By Sascha Segan  |  Posted 2005-11-01 Print this article Print

This is not your fathers BlackBerry. The BlackBerry 8700c combines the convenience of the traditional slab-style unit with the color and verve of the new 7100 models, creating a top-notch e-mail device for a new generation.

The 4.7-ounce 8700c is about 0.2 ounces lighter, and at 4.3 by 2.7 by 0.8 inches and 4.7 ounces, roughly 0.2 inches smaller in every direction than its predecessors, including the 7290. The keys are squarer than those on the 7290 and its ilk, so although theyre the same size (about 5 mm from top to bottom), theres less space between them.

The 2.6-inch diagonal screen is also the same size as that on the 7290, but the similarities end there. This is a beautiful, bright, backlit 240-by-320 pixel screen that displays 262,000 colors. It shows double the information of the previous 240-by-160 design. Even photos look excellent on the sharp screen. An ambient light sensor dynamically changes screen brightness to adapt to lighting conditions.

The 8700c does not have a touch screen; the familiar BlackBerry scroll-wheel-and-back-button interface remains. The device has been enhanced, though, by the introduction of a new programmable button on the left side, along with dedicated phone pickup and hang-up buttons.

As an e-mail device, the BlackBerry still reigns supreme. Push e-mail is as smooth as ever, and the new EDGE modem (more than twice as fast as previous GPRS models) makes text e-mails seem to arrive instantaneously. RIM told us the Version 4.03 of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the latest release, will support viewing of Microsoft PowerPoint attachments, though we did not test this for ourselves.

Read the full story on PCMag.com: BlackBerry 8700c

Sascha Segan is PC Magazine's Lead Analyst for mobile phones and PDAs. He is responsible for testing, benchmarking and evaluating mobile phones and other handheld devices. Sascha joined the magazine in 2004 after covering consumer electronics for technology, travel and lifestyle publications, and editing the now hard-to-find book, 'I Just Got a Cell Phone, Now What?' He once helped cover an election in Africa using only a PalmPilot Professional with a modem and attachable keyboard as his traveling gear.

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