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REVIEW: Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox Part 1 - The Hardware
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 10.08.02 - 12:17:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 7154x
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The first part of the PPCW.Net Loox review is about the hardware. How does the Loox feels in the hands, how does all the features works and what's up with the expansion possibilities?

The Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox 600 is a typical Pocket PC as we saw it before from other manufactures like Compaq, hp and Casio. It doesn't includes any Phone Edition today nor it includes as GSM/GPRS module like the Wireless Pocket PCs from o2 or hp. So it have to be compared - on the first sight with the iPAQ, the Jornada or the E-200 but in the long run, the competitors will be also Wireless Pocket PCs cause the Loox will get, later this year, a GSM/GPRS clip-on module which improves it to a Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Therefore I decided to compare it first with Pocket PCs Phone Edition Pocket PCs as size matters! Finally I will have a close look to the Loox functionalities, with it's buttons and expansion slots.

The Loox Package

The Loox - compared to other Pocket PCs

Compared to Pocket PCs and Phone Edition Pocket PCs the Loox is more or less equal. From the slots, the closest competitor to the Loox is the Casio E-200; here the Loox has more or less the same size. However, you have to remind that the Loox doesn't only have a CF and SD card slot but also a Bluetooth slot. On the other hand, the hp iPAQ has still the largest screen. The Loox has a 3.5" screen only while the iPAQ has a 3.8" screen.
The hp Jornada 928 WDA is slightly longer than the Loox while the HTC Wallaby (o2 xda) is the same size - except the external antenna for sure.

From the thickness the Loox, the iPAQ and the E-200 are equal too. But again, the iPAQ has a SD card slot only while the Loox and the E-200 has SD and CF card slots. However, the Loox feels lighter in the hand and in the pocket!
Interesting is the comparison of the Phone Edition Pocket PCs with the Loox. All have near the same size here but you have to remember that the Wallaby and the WDA has the radio module already built-in while the Loox needs an additional expansion pack which is around half of the size of the Loox which have to be added here to get the same functionalities.

The Loox and its Details

On the left side the Loox has (from let to right) the infrared port, the navigation wheel, the FCSSpeedMenu button and the SD card slot

On the right side the Loox has (from left to right) the voice recorder button and the Bluetooth on/off switch

On the top the Loox has (from left to right) the stylus (which pops out by pressing it), the CF card slot and the headset jack which will be used later also for voice communication through the GSM expansion pack.
On the front side of the top you have (from left to right) the power switch, the status LED and the loudspeaker (which is built in on the top and can be used later with the GSM extension for voice calls).

On the backside of the bottom you have (left picture from left) the main power switch (as we know it from the iPAQ H3600 series too), the sync plug, above the extension pack connectors (like we also know it from the iPAQs) and the power jack.
On the front side of the bottom you have (from left to right) the green rounded Calendar quick launch button (which will be also used for GSM later), the Contacts quick launch button, the D-Pad, a Home/Today button and the red rounded Task quick launch button.

The cradle is already designed to be also the host for expansion packs. As you can see above, there is a notch to fit also for Loox with expansion packs, like the GSM/GPRS extension.

The stylus, made on plastic, is extendable which means you can pull it out on the top which gives you additional 5 cm. This is necessary cause otherwise it would be to short to use it.

Final Conclusion Part 1

With it's grey/silver bi-color cover the Loox looks pretty nice and valuable. It's not that kind of shiny silver iPAQ style like the iPAQ or the xda but more that kind of Jornada design. With its weight, the Loox is pretty light and from the ergonomic point of view, it feels pretty comfortable in the hand and also in the jacket pocket it's not to heavy to wear it. Because the sample I got should be the final one it is built pretty well and everything fits.
Compared with other Pocket PCs it's not thicker or thinner (but lighter) and provides you an SD slot as well as a CF Type II slot. A real benefit compared to the Compaq iPAQ. And with its built in Bluetooth it contains even more hardware than the comparable E-200 which has near the same size.
On the other hand, if it is compared to Phone Edition Pocket PCs it's not thinner and if you keep in mind that it doesn't includes any radio today, the attachable GSM pack will make the Loox more bulky than the xda or the WDA. Okay, here it offers one more card slot and Bluetooth but this is something everybody have to ponder for himself.

I like the number of buttons the Loox has, with the Menu button on the left side and the Today button on the top side, the Loox has more possibilities than any other Pocket PC. Something I really enjoy as I like to use hardware buttons for faster program launch. Also the navigation wheel on the left side is a great addition I've already enjoyed before on the E-200. This is pretty useful if you want to scroll though programs like the Pocket Internet Explorer. Not clear for me is the Bluetooth on/off switch. Why to add this as a button instead of using it through a software on/off functionality? At least I didn't turn Bluetooth on or off so often, that I wouldn't need that button at all.

Overall I like the Fujitsu Siemens Loox 600 design, functionalities and extension possibilities. Fujitsu Siemens designed a real great light weighted device which I'm sure many users will enjoy and it will be an eye catcher in meeting - I'm sure.

REVIEW: Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox Part 2 - The Device

Cheers ~ Arne


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