This article reviews the Medion MDPPC 250 Pocket PC PDA with GPS Navigation. This device is at the budget end of the combined Pocket PC/Sat Nav market, so I was interested to see how it would compare to the more expensive HP iPAQ 5720 previously reviewed on this site.
This review will be split into two. This week I take a look at the Pocket PC and what is has to offer. Next week I will give an in depth report of the GPS navigation.
Inside the box you will find the following items:
– Medion MDPPC 250
– Touch screen stylus
– Docking Station
– External GPS receiver
– Car kit – includes windscreen mount, holder and car charger
– USB cable
– CD-ROM (includes Microsoft Outlook 2002 and ActiveSync software)
– Instruction Manual
– Model ID: MDPPC 250
– Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003
– Pocket PC versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Reader, Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger
– Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 Series
– Medion Navigator 5 (on provided SD card)
– External GPS receiver: SiRF Star II
– Samsung S3C2410 300Mhz processor (ARM)
– 3.5” colour touch screen
– Display Pixels: 240 x 320
– ROM/RAM Size: 32 Mb / 64 Mb
– SD / MMC expansion slot
– Headphone jack
When the device is first switched on you are guided through a few initial setup screens to configure the PDA. Once this is done you can start using the device.
The PDA comes with a CD-ROM containing Microsoft ActiveSync and Microsoft Outlook. ActiveSync enables information on your PC to be synchronized with your PDA. This is information like your Outlook calendar, email inbox and contacts. You also have the option to create a shared folder on your PC which allows you to synchronize other documents between your PC and PDA, such as Word or Excel documents.
The whole setup process went smoothly. Once ActiveSync was installed it automatically transferred my Outlook calendar, email inbox and contacts over to the PDA.
The best place to start exploring the PDA is the ‘Today’ page, otherwise known as the Start screen. This is the page that is displayed when you switch on the device. It shows you at a glance the current date and time, your calendar appointments for the day, any unread email messages, and any tasks you have setup.
The Medion comes with an instruction manual which does a pretty good job of explaining the PDA side of things, but there is not enough documentation on how to use the Navigator satnav software/GPS.
Medion 250 Pocket PCYou can navigate around the Medion Pocket PC using either the provided stylus or by using the program buttons at the bottom of the screen.
These buttons provide access to the following commonly used functions:
– Start screen
– Email inbox
There is also a navigation pad which moves up, down, left and right. Pressing the centre of this pad confirms a selection. This navigation pad can be useful for navigating items like your email inbox. These buttons can be adapted to access other programs if you’re not happy with the defaults.
People who don’t like using a stylus on the touch screen will welcome these buttons. I found the stylus pretty easy to use and rarely used the buttons.
On the side of the device there is also a button for recording voice notes. Unlike the HP iPAQ 5720, there is no option to rotate the screen, but that is only a minor niggle.
The 300Mhz processor overall performed pretty well. Applications loaded quickly and I didn’t observe any sluggishness or undue delays whilst using the device.
The Medion comes with a docking cradle which was a welcome addition. The more expensive HP iPAQ 5720 which I reviewed recently had no docking cradle. The docking cradle is a bit fiddly to use at first, you need to press the PDA firmly into the docking cradle before a connection is made. After a few attempts you will soon find this straightforward.
The PDA does not draw any power from the USB cable so don’t rely on your PC to keep the PDA fully charged. If you intend to keep the PDA connected to your PC for long periods of time then you must keep the docking cradle power supply switched on. If you don’t do this then the batteries will drain rapidly, in around 6 or 7 hours.