I have waited and waited for this release and finally it has arrived. So is it time at last to get the Visa out an do that upgrade? As some of you know I was torn between the HP Ipaq 614c and the Asus P750, the review on the Ipaq 614c demonstrated why, although a good device, wasn’t quite the one for me. Is the alternative any better….?
Probably dubed the Asus flagship, there appear to have been many issues with getting this device to the shops. I have been waiting from memory since around September last year. Matt finally dropped the device off a week or so ago before we both went off on work jollies.
What’s in the box?
Fairly standard Asus fare, which has to be said provides lots of goodies, all included:
All of which is nice to see, as not only making sure you have the holder, chargers etc. it saves a few pounds in not having to buy these as accessories. The really picky piece is the pouch which has no real use for me, put a belt clip on it, at least! Beggars can’t be choosers.
See Matt’s Asus P750 unboxing video for more details.
Asus P750 Specification:
Nothing is to be found on the top of the Phone, more on this later.
On the left side of the phone finds the Voice command which is customisable, and an up/down jog wheel with press enter. And a ‘P750 3.5G pda phone’ logo.
The right side is much more crowded, containing on uncovered microSD slot card, for hot swapping your cards. Above this is the Camera function button and then reset hole. Next is one of the best bits that I have grown to really appreciate on my P526, that being a slider switch to completely lock both keys and touchscreen. Thus doing away with buttons being pressed accidentally, however don’t forget to flick it up to answer an incoming call. On top of all this an external GPS socket if needed.
The bottom is again pretty standard for Asus as the headset jack socket and the mini USB socket for charging and PC connection can be found here. The stylus which is non-telescopic and the mic also included.
On the back you will find the 1300 mAh battery cover and the 3 mega pixel camera, with no flash or mirror. A speaker grill is also housed on the back, which I have heard questioned with regard to being able to hear this type of device when it is placed on a desk, can’t say I had any real issues here.
At the business end, the front of the device is the front facing camera for video telephony if you chose to use it. The 2.6” screen is slightly smaller than that found on the Ipaq 614c. But is clear and bright, now available, as mentioned my Matt on the unboxing is the ROM update.
The Asus P750 has made the news a lot lately mainly because of its VGA screen which was initially set up as QVGA screen. Now with a ROM update you can use the P750 in its full 480×640 glory.
I suppose it appropriate here to mention that this is unofficial and therefore only to be done at your own risk. Being a loan unit, I have not been able to verify this, but there is plenty of news available.
The P750 has a 20 button, white backlit, keypad and includes and joystick type application entry. Included are the usual left and right soft keys. Which default to the Asus launcher and contacts. Between these are the windows start button and OK buttons, all highlighted in chrome.
Below these are the telephone end and send buttons, numerical keypad, and a useful mode switcher button to quickly switch between applications and is again customisable.
The Asus launcher is again a handy addition to the phone and will suit normal phone users as it allows quick assess to settings, messages, camera etc. I didn’t use it that much as I am used to the Windows mobile interface, and was slightly surprised to see that the loan unit wasn’t equipped with wm6.1, but I gather it is only a matter of time before the update will be available.
Apart from the standard windows features, there are the additions of a backup/ restore program, which speaks for itself. There is a handy GPS catcher which can be set to update the satellite positions when ever sync’ed with your PC or set to update through the normal channels automatically on expiration. There is no pre-installed GPS software, Google maps was downloaded and installed in a matter of minutes thanks to the impressive connection and download speeds achievable. No issues at all regarding connection switching here either.
3 other pieces of software that I haven’t come across before are:
1. Ur Time – which allows you to see different time zones across the world, which can then be displayed on the today screen, apparently designed to allow synchronization of meetings, video calls or teleconferencing around the world. Very useful I supposed of the international traveller/ business man? The one place I travelled to in using the phone wasn’t an option on the menus, so I you can take this and use it as you see fit, not much good for me.
2. Travelog – allows you to track and record your travel patterns and download them to Google earth on your PC. Tried it briefly couldn’t get it to work, didn’t see the point, gave up. A bit of fun for those interested I suppose, really bad if you have been to places you shouldn’t have and logged for evidence.
3. Location Courier – Allows you to send your position to up to 5 people via SMS, also included is a timer to send periodically. There is a small icon at the bottom of the screen to highlight the status of your Courier. The best part is the manual demonstrating its use. The sample Text message reads ‘I am here, HELP!’ again make of this as you will. If you are ever stranded and need help no doubt it is invaluable, but why not just ring?
More useful tools found are the RSS reader, and My Secrets, a password lockable folder for personal or private files that you may wish to store away from prying eyes.
My first impressions, after reading in various reviews have ‘chunky’ it was, was a pleasant surprise, the device is on the large side but I would say more solid than chunky and certainly smaller than the iPAQ. In actual fact put beside my P526 there is very little difference in appearance being marginally longer and thicker but no wider. Comparing it Matt’s old faithful, TYTN II, pretty much identical, apart from being 3mm longer, but benefits from being a full 60g lighter.
It does have a soft touch feel to the case and the chrome accents on certain pieces makes for a professional looking device. My first thought was I have no issue with the look and size of the device, this has continued with a fair amount of use. The buttons are responsive and positive. The layout of the buttons is logical and easy to use, the only thing missing for me is a separate dedicated on/off button. On the P750 this is included within the slider button which double’s in locking the keys.
The voice clarity for me was a highlight, and has been an issue on some of the devices that I have reviewed recently, on the Asus even on a relatively low signal, I had not had the usual ‘what did you say’ or ‘say again, you are breaking up’ which was a good step forward for me.
The processor found on the P750 was well up to the job, appearing very quick and positive to use, a lot of devices these days are improving in this area and again a good step forward. The 64 MB RAM is a standard disappointment with these Asus devices and although more would be preferable, I have not noticed any real lag, or had any memory issues in normal use.
Being the so called flagship of the Asus range, a little more future proofing would have been welcomed, and a comment read earlier this week sums it up ‘ who the hell uses USB 1.1 these days?’ Answer: Asus.
Where are we now, would I buy having waited for so long? Is it worth MY money?
Well, I was really surprised by the size, having read about it being big. I don’t think it is and prefer it over the Ipaq and the Eten.
It is a very quick and reliable pda, it is not the best on battery life in my experience about a day normal use would do it, and the camera is average.
I think for me, being a P526 user for some time now, the wifi etc are welcome additions, but not really used that much, the processor speed is also much improved, but at the cost of more size and weight. I do feel that it could be smaller.
Bottom line would I buy one, as it appears I have meddled with my P526 once too often and may have bricked it, then yes, if it came to the choice of a straight upgrade, then I feel that there is not enough innovation for the change to be justified at this point. I am disappointed that it is so similar to my P526 that it is unremarkable, or perhaps what that really means is that is it so efficient and reliable I am taking it for granted already?
Maybe I have to wait, yet again and see what the recently mentioned HTC Diamond has to bring?
Review by: Steve