The Casio E-125 Color Pocket PC features a fast 150 MHz processor, convenient Microsoft software, and 32 MB of storage in a modern and durable body. Expand its memory and add connectivity options such as Ethernet or a wireless modem using the CompactFlash expansion slot. The E-125 comes with Microsoft Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Money, and Pocket Internet Explorer, and offers synchronization with Microsoft Outlook. Download MP3 audio files from your PC using the fast USB connection and play them through the E-125's built-in speaker using Windows Media Player. The 240 x 320 screen features 65,536 colors for multimedia viewing. The battery has a life of up to six hours.
What's in the box
- Cassiopeia E-125
- USB Cradle
- AC Adapter
- Lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack
- CR2032 lithium battery
- Connector cable
- Pocket PC User's Guide
- Hardware Guide
I used Casio's Cassiopeia E-125 as our Pocket PC-based e-book reader. Not surprisingly, the $549.95 Cassiopeia's size works for and against it. The 8.8-ounce device is certainly painless to carry around. Although it measures 3.3 by 5.2 by .78 inches, its 4-inch diagonal screen is small for reading a book. Microsoft's ClearType technology provides clear, easy-to-read characters, but only 15 lines are visible at a time. That's a lot of page turning, which is done by pressing the large button on the bottom left of the device. You can choose between small characters or large characters, but you get significantly less text on a page with the large size: 11 lines, with four or five words per line.
The brightness and contrast controls (Start/Settings/System/Brightness) make it easy to adjust the screen in a variety of lighting conditions, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to read in direct sunlight. Of course, with a brighter the screen, the battery drains faster.
You'll also want to reset the Auto Dim function (Start/Settings/System/Brightness/Auto Dim) if you're planning to read for any extended period of time. Otherwise, the screen will automatically dim before you reach the end of a page. The default is 15 seconds, but I found that 30 seconds is ideal.
Features that resemble some word-processing functions are a good argument for e-books, particularly for the scholarly reader. With Microsoft Reader, you can highlight sections, add bookmarks, insert drawings, search for words and copy text. You can choose to start your next reading session on the first page, the farthest read or the spot where you most recently stopped.
Another advantage of the Pocket PC is its audio capability. With Audible.com and an audio e-book, you can listen to a book through your Pocket PC; add a set of headphones for a private listening experience.
Are Pocket PCs a good way to read e-books? You probably wouldn't want to purchase one simply for that purpose, but if you already have one or need one for other functions, it's not a bad way to go. Still, even those with an environmentalist's viewpoint will likely conclude that e-books won't take the place of paper books yet. -- From Winmag®