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  1.    #1  
    Well I did it. I went to CompUSA today and purchased the Audiovox Maestro. I'm in the Pocket PC camp. It's too soon to either jump for joy or be pissed off at my decision as I only recently finished setting it up. Things were much simpler with my VDx.

    BTW this in no way means that I've abandoned the Palm platform--I'm just testing the waters.

    Will post more later about my experience.
    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  2. #2  
    Traitor!

    Actually, good job on your find... This reminds me, PDABuzz had a story a couple days ago on a PPC2002 Update for the Maestro: Here is the link to the Audiovox Site:

    http://www.audiovox.com/PPCupgrade1.html
    Blue Visor Deluxe ~ Clie T615 ~ Zire 71 ~ Treo 650 ~ Palm Centro
  3. #3  
    The old HP and Casio PPC's are going for this cheap too, I thought about it too....for the games.
  4. #4  
    Good job on the Maestro buy, I can assure you, I'm attempting to kick myself in the **** for buying the iPAQ 3800 for $599, good handheld, just insanely expensive.
  5.    #5  
    Thanx for the link terrysalmi but I'm not sure I'll be needing it. I wasn't blown away with it the way I thought I would be. It's a beautiful unit for a firsttimer and a nice way to break into PPC but I think I would only use it for the multimedia functions. Actually just one multimedia function-video.

    I downloaded a 3 minute "movie" from Pocket TV and it was nothing short of amazing--good video, crisp clear audio, and smooth playback.

    In this post I'll list the things I dislike and later on I list the things I like about the unit. If I find anything else that's not cool to me I'll post that, too. For now I'll just let my these initial thoughts simmer with you.

    Dislikes:

    1. It took about an hour to get Outlook set up on my desktop. I don't know why it took so long. Palm desktop was ready to go in 15 minutes.

    2. Once Outlook was installed I noticed IE was reconfigured. Why?

    3. Microsoft Reader had to be activated via the web with the device sitting in the cradle in order to get it authenticated in addition to putting in the 25 number product key. You also have to sign up for MS .NET service. I understand anti-piracy but this just seems a little too much.

    4. MP3 playback not as good as my MiniJam. I like actual buttons that I can feel much much better than having to go into the software to adjust the volume. There is no EQ as on my MiniJam either.

    5. Ease of use is not as good as it can be. I had no way of knowing if the sample appointment I set was active or not. It didn''t go off at the time set. So I tried again. Nothing. Got a low battery warning and set it in the cradle. The alarm goes off!! About 6 minutes after I set it. Does it have to be placed in the cradle first before alarms are recognized? Once it did go off, I hit the 5 minute snooze button. That didn't go off again until I turned the unit on. Am I doing something wrong?

    6. Speed. While going back to the AvantGo main page after reading an article it took quite a while to display just 5 channels I had listed. I can understand taking some time loading large files, but five? (There were only a four other programs running at the time.) I've never had this problem on my Visor and I've got 13 channels on it. I must note, however, that when selecting the channels the unit was not slow.

    7. Having to close programs "twice." Maybe I'm spoiled by Win98 (yes I still use it) but I thought that when you hit "X" the program was closed. Not so on Pocket PC. It seems that although you hit the "X" and the program's interface disappears, it's still lurking (multitasking) in the background. You would have to actually go to the list of the programs running and shut down each one by one much in the same way the window pops up when you "CTRL-ALT-DEL" on your PC.

    8. Bad pixel. Now I won't have to pay that dreaded 15% restocking fee to Comp USA if I decide to return it since it's defective.

    That's it for now. I welcome you comments and suggestions.
    Last edited by swendor; 03/10/2002 at 10:27 AM.
    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  6. #6  
    Have you downloaded the newest update from Avantgo for your handheld? It speeds things up quite a bit.

    Also, MS Reader just sucks, period.
  7.    #7  
    Well after 4 days of use I found some things I like about the Maestro:

    1. Size: It's roughly the same size as my Visor, whch I find amazing given the buit-in CF and SD slots.

    2. The speaker is nice and loud.

    3. It's a solid well-built unit.

    4. It's comfortable in you hand.

    5. Umm...

    6. Oh! Video playback.

    7. Color

    As you can probably gather, I'm not particularly impressed with Pocket PC. I thought I would be more so.

    If I need software that trashes my system, alarms that don't work, and little ease of use I'll go see Microsoft. If I need a device that does all it says it will do well, I'll stick with Palm products.

    I've decided to take the unit back to CompUSA. Maybe I'll get that Prism after all.
    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  8. mhc48#CB's Avatar
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    #8  
    Before you return it, a question. Have you stuck with the basic launcher and addressbook for your Visor? Or have you gone to Launchem, Silverscreen, Datebook4 etc.?

    Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

    There are several really good (and cheap) Today and Taskbar replacements and enhancements that make PPC2002 much easier to use. Pocket Informant for instance is very much like Datebook4 in its customizability and there are several (Wisbar, Gigabar and Pocket Stm) programs that take care of most if not all of your objections.
    -Michael-
  9. #9  
    I totally agree with MHCohn, the out of the box launcher for PPC doesn't really do a good job of opening and closing (really closing) programs, and each vendors way to do this is different.
    HP has a nice close app, while the others do not.

    However with a little customization & a couple launcher apps, you'll have one tap open & close (really close) features.

    I have had a Jornada 568, and went back to my Jornada 548 due to the Jornada 560's dust problems...but by adding in:

    PocketFacelift

    My 548 is 10x more useable now. I can launch apps directly off the Today screen, and it give me a real close 'X' app button, which makes all the difference.

