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Dell Axim X50v review

The X50v, when used with a Media Center-equipped PC, will allow you to schedule recordings and transfer programmes automatically

The device we’ve come to know as PIM King has a rich heritage in that department, and with its VGA screen and perky Intel video accelerator it’s pretty spanking with video, too.

Telly addicts

The X50v is slickest when used with a Media Center-equipped PC, which allows you to schedule recordings and transfer programmes automatically. But the quality of playback isn’t optimal, and transfer is sluggish. It’s best to use a third-party TV card with hardware DivX encoding for playback on the free BetaPlayer software, using a card reader to transfer recordings to your storage card.

Getting TV on your X50v is something of a chore, but the results are impressive. Capture TV as DivX using Plextor’s ConvertX, store on a PC like Toshiba’s Satellite L10, and record to a fat CF with a card reader like Saitek’s 6-in-1. Plug in and enjoy using BetaPlayer.

Movies on the move

In fact, with a nice DivX (say, 1GB per 90 minute movie) its video capabilities trounce those of the PMA400. But that leads us to its not insignificant flaws: first, there’s almost no built-in storage to speak of, so you’ll need to get hold of a decent sized CF card to actually view any movies (4GB can be found for around £100 on Ebay).

Second, there’s no direct video encoding, while video output requires the purchase of an adaptor. And third, the battery life is less than spectacular, especially when Wi-Fi enabled (though spare batteries and a larger battery pack are available).

Stuff Says…

Score: 5/5