REVIEWED: The 02 xda exec

REVIEWED O2 XDA Exec £230 w/contract The original XDA Pocket PC and phone was a groundbreaker when it landed on us in 2002 and since then it’s been g

REVIEWED O2 XDA Exec £230 w/contract

The original XDA Pocket PC and phone was a groundbreaker when it landed on us in 2002 and since then it’s been getting smaller and smaller.

Now thwarting the law of ever-shrinking technology, this new model’s gone and grown bigger (gasp).  It’s no homage to the house brick, however. Instead, this version’s set to make the XDA a groundbreaker all over again.

Why? Because it’s the first Pocket PC to run Windows Mobile 2005 (a far more user-friendly Microsoft experience), it’s the first to pack 3G and it’s the first to have a swivel screen and giant keyboard. That might mean it’s a little more Martine McCutcheon than Sienna Miller in the ‘girth’ department – but hey, sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra to hold on to. And those extra pounds pack one hell of a punch. You can use this in two modes – either as a conventional palmtop or in a notebook format, laptop style.

The keyboard is fantastic, with barely any need to dig out the stylus thanks to its intuitive controls. This black version (Orange and T-Mobile have their own models) also has very cool, blue, backlit keys.

Windows Media Player 10 Mobile takes care of multimedia and there’s also a megapixel camera on board – not to mention a smaller cam for video calling. Internet Explorer’s been updated and works great in landscape mode. And, thanks to 3G, you can browse the internet or download emails even when you’re on a call. We like.

Stuff says Gorgeous, easy to use and handles day-to-day work with aplomb. Its decent sized keyboard and hi-res screen make laptops look prehistoric ***** (5/5)

Find out more about the xda exec and its rivals in our Laptop Replacement Supertest in the November issue of Stuff – out now.

OS Windows Mobile 5.0

Processor Intel XScale PXA270 520MHz

Memory 64MB

Storage 128MB

Screen res 640x480 pixels

Connectivity 3G, GPRS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, SD

Size/weight 79x21x131mm/285g