Toshiba e740: Pocket PC Sweet Spot

Toshiba Corp.'s $599 Pocket PC e740 boasts integrated support for 802.11b wireless networking and a speedy new 400MHz Intel Corp. Xscale processor-without added cost or size, compared with similarly equipped Pocket PC rivals.

Toshiba Corp.s $599 Pocket PC e740 boasts integrated support for 802.11b wireless networking and a speedy new 400MHz Intel Corp. Xscale processor—without added cost or size, compared with similarly equipped Pocket PC rivals.

Although the e740s new chip and built-in wireless functionality caught our attention, we were just as impressed with the devices dual expansion slots, removable battery and excellent design, prompting us to give the e740 an eWeek Labs Analysts Choice award.

The e740 runs Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC 2002 mobile operating system, which includes applications for Terminal Services, The Microsoft Network instant messaging and secure communications via virtual private networking. The device, which began shipping late last month, is uniquely well-positioned to take advantage of these functions, thanks to its integrated and very well-implemented support for 802.11b.

In tests, we could turn the wireless LAN functionality on or off with a switch or via a software control on the Pocket PC task bar. We were also impressed with the on-device utilities for setting up wireless links.

The e740 ships with 64MB of RAM and Secure Digital and CompactFlash Type 2 peripheral expansion slots.

We experienced only minor speed gains from the e740s 400MHz Xscale chip, compared with the performance weve seen on Pocket PC 2002 devices using the 206MHz Intel StrongARM chip. The speed gains were most noticeable while launching Microsoft Reader applications, which weve previously found poky.

The e740 measures 5 inches tall by 3.2 inches wide by 0.7 inches thick, and it weighs 6.7 ounces. The device features a scroll wheel control as well as the circular directional device customarily found on Pocket PC devices.

Technical Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com.