ViewSonic Pocket PC V review:

ViewSonic Pocket PC V

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Sturdy and slim design; 400MHz processor; SDIO card slot; decent battery life.

The Bad Battery is not user-replaceable; no integrated wireless support; screen could be brighter.

The Bottom Line The V37 doesn't do much to distinguish itself from HP's slim iPaq models, but it offers solid performance.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

About a year after it released its first Pocket PC, the V35, ViewSonic has rolled out the V37. Like its predecessors, the $349 (list price) V37 is a powerful but basic, no-frills PDA. Though it doesn't offer such increasingly popular features as built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a dedicated CompactFlash slot, it boasts a speedy processor and long battery life packed into a slim casing.

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Pocket-friendly: The V37's attractive, slim shape makes it easy to carry around.

Clad in a front-silver finish and bearing a simple, minimalist design, the V37 feels solid in our hands. This thin and light model, weighing only four ounces and measuring 4.7 by 3 by 0.5 inches, easily fits in a coat pocket.

While the V37 may be small, we were glad to see that its screen size was not compromised. At 3.5 inches, the entire area of the 64,000-color, 320x240 display is available to view applications. Below the screen are four programmable buttons and a five-way navigation key, while the speaker, which provides somewhat mediocre sound, sits in the lower-right corner.

At the top of the unit you'll find an infrared port for wireless communication, a Secure Digital Input Output (SDIO) expansion slot, the power button, and the stylus holder. A handy jog dial for quick maneuvering between items is on the left side, along with the voice-recorder button and an audio-out port that accepts any Walkman-style headphones. The sole feature on the V37's black-plastic back is the battery switch. A word of caution: The unit doesn't have a backup battery. Thus, if you turn the switch to the Off position, you will hard-reset the PDA and lose all the information stored on the ROM. The same thing happens if you let the battery, which is not user-replaceable, run out completely. We found this to be the biggest flaw of the V37, so make sure you always carry a charger.

Powering the V37 is a zippy 400MHz processor and 128MB of combined memory (64MB of ROM and 64MB of SDRAM). After accounting for the OS and the preinstalled software, the user can access 36MB of ROM and 36.5MB of SDRAM storage. Consequently, you should use a SD card if you want to carry a lot of music or data on the V37.

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