Asustek recently launched their second Pocket PC, the MyPal A620. This differs from the concept of the MyPal A600 as this unit is positioned to be an entry level device rather than an advanced model. The MyPal A620 at first look resembles its older sibling the MyPal A600 in looks, but handling it will reveal more differences that makes the MyPal A620 a top-notch entry-level device with super-PDA strengths.
I was lucky enough to handle one and put it through such rudimentary tests. Results are of course unbelievable. No one would expect such results from a supposed entry-level unit.
The first thing you notice when you power up the device is the really nice screen which Asus calls a Semi-Transflective screen. The screen is bright and contrasty and is a notable improvement over the older reflective screen of the MyPal A600 wich had the screen light located ad the bottom of the screen instead of the side. The second thing you notice is the beautifully crafted buttons and the round D-Pad which makes navigating so much easier.
The MyPal A620 gives away its entry-level status with its plastic casing instead of the satin-finished aluminum shell. The new unit is devoid of any controls on the left side where the IR port is situated. Since it lacks the usual scroll-wheel/action-buton setup, all navigation will have to be dealt with using the D-Pad.
The Voice Recorder button and microphone are located at the top right-hand side of the MyPal A620, opposite that of the power button. The speaker is no longer housed in the D-Pad, it is now located at the lower right-hand side of the unit.
The MyPal A620 sports a CF Type I/II slot that even allows for the extended CF modules to be used. It has a removable plate similar to that found on HP Jornada 56x series Pocket PCs.
The MyPal A620 runs on the latest X-Scale processor for Pocket PCs, the 400MHz PXA255 which sports a better bus-speed at 200MHz. This resulted in really unbelievable results that resulted in really blazingly fast and rather smooth rendering of video files even with Windows Media Player 8.5. I encoded a file at 24fps full screen (320x176)in WMV format and it seemed to play quite smoothly, something I could never get with other Pocket PCs.
The MyPal A620, like most entry-level Pocket PCs nowadays, runs on NAND Flash which means that while the unit is equipped with 64MB of RAM, only 38.8MB is actually available to the user.
Keeping with Asus tradition, the MyPal A620's settings are controlled by te Asus Settings which allows for a 255-step brightness control of the bright Semi-Transflective screen and full control of the MyPal A620's audio properties, including balance, bass and treble adjustments.
The Asus MyPal A620 is indeed a speed demon. While it may lack the expandability which other Pocket PCs enjoy, the mere fact that the unit is being targetted towards the less than $350 range makes the Asus MyPal a tempting option. For speed freaks who want better fps for games and top-notch multi-media performance, this device may well be worth considering.
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