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Design

A simple, functional design. Note the model reviewed is the opaque grey / black version, there's also a translucent blue (iMac look) version. First impression is that it's bigger and heavier than you expected, very solid feeling and just slightly bigger than palm sized. Controls are kept to a minimum, just four buttons on the right hand side of the device perform all functions through the on-screen menus. My disappointment was the quality and fit of the compartment doors, although they work perfectly well the closing mechanism and strength is still something I'd question.

Here are two picture of the Digital Wallet just to give a better impression of the size of the unit.

The case is made of a plastic material. Perhaps we could see future models with a rubberised casing and rubber grommeted compartment doors (which would render it weather if not water proof). Various compartments and connectors are detailed below.


Information LCD

The Information LCD positioned at the top front of the device displays current status and menu systems. It's a monochrome display able to display about 20 x 8 characters of text.

I personally would add a backlight to my "might be nice" list, although the LCD is relatively easy to read the lack of backlight means that you'll only be able to use the Digital Wallet in well lit areas.


Battery / Charger

In the top of the Digital Wallet fits the supplied NiMH rechargeable battery pack. Much like phone battery you just slot it in and connect the cable, the battery charges in the device and you can use it whilst the battery is charging (without affecting the charge). A full charge takes about 2.5 hours.


Supplied battery pack is rated as 7.2V 650 mAH and is made up of six AAA batteries. Supplied AC Adapter / charger, input AC 100V-240 V 50/60 Hz 0.3 A. Output 9 V 1100 mA.

During testing we took the supplied battery pack through several full discharge / charge cycles to ensure accurate measurement of battery life (later in this review). On the main display is a battery power remaining readout "BATT. XX %" we found this to be slightly inaccurate, or at least not tuned to the discharge curve of NiMH batteries, it drops quite rapidly but the batteries still last, notably below 40% remaining battery power the unit continued to operate for much longer than initially expected.


PC Card Slot

Right hand side is the PC Card slot, the Digital Wallet has no native SmartMedia, Compact Flash or MemoryStick slots, instead it uses the industry standard PC Card slot. This simplifies matters considerably and means that the device will be able to support different media in the future.

A PC Card adapter for Compact Flash is supplied with the Digital Wallet. PC Card adapters for other memory types are readily available.


IBM Microdrive inserted into PC Card slot (using IBM PC Card adapter. Examples of other PC Card adapters, left to right: Sony MSAC-PC2 MemoryStick adapter (not yet compatible - PC1 is), Supplied CF adapter, FujiFilm PC-AD3 SmartMedia adapter.


Carry Dock / Connections

Cunningly Minds@Work have thought about how it's like in the field, zipping in and out of hotel rooms, or in your car to download images. Instead of a large bulky docking station they've designed a small yet functional "Carry Dock", with the USB and DC power input connectors plugging into its base you just connect it to the base of the Digital Wallet to supply both power and USB connectivity (USB A to B cable supplied).


The Box

Neatly packaged, the Digital Wallet comes along with: a NiMH battery pack, Carry Dock docking unit, an OEM PC Card CF adapter, USB Cable, AC Adapter, Power Cable, CD-ROM containing drivers for Windows 98, Windows 2000 and MAC (OS8.6+).
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