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Dell Axim X30 624MHz

Shortly after Part 1 was published, Dell announced its pumped-up X30 series of PDAs. The Axim X30 624MHz model that Dell sent me for testing uses an Intel PXA270 processor running at - you guessed it - 624MHz.

A close-up photo of the X30's wireless section is shown in Figure 1, with the wireless module containing both the Bluetooth and 802.11b radios seen at the lower right. You can also see the two antennas that are cabled to the card.

Detail of Dell Axim X30 radio and antennas

Figure 1: Detail of Dell Axim X30 radio and antennas

I had a pretty difficult time figuring out from the fuzzy photos in the FCC documents which 802.11b chipset was used in the SIP radio module. But after a little brightening up and manipulation, Figure 2 shows that Agere's Hermes 2 chipset is on the job in the module that is sourced from Taiwan super-ODM Wistron.

Dell Axim X30 radio module

Figure 2: Dell Axim X30 radio module

I first fired up IxChariot and ran a series of close-range tests, both with the X30's internal radio and using SanDisk's SD WiFi card [reviewed here].

Wireless throughput - Axim X30 internal radio and SanDisk SDWiFi card

Figure 3: Wireless throughput - Axim X30 internal radio and SanDisk SDWiFi card
(click on image for a larger view)

Figure 3 shows a comparison of AP to STA and STA to AP (downlink and uplink) throughput using the X30's internal radio and the SanDisk SD WiFi card. The results clearly show that using the SanDisk card via the X30's SDIO slot for wireless connectivity vs. the X30's internal radio significantly reduces wireless speed, by more than 50% for downlink and 70% for uplink! Also ff note is that in both cases, uplink speed is lower than downlink - about 10% for the X30 and 40% for the X3.

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