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Review: NEC MobilePro 900c

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-05-21 4:58 PM
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It is a review a long time in the making, and one we originally aimed to have for you before the MobilePro 900c even launched. Unfortunately back then a courier missed a delivery pickup and we never had it; until now.

The NEC MobilePro 900c was the last of the true Handheld PC devices. It ended the era of the great Half VGA Handheld PC and ushered in the demise of the platform, at least in the minds eye of the big OEM's.
Despite the end of the line, the MobilePro has experienced a popularity renaissance in recently times, and is becoming a far more common site within the community than it ever used to be.

Reviews Editor Clinton Fitch explores the MobilePro 900c as offered by UsedHandhelds.com to see if the package really can offer true mobile freedom in 2007.

View: NEC MobilePro 900c
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-05-21 5:06 PM
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the review was not proofread i think..
it has big factual errors in it.
i'm of course just trying to be constructive when correcting some of them don't consider this an attack.


1. The NEC 900c runs the Windows CE 4.2 .NET Core, essentially the last build made for the Handheld PC platform

surely it was hpc2000?

2. In contemporary Windows Mobile PocketPC devices, user accessible ROMs are not common place. However the 900c was one of the first to have such an option and real benefit to owners

it is very common now.. in 2003 it wasn't that common, right.

3. An example would be Pocket Internet Explorer in the 900c. PIE, as it is commonly referred to, in the 900c is built on 4.0 build of Internet Explorer. Functionally it works fantastically well with the exception of security

what, PIE on 900c with ce.net?

4. It is a mystery to me as to why NEC did not included the full versions in the 900c

because cenet isnt a platform
of course now you can get the hpc2000 office suite that i got out of the jornada 728's rom.
nice grammar typo as well ("included" )

5. A nice addition to the 900c over other Handheld PCs is the inclusion of a PDF Viewer. PDF viewers are a rare find in the Handheld PC world, often costing $50-60 to have the luxury. Having this included is both a money and time saving feature.

rare find? adobe is easily available. and now foxit too with a native ce.net 4.2 version.. pocketxpdf etc, all free.
but the built in pdf viewer isn't bad regarding speed.

Edited by cmonex 2007-05-21 5:09 PM
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2007-05-21 5:32 PM
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Nice review, long overdue. My only critisism is it should be mentioned that the screen-shots are not default, but user customized settings. For instance, green is not the default color scheme, and SOTI Pocket Controller Professional is not a standard application included as it is shown in the control panel.

Also I think it important to be noted that the external VGA works in SVGA mode only with certain applications (PowerPoint presentation software).

Finally, while most already probably know this, for those previous Mobilepro owners, their old software (MIPS based) will not work with the 900/900C, yet Clinton did mention the HP 7XX software upgrades fine...

Can I give the review a 1-10 rating: How about 9.5.

Rich
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Michael Page Icon Posted 2007-05-21 9:18 PM
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Another error in the review concerns "full versions" of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

WordPad in CE 4.2 is equal to Word from HPC 2000 (except for spell check). The 900C also includes Spreadsheet which is an Excel replacement for most common uses. PowerPoint was only a viewer on HPC 2000, so it's no different for that in CE 4.2.

I also don't understand why the Cost rating at the bottom is 5 bars when you can presently buy four quality MobilePro 900Cs for the same price, or alternatively for the same price buy the extra software + three 900Cs. Rating the cost with the *best rating possible* when the cost is $399 seems absurd.

Edited by Michael 2007-05-21 9:18 PM
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vrf Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 8:05 AM
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I agree with Michael about the cost rating.

Also, can we have some decent, non-flash pics of the device and display?

And is that a 790 on the front page?
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 8:15 AM
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Ignoring for a moment the shameless plug and some of minor errors mentioned in this forum.......I have to commend you for doing a wonderful job on the 900c hardware review. As Rich Hawley, mentioned, I would also rate the overall review a 9.5 on the imaginary rating scale. I think you were a bit kind in not mentioning some of the negative aspects of this HPC, but I assume that you wanted to highlight the positives, which is why the Con list only contained one item when in fact. it could have easily contained several more!


BTW- As you can already see....this is a tough crowd to please.

Edited by Hurricane John 2007-05-22 8:18 AM
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 8:31 AM
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Nice work, Clinton. I'm a J-720, HPC2000 diehard, so never really took the time to consider a 4.2 device--and I'm glad you did. For the CENet neophyte like myself, your review will be where I start should I consider this kind of purchase.

Thanks again,
Jake

(P.S. Since the usedhandheld cd comes with PocketDOS, I was wondering if you played with that app on the 900C and what you came up with.)
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 8:47 AM
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Things to be taken up with the author really.

cmonex,

1. It does say the 4.2 core, and there have been no 5.x releases on a H/PC. It's a semantic argument, but a weak one.

2 & 5. Its site policy not to endorse hacking, you know this. Foxit, ok but it is a beta.

