Casio was one of the first companies to release a Palm-size PC and they are also one of the first companies to release an upgraded model. Without any fanfare, the E-10 silently disappeared leaving the E-11 in its place.
The main difference between the E-10 and new E-11 is the addition of 4mb of RAM for a total of 8mb. The E-10 only had 4mb of RAM which was a big drawback. The other difference with the new E-11 is the large software bundle that is included which I’ll discuss later in the review.
You may first want to read my original Casio E-10 review so that you can more easily understand the differences with the new E-11. Since both the E-10 and E-11 are basically the same, this review will only be on the differences between the two.
I’ll now go over the differences that I see between the E-10 and E-11 as far as hardware.
The E-11 looks physically identical to the E-10. The only way that you can tell that they are different is to look on the back of the unit where it says E-11 on the serial number sticker.
Comparing the sturdiness of the E-10 and E-11 cases, there isn’t much if any differences. In my E-10 review, I mentioned that when you shake the case, the stylus rattles a bit in it’s holder. This is still true with the E-11 but as with the E-10 it’s not a big problem. I had also mentioned that the only real thing that I didn’t like about the case was the battery compartment. The cover for the battery compartment kind of wraps around the side of the case. This in itself is fine, but the problem was that the seam on the side of the case wobbled a bit back and forth. I may have had a loose E-10 case, because the E-11 battery compartment does not wobble at all.
Regarding the display on the E-11… It just a bit darker than the E-10’s display. Using the contrast app, I turned them both to the darkest setting and found that the E-11 was darker (see left picture below). The difference is between 1 and 2 marks on the contrast scale. I also found that the backlight on the E-10 is just a tiny bit brighter. This difference is barely noticeable… the only way I would have been able to see it was to directly compare the two units.
(E-10 on left, E-11 on right)
The sound/speaker on the E-11 is as great as the E-10. I sure wish/hope the next PalmPilot has as good a speaker.
As with the E-10, the E-11 also has a short battery life. With the E-10, I got about 10-12hrs on the set of batteries and with the E-11 I got maybe 15hrs. As with the E-10 the power application isn’t a good representation of the state of the main batteries.. The only info it displayed for the main and backup batteries was GOOD, LOW and VERY LOW. All I ever saw it display was GOOD… this was even when it was shutting off automatically due to low batteries. Using rechargeable NiMH batteries is really a much better way to go.
The E-11 now comes with an AC adapter which is a very nice addition. The only bad thing is that you can’t plug the adapter directly into the E-11. It plugs into the cradle.
As mentioned, the main difference between the E-10 and E-11 is the addition of 4mb of RAM for a total of 8mb. This makes a real difference because with 8mb you have adequate room for applications. Of course you still have a compact flash slot so you can add even more storage space. The 8mb of built in RAM gives you storage and program space so that that you can run more programs at once. As for overall system speed, The E-11 seems identical to the E-10.
The Casio E-11 comes with a very nice software bundle.
Microsoft Outlook 98
Microsoft’s email, contact, datebook application
ART Pocket Commander
Voice recognition for your PSPC. This application will learn your voice and respond to your commands to do tasks like dialing a phone number, looking up a contact, or running a program.
Send a fax from your E-11. Allows you to attach a file or graphic to the fax.
Financial calculator with over 90 functions.
PSPC version of the classic tile game.
Expense reporting software that you can interface with Quicken Expensable 98 on your PC.
Even allows you to export to Excel.
Software to keep your E-11 and PC in sync. Supported packages include, MS Outlook, ACT!
3.05, Lotus Organizer GS, Lotus Notes 4.5+, and ECCO Pro 4.0
ZIO Interactive Entertainment/PalmGolf
Terrific graphical golf game for your PSPC.
Meeting Minder provides a fast and easy way to outline your notes and meeting agenda items using your Windows CE device.
Casio/Find File Utility
Like having Explorer for your PSPC.
This powerful electronic image viewing tool which supports the .bmp, .jpg and Windows CE .2bp file formats. Image Viewer also works with CASIO’s exclusive .cam image file format and includes a special Comments Editor for use only with the CASIO QV Digital Camera .cam image files. Image Viewer also supports images stored on CompactFlash cards and features auto image dithering capabilities (for crisper images), a built-in screen capturing utility, and even an option to save images to Microsoft Note Taker format.
CASIO Menu is an application launcher that runs on the E-11. It lets you assign applications and files to 12 buttons on its main menu, from which you can launch an application or open a file with a tap of the stylus. CASIO Menu also lets you assign submenus to main menu buttons. Tapping such a button opens a submenu that has six buttons to which you can assign applications and files. This lets you group applications and files to make your E-11 operations more organized and efficient.
In summary, I will say that the E-11 is a nice upgrade from the E-10. I have tested the Everex, and Nino units as well and if I was in the market for a Palm-size PC, I would buy the Casio E-11 the others. It has the best display of all the units I’ve tried. That is a very important factor for me… and now that it has 8mb of RAM and a great bonus software bundle, it is the PSPC unit to buy. The only drawback to the E-11 as well as the other PSPCs on the market right now is the short battery life…