Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old Post: NEC MobilePro 780

This one looks like I never finished it, but I am posting it as is anyway.

You know it is not very often that we have something that may be 11 years old yet we still love to use it. I have had my fair share of using old handhelds like Palm and Windows based PDAs, but for me, there is only one that can stand out the most. This is not so much a single piece of hardware, but in the general term of a line of handhelds that never quite made the cut when they came out. This is mostly due to the fact that when they came out, they were hardly cheap by any means.

The products in question are part of the Handheld PC, or HPC, platform. This retrospective review is about one of those units in particular though, and that is the NEC MobilePro 780. This is one of the older ones, but was one of the color models that came out. While I wish it was actually a black and white screen, the NEC MobilePro 780 is one of the more common of the HPC line that you can find online. This is the first and only one that I have had the pleasure to use, and even though it has its flaws, it still remains the favorite of all my various little toys I own.

From NEC MP780

The first place I wish to start this retrospective is with some basic specifications of the little machine.

CPU: 168MHZ MIPS architecture NEC VR4121 with 24KB cache
Memory: 32MB RAM, 24MB ROM
Screen: 8.1" DSTN 64K Color 640x240 touch screen\
Expansion: CF Type II and PCMCIA (16 bit) Type II
Battery: Lithium Ion, 7.4V User Replaceable
Dimensions: 9.64" wide by 5.16" deep by 1.13" thick
Weight: 1.69 pounds with battery
Input devices: Touch screen, 78 key QWERTY keyboard, 92% size.


There really is not all that much going on when you look at this machine but when compared to a traditional Palm or similar handheld, there is much more to look at.


From NEC MP780

The front of the unit is where the compact flash slot, headphone/headset jack (2.5MM), internal microphone, and the charging and the attention LED are located. There is also the screen latch on the lid, and the eject button for the compact flash slot which folds over.


From NEC MP780

This side is pretty much taken up the larger PCMCIA 16 bit card slot and its ejecting button. Under the little door is the modem, which is a 56K v90 modem. The modem while not to useful now, was once a good feature to have on a handheld like this who was mainly used for business travel.


From NEC MP780

Not too much goes on in the back of this handheld, all that is here is the Fast Infrared port, and the battery.


From NEC MP780

This is the side with all of the main ports. They are the power port (9V), display out (with adapter), and the serial port.


From NEC MP780

There is not much on the top, but there is a scroll wheel built into the hinge. This is the kind that does not actually spin. The sticker is something someone had sent me which is used to cover up some bad scratches on the lid.


From NEC MP780

This is rather busy for the bottom of a PDA in my opinion. You have the 2 battery latches, a speaker, a docking port, and the RAM/ROM cover.

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