4. Included, ok fixed

Rich,

Many of my reviews has had non-standard UI's running on them. I think a little credit to the end user has to be applied.

Michael,

This is a review of the UsedHandheld offering, not an eBay deal. UsedHandhelds give you a 12 month rtb international warranty, no questions money back if not satisfied, over 300 dollars of free software (See: http://www.hpcfactor.com/qlink/?linkID=168 ), case, small CF and a wireless adapter.

vrf,

Guilty. Time constraints have impacted this one, it is several weeks late. It was this or leave it for another 3/4 weeks.

John,

One for the author, but this is what the discussion here is for
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Michael Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 11:03 AM
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over 300 dollars of free software (See: http://www.hpcfactor.com/qlink/?linkID=168


Not to argue, but it's only $99.90 worth of software (the cost to add all that software to a random 900C) since that's what you can buy the CD from UsedHandhelds for
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 11:38 AM
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Yep, it is an obvious fact.
The thing is that not everyone will just go for the cheapest deal, and not everyone is willing and happy to go for something without a support commitment. You obviously are, and that is fair enough. Though we are not about to start publicising eBay sellers.

UsedHandhelds are a partner organisation of this site, their parent company has done a lot for the community over the last 10.5 years. They supplied the review device, at their expense and our template policy dictates that we have to enter a price on the review content. If you don't like the idea of paying $399 for the package, you don't pay it, and you don't get a UsedHandhelds MobilePro.

This community is at times all too unwilling to support anyone within it who has a shred of financial or business involvement in it. Whether that is software, hardware or information. We wont be apologising for the fact that it is a commercial review on a device that was once retailed at well over $1000.

In the face of freeware, paying $70 for what used to be Ansyr Primer, or buying PocketDOS instead of using BOCHS may on the same logic be utterly absurd as well. But hey, why buy SoftMaker Office when I can warez Pocket Office!

Put simply, as an organisation we just do not agree.
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Michael Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 12:04 PM
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The thing is that not everyone will just go for the cheapest deal, and not everyone is willing and happy to go for something without a support commitment.


Then why is customer service rated only 2 out of 5 in the review?

When the "support commitment" ($200 difference) is equal to two times the cost of a 900C, I feel it justifies a price rating of something less than a perfect score. That's all I'm trying to say. I recognize it is an individual preference.

I should point out I've purchased happily from UsedHandhelds in the past (an upgraded HP 200LX) which was a good value. I have nothing against them.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 12:26 PM
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A question to address to the author
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 12:30 PM
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C:Amie - 2007-05-22 11:38 AM

Yep, it is an obvious fact.
The thing is that not everyone will just go for the cheapest deal, and not everyone is willing and happy to go for something without a support commitment. You obviously are, and that is fair enough. Though we are not about to start publicising eBay sellers.

UsedHandhelds are a partner organisation of this site, their parent company has done a lot for the community over the last 10.5 years. They supplied the review device, at their expense and our template policy dictates that we have to enter a price on the review content. If you don't like the idea of paying $399 for the package, you don't pay it, and you don't get a UsedHandhelds MobilePro.

This community is at times all too unwilling to support anyone within it who has a shred of financial or business involvement in it. Whether that is software, hardware or information. We wont be apologising for the fact that it is a commercial review on a device that was once retailed at well over $1000.

In the face of freeware, paying $70 for what used to be Ansyr Primer, or buying PocketDOS instead of using BOCHS may on the same logic be utterly absurd as well. But hey, why buy SoftMaker Office when I can warez Pocket Office!

Put simply, as an organisation we just do not agree.



Amen Brother!
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 12:46 PM
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Michael - 2007-05-22 12:04 PM

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The thing is that not everyone will just go for the cheapest deal, and not everyone is willing and happy to go for something without a support commitment.


Then why is customer service rated only 2 out of 5 in the review?

When the "support commitment" ($200 difference) is equal to two times the cost of a 900C, I feel it justifies a price rating of something less than a perfect score. That's all I'm trying to say. I recognize it is an individual preference.

I should point out I've purchased happily from UsedHandhelds in the past (an upgraded HP 200LX) which was a good value. I have nothing against them.


As far as I'm concerned, he should have rated the Cost at 3 and the Customer Service at 4.....in any event the overall rating would still be the same.

As for the $300 worth of software being sold for $99.....it's only being sold for that price because UHH & HPCFactor went to the effort of contacting all of these software developers and conviencing them to participate in the release of a bargain priced HPC software CD that would benefit HPC users ........ if purchased separately the software on this CD would be sold for alittle over $300+. I believe that was the point Clinton was trying to make...I don't think he was trying to mislead anyone.!
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Michael Page Icon Posted 2007-05-22 1:22 PM
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Hurricane John - 2007-05-22 9:46 AM
As far as I'm concerned, he should have rated the Cost at 3 and the Customer Service at 4


That would be sensible!
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