Toshiba e805 Short Review (Pics, Specs)

by Reads (30,741)

The Toshiba e800 series is the latest high-end PDA release from Toshiba. The most innovative and unique feature users will find with this PDA is its absolutely amazing 4 inch diagonal VGA (480 x 640) screen. In addition to this the Toshiba e805 comes with built-in Wi-Fi, dual SD and CF memory expansion, 160MB of user accessible memory, the latest 400MHz Intel XScale PXA263 processor, voice-recognition software, and last but not least an ATI graphics controller with 2 MB of dedicated memory. The only thing that seems to be missing is Bluetooth.

In The Box

Toshiba stuck with the same box design as its PDAs in the past as you can see by the above picture, but it’s of course what’s inside the box that counts.

Contained in the box we get:

  • Toshiba e805 PDA
  • USB Sync Cradle with cool blue halo around the bottom
  • AC Adapter/Power Cable to plug into cradle or e805 device
  • Start Guide
  • Software CD including ActiveSync and Outlook
  • 1 telescopic stylus (inside e805)
  • 1 lithium ion battery (inside e805)

The Toshiba e805 has a rather high price of $599, but we get no free case and no extra-stylus with, HP has been making this fairly standard with its high-end PDAs.  That’s okay though, free cases are usually horrible and the stylus with the e800 is so bad (it’s a telescopic stylus that tends to close easily and has a weird nippled end) you’ll probably not want two but decide to find a better stylus to use.

First Impressions

The first thing that struck me about the Toshiba e800 was the size and beauty of the screen, 4 diagonal inches of an amazingly crisp and bright display, but this large screen contributes to the large size of the PDA in general.  The dimensions on the e805 are 5.3″ x 3.0″ x 0.6″ (L x W x H) and it has a weight of 6.8 oz.  Compare that to my HP iPaq 4150 that has built-in Wi-Fi like the e805 but has dimensions of 4.47″ x 2.78″ x 0.5″ and a weight of 4.67 oz.  The e800 is almost 33% bigger than the iPaq 4150.

The e805 is about 33% bigger in size and price than the iPaq 4150 (view larger image)

Here’s a side-by-side of the e805 with my iPaq 2210:

The Toshiba e805 wins this race by way of its longer body

And now for an iPaq 2210 sandwich in which we see the e800 is a lot longer that each of the iPaq devices we have in our test-lab and about 0.1 inches thicker.

HP iPaq 4150 on top, HP iPaq 2210 in the middle, Toshiba e805 on the bottom

So I’ve emphasized the size of the Toshiba device makes it a little hard to pocket comfortably, but this size must all be there for something right?  This is most definitely the case as the Toshiba e805 has just about every feature you could want and more.  I just wish they’d added Bluetooth and then this device would be the undisputed feature champ of the PDA world.

The Screen

The iPaq 2210 screen is washed out by the flash but the e805 is strong

However, I know what you’re all dying to know about and see, it’s the VGA mode that’s the coolest aspect of the e805.  Let’s take a look at how you morph from standard 240 x 320 to 480 x 640 resolution.  A shortcut titled “Screen Resolution” on the Toshiba Home Screen (accessed by hitting the Home button on the e805) simply needs to be tapped and you get the following dialog pop-up:

view larger image

And then after clicking okay the PDA actually ‘reboots’, which some might find annoying but for the end-result I think it’s well worth the wait so that you can get this:

view larger image

I recommend viewing the larger image to see better what the screen looks like in this case.  Basically it’s amazing what can now fit on your screen, but Toshiba limits the applications you can access in VGA mode.  There are VGA compliance issues among some Pocket PC software applications and Toshiba didn’t want you to be able to try and use any old app in VGA mode as the results might be bad and they don’t want to field service calls.  Disappointingly, we can only access ClearVue Document, Worksheet, Presentation and Image when in VGA mode.  These are all great applications that will show your Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations and images in amazing clarity and resolution for a handheld…but what if you want to do gaming and web browsing in VGA mode?  Well, Toshiba won’t let you but as we reported yesterday there is a hack called ResFix that allows you to run any application in VGA mode

Link to hack:

http://home.comcast.net/~swdeveloper/ResFix1.zip

Support thread on Brighthand.com:

http://discussion.brighthand.com/showthread.php?threadid=94194

There’s a few caveats in using this hack, such as you should never use the Toshiba Screen Resolution shortcut again after using it or you’ll have to do a hard reset, but I think its worth installing just so you can play games like Warfare in full VGA mode or browse the web easily in a resolution similar to your home PC even.

