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Design and construction of the handheld merit the highest award. This PDA conquers sympathies at the first touch. The device lies conveniently in hand, thanks to the original form of the side panels it will not slip out of your grip. This new model can be even compared with HP 2210 by its firm grip in a hand.
The case is made of light plastic. This makes the device lighter, but it doesn't contribute to its durability. Color quality is high, no scratches were found on the device after I carried it a week in a case and without it. But you should use a case anyway to protect the display and the lens of the built-in camera.
Round grooves at the sides of the PDA suggest a cover a la Palm.
Assembly quality is very high. No creaking, flexing, and other petty dirty tricks. Battery is fixed not only by a cover, but also by an additional lever. Don't forget about it when replacing a battery: the bay will not close until the lever fixes the battery.
On the whole this device has a strict design. The only tiny flaw – the application buttons are too close to each other and to the 5-way navigation button. Sometimes it's not that easy to grope for a button you need.
There are two LEDs above the display. The left one indicates wireless interfaces, the right one – external power/alarms. Additional speaker is located right between them, which operates only in the WiFi-phone mode. The traditional power button is in the right corner.
The infrared port, headphone jack, CF/SDio slots are located on the top side. Stylus bay is also accessible from the top. Admit it, the traditional solution is much more convenient than that in ASUS A730. The metal stylus is 92 mm long, 4 mm in diameter, a thin needle is hidden inside the cap to reboot the handheld. You won't be able to soft reset with a stylus tip.
The left side pleased us with its 3-way up-down-enter jog dial and an additional fast access button, which unexpectedly launches FSC Speed Menu instead of usual voice recorder. But engineers provided for almost all customer wishes: the voice memo button is also available (on the right side of the handheld).
A rubber band is built into the cover of the battery bay. It slightly raises the handheld case, providing additional protection to the camera lens and eliminating slipping on the table (or any other horizontal surface).
Application buttons are a separate story. They respond with a noticeable delay, which is unacceptable in arcades. Gamers will dislike the joystick as well: Closely set applications buttons will interfere. Our attempt to test the functionality with our favourite Bomberman failed (we'll review the reasons below), in other games the joystick was so-so.