Tuesday, May 02, 2006

T-Mobile MDA Messaging Machine

T-Mobile is calling their new wireless device the MDA, which I suspect stands for Mobile Digital Assistant much like PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant. Yes, it's a cell phone. But its real power is in messaging and Web access on the go.

Hold the T-Mobile MDA in your hand and it looks like one of the popular PDAs you see executives pulling out of their suit pockets. But how can you efficiently send any messages on a device with a touch screen but only a few buttons? Ah, there's a full QWERTY keyboard but it's safely stowed away to minimize the size of the unit while carrying or when using as a phone. Slide it out and the display view automatically rotates to a horizontal aspect ratio that complements the keyboard.

Standard text messaging is a breeze on this machine. You also have multimedia messaging, mobile Web browsing and email services at your fingertips. The T-Mobile MDA is based on the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system that gives you familiar views of Microsoft applications such as Pocket Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Instant messaging is provided by MSN messenger. Outlook has the attachment viewing for Word, Excel and PowerPoint built-in. MS Pocket Explorer gives you the ability to surf the Web with HTML support. Windows Media Player 10 gives you video and music on the go.

The MDA runs on the 200 MHZ Texas Instruments OMAP processor and comes with 128 MB of built-in memory. You can expand this memory capacity using the miniSD card format.

Another great feature of the T-Mobile MDA is the built-in 1.3 Megapixel digital camera with LED flash. It takes snapshots good enough to print as well as share electronically or post to web sites. The video capture mode lets you use the camera as a camcorder.

What really differentiates the T-Mobile MDA from the typical PDA is its connectivity. It has WiFi support for 802.11 b/g for high speed Internet access and corporate wireless communications. But in addition, the MDA will communicate at near broadband speeds over the T-Mobile Wireless network. That gives you nationwide wireless Internet service well away from the typical WiFi hotspots in airports, hotels, restaurants and some downtown metro areas. Go to the park. Stand on the street corner. Use your MDA from your car in the parking lot. You'll have high speed data through EDGE that runs up to 274 Kbps in the most populous areas and GPRS that runs at 30 to 80 Kbps where EDGE isn't available.

The T-Mobile MDA is also a cell phone with quad-band GSM network compatibility, a built-in speakerphone and Bluetooth communications. Clip a Bluetooth headset on your ear and put the MDA back in your pocket. Cell phone conversations are as convenient as you can get.

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