Technical Specs and Price

Here’s a rundown of all the specs on the Toshiba e805, you can always check here for continually updated specs and pricing for the Toshiba e805

System Characteristics
-Intel® PXA263 processor at 400MHz
-128MB SDRAM, 32MB CMOS Flash ROM
-Application Memory: 32MB NAND Memory (Flash ROM Disk)
-4.0� TFT Transreflective Color display; 240 x 320 (portrait), Resolution (16 bit)
Back light LED, 65,536 (64K) colors: 10 step brightness control (by Software)
-ATI Graphics Controller; 2MB internal video memory
-Support Resolution/Color (VGA): (QVGA 320 x 240; VGA 480 x
640- User switchable**)
-External VGA Connector (via optional Presentation Pack)
-External Resolution:
640 x 480 64K colors @60Hz
800 x 600 64k colors @60Hz
-Touch Panel: Analog resistance sensitive system touch panel
-Controls/Buttons: 5-way navigation button; 4 application keys-
Calendar, Contacts, Task, Menu; 3 function navigator (Toshiba
Scroller) for Up, Down and Action; Reset switch; Voice record
button; Power on/off button; Battery on/off switch; Hold switch;
Wireless communication switch, Stylus pen
-1 Type I/Type II CF Card Slot (3.3V)
-1 SD (Secure Digital) card slot (3.3V) – SDIO Now!!
-Integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) *
-RGB (Monitor) port (via Presentation Pack)
-Universal Serial Bus port – Host (via Presentation Pack)
-Cradle Connector Port- 40 pins (USB Client, USB Host, Serial)
-Infrared port (115kbps)
-Stereo headphone/Microphone port (Stereo; 4 ring jack 3.5mm)

Physical Description
-Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.3� x 3.0� x 0.6�
-Weight: 6.8oz.
-LED Indicators: One 2 color (Green, Orange) LED for Power
1. Green: Full Charge (while power source is AC adaptor)
2. Orange: Charging (while power source is AC adaptor)
3. Orange Flash: Alarm
4. Yellow (Green and Orange): Out of Temperature
5. Off: Power on/off
-AC-97 Codec Chip; WM9712L Sound Chip
-16-bit stereo; 44.1KHz Max Sample Rate, Full Duplex support
-Built-in Microphone and Built-in Speaker
-AC Adapter: 5V/3A DC output; 100-240V input voltage, 50/60Hz
-Battery Pack: Rechargeable, replaceable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
battery; 3.7V x 1320mAh
-Optional High Capacity Battery: Rechargeable, replaceable Li-Ion
-High Capacity battery; 2640mAh
-Battery Saver: Stand by; Display Auto Off
-Recharge Time:
Main Battery/Backup Battery (Off/On): 4h/4h;
High Capacity Battery (Off/On): 12h/12h
(Battery life may vary depending on applications, power management
settings and features utilized. Recharge time varies depending on usage)

Operating System
– Microsoft ® Mobile Software for Pocket PC 2003 Premium

Software
-Pocket Word
-Pocket Excel
-Pocket Internet Explorer
-Microsoft® Reader for Pocket PC
-Microsoft® Windows® Media™ Player 9 for Pocket PC
-File Explorer
-MSN® Messenger
-Microsoft® Transcriber
-Microsoft® Active Sync® 3.7
-Microsoft® Outlook
-IA Presenter for ATI
-IA Screen Mirror for ATI
-World Clock
-Toshiba Voice Recorder
-Toshiba Text to Speech for Pocket PC
-Voice Command
-Toshiba ConfigFreeâ„¢ Software
-VoIP Software
-ArcSoft PhotoBaseâ„¢ (e805 only)

MSRP: $599.99

Looks and Form Factor

The Toshiba e805 has not only got a screen that looks nice, but the midnight blue color and stylish futuristic cradle is head-over-heels better than the old e700 high-end Toshiba Pocket PC series

 

what’s this light?

 

A spaceship maybe?

 

or just the Toshiba e805

More to come

Next week I’ll have a full review of the Toshiba e805 with much  more analysis and benchmarks performances against other devices.  Right now I can tell you this device is great fun and it’s sure to be a hot seller at Christmas!

 

 


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