Dave’s Ipaq – Sony Vaio U-71 @ Dave’s iPAQ

Bringing the ultra portable computing experience to life.. Something all PocketPC owners want!

Many of you are probably wondering how I got my hands on an ultra portable computer that is only available in Japan? Well a company named Dynamism specializes in importing ultra-cool Japanese portable computers and shipping them to eager enthusiasts around the world. We are also lucky enough to be an affiliate through Mobile Planet to offer these great ultra portable computers to you directly. After reading this review you will know why I want to keep this small pda like computer. The device I received was the Sony U-71 sporting a 1.2 GHz Pentium M processor with 512MB of memory and a 30 gig hard drive, 802.11b/g Wireless LAN, CF Card Slot; Memory and the traditional Sony Memory Stick slot! Users should note the U-71 does not come with any sort of optical drive since they consider them option accessories.

Experience

The U-71 is designed to be operated for the mobile user on the go. The pointing stick is on the right hand side of the screen, and the mouse buttons are on the left. The left mouse click key has a small notch, so your fingers identify immediately.  Of course, you can also use a stylus (not included) or finger on the touch-sensitive screen to navigate–a fantastically fast and efficient method which I used most of the time.  I did notice the fin-like stylus is much more comfortable than the regular stick-stylus. Text input can be through the external, foldable USB keyboard which is included. The keyboard folds up to a sleek profile, and can be connected directly to the Vaio or through the included port replicator.  An eraser-type pointer and mouse buttons are integrated into the keyboard.  Or, you could write directly onto the screen, via Sony’s handwriting recognition software. There is also a software-based on-screen keyboard but I did have some issues using the bundled software so I downloaded a new beta software by NostramU Board which made the keyboard more of an onscreen thumb keyboard which makes the onscreen keyboard much larger. Either of the last two functions can be launched by pressing the NextText button on the lower-right hand side of the screen. 

The U-71 includes a remote control with headphones. The remote has the standard functions (volume, track), and can operate in the background. (You can change the track without leaving the program you’re working on.)  The unit itself has 1 USB 2.0 port and 1 I/O port for the port replicator, or for the VGA/LAN dongle. The included port replicator allows you to adjust the angle at which the U71 rests; it also has the following ports: 4 x USB 2.0, LAN, firewire (DVD-RW and CD-RW are optional), and VGA out.

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