't forget that PSION may also have sourcing/supply problems in obtaining
the screens it wants.  PALM represents a much larger marker and a much higher
number of units than PSION, so it probably has more weight when the time comes
to negitiate for supply of top quality panels.

Just remember the initial S3c which did not ship with backlights. Laptop
manufacturers also have trouble securing good supplies of LCD screens.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Mick Kilbrid » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00




Quote:>>the 3. Are there any free/shareware offerings to five me a more
>structured
>>'home' screen?

You could try XtraLink, which allows you to place an icon
representing an application, and thus a shortcut, onto your system
screen. Works well, and it's freeware. You can find it at:

http://www.adbosch.demon.nl

As suggested already, Macro5 does a great job, thoroughly
recommended.

Good luck.
--
Mick Kilbride

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Dave Farme » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Will Lee wrote

Quote:>You won't find an official release of Scrabble for EPOC unfortunately.
>However, if you get yourself a copy of the free Spectrum emulator from
>http://www.palmtop.nl/spectrum.html and install a free copy of
>Scrabble from http://www.void.jump.org/games/s.html.
>It's not the easiest interface to use, but if you're a big Scrabble
>fan (like me) then it's worth it!

Thanks Will, I'm downloading as I type!!

Dave.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Dave Farme » Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:00:00



>You could try XtraLink, which allows you to place an icon
>representing an application, and thus a shortcut, onto your system
>screen. Works well, and it's freeware. You can find it at:

>http://www.adbosch.demon.nl

>As suggested already, Macro5 does a great job, thoroughly
>recommended.

Thanks Mick - I'll think try Macro5 and see how I get on.

Dave.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Erik Sandbl » Tue, 14 Mar 2000 04:00:00


On Sun, 12 Mar 2000 04:42:07 -0500, JF Mezei



> > capable touchscreen and suffers little degradation.  The newer
Palm devices
> > have touchscreens, and backlights, and are tack sharp.  I expect
that Psion
> > felt such an upgrade required too much time and money to fit into
the S5's
> > upgrade.

> Don't forget that PSION may also have sourcing/supply problems
in obtaining
> the screens it wants.  PALM represents a much larger marker and a
much higher
> number of units than PSION, so it probably has more weight when
the time comes
> to negitiate for supply of top quality panels.

Wait a minute. As I understand it, Psions are generally the most
expensive PDAs on the market, in relation to what you get. Palms are
much cheaper, and my impression is that winCE keyboard machines
generally are cheaper too. At 6000SEK, a 5mx is expensive, and
someone paying that much should not have any patience with
excuses.

Before you flame me, let me say that I think it's probably better for
most people to spend the extra money on a Psion since I find they
are more well thought-out than the toy-like competition.

Erik Sandblom

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Kvan » Tue, 14 Mar 2000 04:00:00



> Thanks Mick - I'll think try Macro5 and see how I get on.

You might also want to give ExtraBars the old try--find it at

http://www.pocketiq.com/software/details.asp?product=ExtraBars

I haven't used it much myself, but it seems good if you'll be wanting
to create shortcuts to documents and such.

Kvan.
--
-------Casper Kvan Clausen------ | 'A *person* is smart. People are

                                 |  and you know it.'
                                 |        - "K" in Men in Black.

 
 
 

New 5mx - initial impressions

Post by Paul Bowla » Tue, 14 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:> Wait a minute. As I understand it, Psions are generally the most
> expensive PDAs on the market, in relation to what you get. Palms are
> much cheaper, and my impression is that winCE keyboard machines
> generally are cheaper too. At 6000SEK, a 5mx is expensive,

You get what you pay for.  Pay for a cheap machine and you'll get
cheap performance.  :)

Regards, Paul.

--
Web Site: http://go.to/otser (For Quake, Psion, and Amiga software).

 
 
 

1. Bought Series 5 in London today (Initial Impressions)

Earlier today, I bought an 8Mb Psion 5 (for 499.95) from a shop called
"W.F. Sleath & Sons" (0171 626 0327).

So far, I am very impressed. I have used most of the palmtops on the
market (including the Zaurus 5800, the Velo and the 320LX), but in my
opinion, the Series 5 seems to have:

1. The best screen. (Same resolution as the HP 320LX, but with seemingly
better backlighting.)

2. The best keyboard. (With a bit of practice, you can actually touch
type on it at a reasonable speed. Till the Series 5 came out, I used to
think that the HP 320LX had the best keyboard in the market.)

3. The most complete, powerful, and easy-to-use set of built-in
applications. For example, the "Word" application comes with a
spell-checker, and the "Sheet" application has charting functionality.
Compare this to the situation with Windows CE. Of course, third-party
developers for Window CE will attempt to address some/most of the
deficiencies in the built-in apps, but this will take time and will, of
course, add to the cost of the machine.

4. The most responsive feel. Almost instantaneous switching between
applications, no dreaded hour-glass cursor, etc.

5. Best attention to detail, such as zooming (not available on any Win
CE machines), ease of keyboard-only use, touch sensitive buttons for
activating the built-in apps, etc.

In conclusion, I am extremely happy with my purchase. It would be great
if the fax and internet software were available right now, but I can see
that there are enough goodies on this machine for me to play with till
Psion release their (free) faxing and internet software (which according
to Psion's web site, will be in October 1997). Also, unlike a few other
other people who are a bit disappointed that Psion have decided not to
put an internet browser into ROM, I am happy to see that they are smart
enough to realize that at the rate that Web standards are changing, it
would be a bit silly to put an internet browser into ROM.

-- Siamak

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