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Businessmen who are constantly out of the office will need a smartphone that can retrieve e-mail in an instant, is easy to use, and has a lot of office applications. The new Asus M530w seems to put all that’s needed in the palm of your hands.


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The Asus M530w is a smartphone that does not feel ‘cheap’ despite being made mostly out of plastic. Up front, it sports a 2.4-inch 65k colour TFT-LCD (320 x 240 pixels), a secondary camera for video calling, five-way navigation keys, left and right soft keys, home and back hotkeys, start and end call keys, and a QWERTY keypad for easy text input.

Users can find the jog-dial and the Earpiece volume key on the unit’s left spine, while a camera shortcut key can be found on its right. In addition, a 2.5mm headphone jack and a mini-USB connector for charging and synchronising the unit can be found at the bottom of the unit. At the back of the unit, users can find the 2 Mega Pixel sensor, built-in flash, speakers, and battery compartment that hold the SIM card and microSD card.

 


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Performance:

The Asus M530w uses a MarvellPXA270 416MHz processor and runs on Windows Mobile 6 Standard version. While this phone does not have touchscreen functions for input, its integrated QWERTY keyboard and navigation keys made text input and scrolling through the interface of the operating system easy.

Asus has included quite a number of applications on its M530w which can help businessmen who are always out of the office. One can surf the Internet with the M530w’s Internet Explorer program, check or create appointments with the Calendar function, compress files with the Spb Zip program, and chat with business contacts with the Windows Live Messenger program.

Also present is a Remote Presenter program that allows a user to wirelessly control presentations using the M530w, a Wildcard Mobile application that uses the camera to take snapshots of calling cards and saves the contact details to the phonebook automatically, and view office documents on the go with its Excel Viewer, PDF Viewer, PPT Viewer, and Word Viewer.

 


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Users can also listen to their music and video files as this smartphone is capable of playing MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and MIDI files, as well as MPEG4 and AVI files. The unit is also capable of streaming videos by connecting to a streaming server and record video files with its video camera functions.

The Asus M530w also supports various mail server systems like POP3, IMAP4, Microsoft Exchange, and even Blackberry 4.0, allowing users to stay connected and updated with home and/or work e-mails. And with 3G capabilities and 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity option, users can easily download data with minimal waiting time.

Finally, the Asus M530w lasted less than a day during our tests (with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on), so ‘heavy’ users must always bring their charger in case the batteries run flat. A longer battery life (of two to three days) is possible though, just so long as users use the programs sparklingly.

 


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Conclusion:

The Asus M530w is a business smartphone that is slim, light, and is easy to use. The phone’s quick loading times, office-oriented programs, 3G capabilities, and Wi-Fi connectivity certainly gives it an edge when compared to other smartphones available in the market today. However, Asus must definitely do something about the unit’s abysmal battery life in order to appeal to businessmen who want to stay connected 24/7. Nevertheless, for those who want a smartphone packed with features (but don’t mind the short battery life), then the Asus M530w may perhaps be what you are looking for.

Product Specifications:

  • CPU: Marvell PXA270 (416MHz)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Standard
  • Colour: Black / White
  • Display: 2.4-inches TFT, 65k colours, 320 x 240 Resolution
  • Network System: Tri-Band GSM/GPRS (900/1800/1900); WCDMA (UMTS) (2100MHz);GPRS Class 10
  • Connectivity: WLAN 802.11 b/g, USB 1.1, Bluetooth 2.0
  • WAP: HTTP/ WAP 2.0
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS 1.2, and E-mail
  • Memory: Built-in 256MB Flash + 64MB SDRAM
  • Expansion Slot: microSD card
  • Camera: 2 Mega Pixel with support for Auto-Macro function and VGA camera for video calling
  • Java: J2ME (CLDC 1.1 + MIDP 2.0)
  • Audio: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and MIDI
  • Video: MPEG 4/ H.263 Playback and Recording/Audio/ Video Call / Video Streaming
  • PIM: To-do-list, Organiser, World Clock, Calculator, File Manager, MSN
  • Business Features: ClearVue Document Viewer, Bluetooth Presenter, and Business Card Recognition
  • Battery: 1200 mAh Lithium-Ion
  • Talk Time: 4-5 hours (GSM), 2-3 hours (WCDMA)
  • Standby Time: 150 – 200 hours
  • Dimensions: 117 x 65 x 13.8mm
  • Weight: 135g

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Asus M530w Smartphone | $899 |  | au.asus.com

For: Slim profile; Construction; Keyboard layout; Office-oriented applications; Wi-Fi connectivity
Against: Abysmal battery life; microSD card slot not hot-swappable
Conclusion: The M530w could have been a solid smartphone if it wasn’t for its poor battery life.

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