Axim x50v or x51 - which would you choose? (long post)
I'm not really sure where this belongs, so I'll put it here and ask for input and if a Mod decides it should be in another subforum, I've got no issues with it being moved. Also, this is a long post so, if you're so inclined to read it and you have some advice, I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts.
I've been playing around with the x50v I got recently off Craig's List for $100: a nice little package deal, the x50v in immaculate condition with a screen protector, a "notebook" style leather flip case - not what I want however, the original 1100 mAh battery and cover as well as an extended 2200 mAh battery with extended cover, 2 cradles, 2 AC adapters, and a 1GB Patriot SD card + a 256MB SanDisk CF card.
It works great, I updated to the Dell WM5 A05 ROM then jumped directly to Lenny's L09 WM6.1 and I'm happy with it, but this is the second x50V I've owned in the past year and, well, I guess I'm sorta unhappy with the performance. I believe, based on reading a few thousand forum postings here and at Aximsite, Brighthand, and Lenny's HTCGeeks forum - and also everything I can find about the NOR memory issues with the x50(v) series Axims from Microsoft.
I know that the filesys.exe issue will always be there, that's a given, and based on how "slow" I think this thing is it just gives me reason to wonder what exactly is wrong. Here's my reasoning, based on experience:
I grabbed an HTC Wizard (AT&T/Cingular 8125) off Craig's List a few months back because the owner snapped the USB port off inside the unit. He had a wall-type charger for the battery, but obviously it couldn't be hooked up to a PC any longer through that USB port. I've contemplated sending it off to those PPC guys to repair the port but, it's like $100 or close to it and I really don't use the phone that much except as a cheap digital camera.
The reason I mention that Wizard is because I installed PointUI on it (www.pointui.com
), a fairly cool but needs more development "touch" UI application. On the Wizard, the OS is WM5, untouched, I even reset the device recently and reinstalled the old PointUI I had (not the latest 1.5a version). The point I'm trying to make here is this:
PointUI on that Wizard is ridiculously fast and smooth as butter
, almost like having an iPhone/iPod touch smoothness to it, really. It's that fast and smooth, at least to me. And the Wizard has no discrete graphics chip on it like the x50v does - the Intel 2700G GPU, basically.
So, here's my dilemma: when I install the older or even the latest versions of PointUI on the x50v (and yes I'm aware that it's not really designed for non-phones but it does work), it's slow. It's not fast, it's not smooth, and for a device with significantly more horsepower - running at 624 MHz full bore with the Intel 2700G working too, as compared to the Wizard running at a paltry 200 MHz or so with no video acceleration at all - I'm a bit disappointed in it.
Also, while I haven't tested it, I wonder if the issues are being caused by the slower NOR memory in the x50v. I have tried a few games like Enigmo which came with the x50v brand new and it seems to play pretty slowly as well on the x50v, even with the graphics acceleration working.
Blah blah blah... ok, here's my question:
I don't run at true VGA mode much, that's a given. I've installed a few apps that let me enable VGA mode on the device after a reset, but there just doesn't seem to be much out there taking advantage of it: 320x240 still is the order of business for the PocketPC universe, probably always will be unfortunately.
So, right now I've located an x51 (not an x51v which I really want but can't locate for a decent price, certainly not for $100 in a package like I just found with this x50v
with a few cradles and chargers, maybe an extra battery or two, for about $100. It's not the x51v as I just noted, and right now I don't even know if it's the low-end x51 (416 MHz) or the mid-range model (520 MHz), I'll find that out if I choose to get it. Aside from the clock speed I think the low-end and mid-range models are identical - only the default clock speed (max) is what differentiates them; if I'm wrong and there are other differences between those two models, someone tell me, please, thanks.
The meat and potatoes: if you had the choice between the x50v with the slow and unavoidable NOR memory with the accompanying issues because of file compaction with filesys.exe that sometimes make the device so slow it almost makes you want to just reset it to start using it again, or...
The x51 which has no such issues, but also has no video acceleration but might not need it for simple movie/video playback, and most certainly can play audio files easily, and should theoretically
run much faster than the x50/x50v because they're built with NOR memory and the x51 line uses NAND...
Which would you choose based on the following:
- the VGA screen in the x50v has 4x as many pixels
so it's drawing 4x the power even when VGA mode isn't enabled - this is a fact because the LCD panel has 4x as many pixels. Just because I'm not running in VGA doesn't mean those extra pixels are "off" - they're always on, but it now requires 4 pixels to show what 320x240 would show on the x51 with just 1 pixel. It's weird but it's true, so theoretically
the x51 should use less battery power. I can deal with 320x240, it's fine... movies still look fine to me on 320x240 screens.
- The slower clock speed at 416 or 520 MHz is fine also, movies don't really require that much CPU power to play with the encodings I've been finding and trying to make myself (limiting the bitrate to about 300 Kbps, 320x240 or whatever but 320 pixels wide max then the height is proportional based on the source content). Again, the slower clockspeed by default would mean longer battery life theoretically
- Everything else between the x50v and the x51 are basically identical except for the Intel 2700G video chip. Same case, ports, CF/SD card slots, same Wi-Fi/Bluetooth hardware, etc, it's all the same save for the differences in clockspeed and the video, really.
So, which would you choose if you wanted the best performance with anything you're doing
, without wondering if the device will suddenly just choke to a standstill while it's trying to process some information or store it in memory or whatever.
I'm leaning to the x51, actually. I still haven't had a chance to actually use an x51 or x51v, but if the performance of this lowly Wizard at 3x slower on average with no video acceleration at all is any sign, the x51/x51v should really be some damned fast devices.
Also, I just noted earlier today that MagLite is at work again and just released a test ROM for WM6.1 for the x50!!!
Not the x50v, but the plain old x50 without the Intel 2700G, so this bodes very well that perhaps he or someone else could throw some stuff into their "kitchen sinks" and create a proper working WM6.1 ROM for the x51...
I'm pretty excited at the possibilities, and yes I'd still love to get an actual x51v or even an HP x4700 at this point with the 4" LCD, but at the moment the x50v I have is working, albeit slower than I'd like. With the factory WM2003SE on it it's very fast and snappy as expected, but put WM5 on it and performance plummets, and with WM6.1 it's even worse to some degree. I'm suspecting all of it is because of the slower NOR but I didn't think it was that slow
- apparently is is because this little Wizard runs circles around my x50v... seems sad, really.
Thanks to anyone that reads all this and comments, I appreciate it.