Tools Of The Trade: Fujitsu Siemens handheld

In London alone, over 700 wireless "hotspots" provide fast access to the internet for anyone with a suitably equipped handheld computer. And as hotspot numbers grow, putting wireless networking into a machine becomes more than just a gimmick.

In London alone, over 700 wireless "hotspots" provide fast access to the internet for anyone with a suitably equipped handheld computer. And as hotspot numbers grow, putting wireless networking into a machine becomes more than just a gimmick.

Fujitsu Siemens has gone a step further, producing a handheld computer with both wireless networking and Bluetooth, for short-range connections to PCs or mobile phones.

This makes for a device that seems versatile: it can work with wireless networks at home, in the office or at a hotspot, or connect to the internet through a GPRS or 3G phone where no high-speed link is available.

Out of the box, the PocketLOOX 610 follows the design that is standard on handhelds running Microsoft's PocketPC operating system. It feels light but solid and the screen is reasonably clear and bright. Even though networking is built in, the handheld has not scrimped on expansion: it has a secure digital and a CompactFlash card slot.

The basic aspects of the 610 work efficiently, but the wireless functions performed less well in our tests. The 610 was happy searching out the home pages to wireless hotspots, but struggled to bring up the log-in pages; this could be the fault of either the network or the handheld. And, although this is a common problem with PocketPC- systems, connecting to a home wireless network was more fiddly than it should have been.

More troublesome still was that the 610 can't connect to both a wireless network and a Bluetooth device at once. Although this is a minor inconvenience in itself, we found that the 610 struggled on occasion to exchange information with a Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone, and to use the phone as a GPRS modem to go online. Several times, the handheld claimed there was an error with the Bluetooth hardware, or that it was not installed.

This caused problems setting up a connection with a GPRS phone, as the Microsoft PocketPC software did not recognise the 610's Bluetooth hardware. The connection utility supplied by Fujitsu-Siemens had no such problems. But the differences between the two utilities meant it was not possible to follow Vodafone's instructions for setting up a GPRS link, as these were written with Microsoft's regular software in mind.

As it stands, only expert users will be able to justify paying the price premium over a standard handheld.

THE VERDICT

Fujitsu Siemens PocketLOOX 610

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Pros: clean design, good screen, expansion potential.

Cons: wireless connection set-up is too fiddly for many users.

Price: around £450 inc VAT.

Contact: www.pocketloox.com

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?