|The Toshiba is considerably larger than a deck of cards.||However, it is slimmer in profile.|
Below the 3.5-inch, reflective TFT display are the typical program buttons, the five-way directional pad, and the small, internal speaker. While the speaker's sound is rather weak and tinny, it will alert you about upcoming appointments, though probably not loudly enough to rouse you from a deep sleep. The LED on the upper-left corner blinks amber when the alarm sounds and glows green when the battery is fully charged.
|A record button and a jog dial are within thumb's reach.||The cradle is somewhat heavy but equally stable.|
On the top edge of the e310, you'll find the silo for the stylus, the power button, the infrared port, the Secure Digital (SD) card slot, and the headphone jack. On the left edge are a jog dial and the voice-record button.
A faux-leather slipcover protects the unit.
To protect the screen when you're carrying the device, Toshiba includes a faux-leather slipcase with silver edges.
Slot machine: Adding extra memory is easy.
The one feature that's missing from the e310 is a CompactFlash expansion slot for adding accessories such as modem, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi cards. Toshiba sells a Bluetooth SD card to add wireless connectivity to the e310, but there are many more CompactFlash accessory options available.
Toshiba's sole software application is a glorified Today screen.
Otherwise, software is limited to the standard Pocket PC 2002 package, which is not too shabby: it includes Pocket versions of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, and more. You also get Outlook 2002 and ActiveSync 3.5 for your PC, although no Mac support is provided. In daily use, the e310 performed reliably and quickly. It took only a few seconds longer to load the game Lemonade Inc. on the e310 than it did on Toshiba's Pocket PC e740, which packs a 400MHz processor. We worried that installing applications on the SD card would result in drastically slower performance, but we noticed only a slower load time with the graphically intense game Chopper Alley, and once it was loaded, even that program ran fine.
We were initially concerned that battery life would be a problem with such a small device but were pleased when the built-in lithium-ion cell held out for nearly 7 hours with the screen set to medium brightness. The e310 was able to last 3 hours, 50 minutes hours with the backlight on while playing MP3s. That's longer than other Pocket PCs that we've tested. However, if you're really interested in long battery life, you might opt for a handheld with a user-replaceable battery so that you can swap in additional packs to keep working.
The Toshiba's screen could be brighter, especially at the top.