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Fujitsu-Siemens LOOX 720: All Inclusive


Wireless Interfaces

A couple of years ago a single wireless interface was considered a luxury. And now nobody will be surprised to see both Bluetooth and wiFi operating simultaneously. A past privilege of the most expensive models (remember HP iPaq 5550) is becoming a standard (ASUS A716 and partially LOOX610). Fortunately for users, Fujitsu-Siemens abandoned their proprietary drivers in this model and decided to use a product from Broadcom (that merged the WIDCOMM developer) tested in dozens of models from various manufacturers.

That's why unlike LOOX 610 we have no complaints about Bluetooth in this new model. This handheld worked fine with mobile handsets, GPS receivers, headsets, other handhelds, desktop computers, and notebooks via Bluetooth.


WiFi was none the worse. All popular secure protocols are supported (WPA, WEP, PEAP). Antenna sensitivity and the power of the receiver are enough to work within a rather large office. What concerns cons, we can note poor settings available in the bundled E2C program (STD version). For example, you cannot create more than one profile. The nuisance is that once you launch E2C, you can get rid of it only after hard reset. Advanced users should disable this program right away, and map its button to something more useful. In this situation when you enable WiFi, the device will report about new networks found and will prompt for WEP keys, you can edit the settings via standard connections in WM2003SE. However, you can also purchase E2C Professional, which works perfectly with several profiles and is an excellent replacement for the clumsy applets to configure connections bundled with WM2003SE. Alas, you cannot buy this program on www.pocketloox-choice.com, the bundled voucher will have to be spent on a different program.

LOOX 720 has a built-in support for WiFi telephony. An additional speaker is added above the display, to make this feature comfortable to use. As it's inconvenient to hold a handheld to your ear, we recommend using a Bluetooth-headset.

We were delighted with the excellent CIR-port! That's very providently of Fujitsu-Siemens to add support for remote control functions via the infrared port. But even here we have an issue to grumble about: the bundle includes neither Nevo nor a similar program. There were no problems with third-party programs (Total Remote) – we controlled our consumer electronics at the distance of 5 m. Synchronization via IrDa is traditionally slow: Fujitsu-Siemens had no juice left for FIR support. Unlike its competitor, iPaq 4700.

USB host

USB host cable comes shipped with the LOOX 720 (unlike ASUS A730). USB mass storage drivers are already included into WM2003SE. We had some problems with simultaneous connection to a flash drive and a desktop: the new disk on the handheld was not found, desktop Windows XP found a new unknown device instead and in frustration disabled the USB-mouse. When disconnected from the desktop, we had to soft reset the device for LOOX 720 to detect the flash drive. Drive operating speed is limited by the USB 1.1 throughput and does not exceed 1 MB/sec. You can connect devices with power consumption below 100 mA only. In practice, devices with greater power consumption work as well (for example, Apple iPod). And you can always connect an externally powered disk in the long run.

We had no problems installing an USB-keyboard. LOOX refused to operate with a mouse (we tried various models from Logitech and A4Tech), though the pointing devices were powered. However it didn't ask for a driver either – it's quite possible that the mouse was successfully detected but the handheld found no use for it.

Two handhelds connected via USB don't see each other: the host handheld asks for drivers for an unknown device. Funny thing, the slave starts charging from the first handheld via USB.

But palmOne Tungsten T5 connected to LOOX 720 as a flash drive looked really hilarious. Long awaited compatibility of Windows CE and Palm OS in action ;)


We express our thanks to Fujitsu-Siemens for the provided handheld.

Maxim Fedorov (dane@ixbt.com)
December 10, 2004

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