Review iBiz Pocket RADIO CF Edition

by Reads (6,183)

The pocketRADIO is an exceptional add-on for music lovers who don’t have room for MP3s or just want to listen to news or radio. The pocketRADIO is FM only, so forget about talk radio. It has a simple program to utilize the many functions of the radio, including a digital tuner, volume control, 18 customizable station presets, auto scan, mute, and sleep mode. Installation was a snap; just run the setup file to install the program to your PDA using Activesync.

The tuner is very responsive to whatever you use it for. I had no problems whatsoever changing frequencies, adjusting the volume, setting presets (which is done simply by holding the stylus for a few seconds on the preset number you would like to use), or turning the unit off.

The sleep function is a great feature of the software. Sleep turns off your PDA (or at least the screen) but allows you to keep on listening. I was on my way to work and I told my girlfriend to listen to it for 4 hours to help test battery drain (she didn’t mind). After having only the radio on for 4 hours, the iPQA lost only 22% of its battery power. Thanks to iBIZ for this great feature! One problem with the sleep mode was that the PDA would need to be turned off in order to be turned back on. This was quite annoying, but fortunately has been fixed with the latest drivers (any key-press will now wake the PDA).

The reception of the pocketRADIO is very good. I don’t live in a place where there are an abundance of radio stations. I did manage to pick up quite a few here in my room which is surrounded by a foot of concrete on three sides. I also compared the reception to that of a car radio, and the clarity was amazingly similar. The car radio did a better job of picking up weak signals, but that giant antenna on your car isn’t there for nothing!

The pocketRADIO can pick up signals in the frequency range of 88Mhz

108Mhz. This was sufficient for me, as I’m not familiar of any radio stations that are outside of this range.

Other miscellaneous features are evident. It appears as though the

pocketRADIO will work with just about any PocketPC PDA you could own, save for the iPAQ 54xx and the Dell Axim (iBiz is currently in the process of making a Dell Axim-friendly CF Radio).

Specifications:

CF (Compact Flash) Type 1 FM Radio Card (also fits CF Type 2 slot) FM Stereo Radio output (Frequency Range: 88Mhz – 108Mhz) PLL Synthesized Receiver Auto Scan / Auto Memory Presets 18 Memory Presets Soft Mute and Volume adjust Stereo Earphones included Low power consumption with automatic power management

Compatibility:

iPAQ 31xx, 36xx, 37xx, 38xx, 39xx

Toshiba e740

Toshiba Genio e550

HP Jornada 560 Series

Casio Cassiopeia E-200

Audiovox Maestro

NEC Mobile Pro P300

UR There @migo 600c

Mitac Mio 528

Fujitsu LOOX 600

ASUS A600

Acer n20

Pocket PC using StrongARM or Intel X-Scale processors (not compatible with

Dell PDAs)

Pros:

Simple to install

Good reception

Auto Scan

Cons:

High Price ($49.99 MSRP)

FM only

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance and functionality of the pocketRADIO. iBIZ did a great job at bringing an add-on that many people will love and they executed the idea almost flawlessly. For those of you who are CF challenged, an SD model will be out some time in the second quarter of this year.

The CF pocketRADIO is available on the iBIZ site for purchase.

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