ASUS M530w review: ASUS M530w

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Short of HSDPA, the M530w has connectivity options covered. 3G data speeds, WLAN (802.11b/g), Bluetooth, and USB for charging and data transfers are all included.

The M530w also sports a 2-megapixel camera, although the quality of our test images was nothing to get excited about. It also has a MicroSD card slot and, unlike most of the WM PDA-phones we've seen, the M530w has a dedicated 2.5mm audio port for headphones.

In regards to processing the M530w is a capable workhorse, but fell a long way short of being a speed demon. The M530w runs on a Marvell PXA270 416Mhz processor with 64MB of RAM and feels somewhat underpowered. Interface navigation is mostly fluid, but accessing applications requires some patience.

We've come to expect one or two days of battery life from WM PDA-phones, so we were pleasantly surprised when we still had battery at the beginning of the fourth day of testing, and saw this repeated during our second battery cycle. This testing included moderate use of talk and messaging, several hours of MSN messenger and some Web browsing.

Call quality, for the most part, was good, and the volume of the internal speaker was adequate enough to make for clear conversations. Likewise messaging and e-mail are simple tasks, even if the itty-bitty keypad tested our dexterity.

Spending time with the ASUS M530w is an unremarkable experience, with no extras or speed boost to attract our attention, and no glam or flare to spark our interest. Our eagerness to be "wowed" aside, the M530w is a bargain-priced alternative for anyone looking to streamline their Windows based workflow from the office to their handset.

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