    I plan on picking up an Audiovox today, as my CompUSA store is getting a shipment in today. Only b/c the $299.00 price is just too awesome to pass up.

    BTW, PocketFacelift is only for PocketPC 2000.
  10.    #10  
    MHCohn:

    Yup, all the PIM functions on my Visor are out of the box, no enhancements, no upgrades. I think I tried LaunchEm once and wasn't crazy about it.

    I was really hoping to like the unit as-is out of the box without having to add anything to it. Sure, we all add software to our devices to increase their functionality but I wanted to be impressed when I first turned the unit on. I wasn't exactly impressed with my Visor when I first got it but the learning curve was basically flat and everything worked as stated and the alarm went off the first time I tested it, unlike the Maestro.

    But even apart from the usability there's still the issue with the MP3 player and the battery life associated with it. The low battery warning came on the same day I got it and I had only played a video a few times. I listen to my MiniJam at work for at least 6 hours every night and still come home with som life left on the Energizer rechargeables. Can someone tell me if you can se the MP3 player while the unit is turned off? How long does the battery last on your particular PPC device if the MP3 is used from full charge to near empty.


    BTW, I appreciate the suggestions. Maybe I'll give it another shot. I still have a week left to decide.

    Were either of you former Palm owners who now use PPC or use both or anything like that? Do you prefer one over the other.
    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  11. mhc48#CB's Avatar
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    #11  
    Swendor, I've still got a VDX and a Prism, although the past two weeks my daughter has had exclusive use of the Prism for games and things (I'm not sure she'd give it up even if I wanted it back).

    I've had a Prism since they first came out and lots of accessories and modules. I started using an iPaq when my Audible Advisor Module went bad. I'd planned on only using the iPaq for books, but then found the enticements of Windows Media for mp3s and wmas. Then I figured, well, as long asI'm carrying it around, might as well give the PIM functions a try. We use Outlook in my office and this turned out to be a lot easier than my Prism with Desktop to Go and Documents to go, not to mention Multimail, and the attachment openning options for Desktop to Go. I'd had all those configured and working fine, but they took a lot of memory (and time when synching). I also had a MemPlug, which was great for all it did, but sometime s a pain when I wanted to use a program in a different folder and I'd have to go in and change the active folder.

    Then I found that games on the iPaq had some incredible resolution and effects.

    Once I added Pocket Informant and Pocket STm to my iPaq it did all the things I had done with my Prism, almost as well, certainly aswell as I needed, plus it had all the extras.

    The drawback (which wouldn't trouble you) was the size of it with the sled and a CF card. However, I just remedied that since I already had the iPaq, rather than get a Maestro, I took the plunge and got a memory upgrade to 128mg. I figured it was worth the money to use this until all the Xscale PPCs come out and I decide which is best.

    Battery llife *is* significantly worse than what we are used to with a Palm OS, but there are ways to turn down or turn off the backlight to make it last longer, and anyway, mine gets to stay in the cradle for most of the day while I'm working anyway. And I have an extra charger for home (same as I did for my Prism).
    -Michael-
  12. #12  
    2 problems that need to be worked out with PPC's

    Size: my iPAQ is just too damn big with the CF sleeve, it's not that bad considering I'm in HS and I can just throw the CF sleeve in my backpack, and it's mostly filled with music anyway, but I should be able to carry around my iPAQ with the added memory whether I'm going to use it or not. IT'S THE PRINCIPLE DANGIT!

    Battery life: 3.5 hours with my iPAQ, and now the battery is starting to get weird, I would do a hard reset, but I'm not sure it'd fix anything, and I don't want to go through the trouble of reinstalling everything one program at a time (I think a program I've previously installed might be the culprit.) Now I'm getting only 2.5 hours of use everyday off of my iPAQ with the backlight on the automatic setting. If it gets worse, I'm taking it back under extended warranty and getting an XScale when they come out. I just can't stand the 2 weeks without my PDA I'd be spending if I sent it to Compaq.

    I'd easily be willing to spend an extra $50 or so if the PPC makers would put in a higher capacity battery
  13. mhc48#CB's Avatar
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    #13  
    Those are definitely the two biggest problems with the older iPaqs, though not necessarily with PPC in general. All of the 2002 models including iPaq have some sort of built in expansion without a sleeve and a number offer two options. I have solved that problem by getting the 128 mg upgrade, but it was expensive. The only reason I did it was that I got my iPaq for free, so the cost of it came out to about the same or a bit less than a Maestro. Without the sleeve, iPaq is thinner, lighter and has better "handfeel" than my Prism.

    Battery life is still poor though, no doubt about it. It remains to be seen if the newer Xscale models do anything to remedy that. Again, fortunately my iPaq remains in it's cradle most of the day. I could definitely see where for someone with different usage patterns, the battery could rule out the iPaq as an option.

    Your iPaq battery problem may not be program related. IPaq batteries have been known to go bad after a while. Yours may be doing that. PDAordie just came out with an easily replaceable battery for the iPaq that also provides more power. They also have one that gives a vibrating alarm feature.

    If it is a program issue, I read on one of the PPC boards that there is a method of restoring individual or selected programs from Activesynch. I don't recall where I read it or what it was, but if I see it again I'll drop you a note.
    -Michael-
  14. #14  
    Lol, I've only had my 3835 for 2 months, and you're telling me my battery is already dying? This a depressing development.
  15. mhc48#CB's Avatar
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    #15  
    Oh sorry, your comment about the necessity of a sleeve led me to believe you an older model like the 36xx, I've heard nothing like that about the 38xxs.

    Doesn't yours have the SD slot? And you still use the sleeve?
    -Michael-
  16. #16  
    SD memory is too expensive, ditto for MMC.

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