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Casio Cassiopeia BE-300 Pocket Manager (Color)

Casio Cassiopeia BE-300 Pocket Manager (Color)

List Price: $169.99
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Product Info Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Does the basic job extremely well
Review: I bought this PDA after extensive obsessing over web reviews, product information specs, and visiting the "red shirted" and "blue shirted" sales associates at my local tech retail stores. I chose the Casio BE-300 for its functional ability, and to supplement, not replace, my laptop.

I highly recommend this unit for those of you who, like me, need a small, inexpensive, yet fully functional color display PDA to record your calendar events, take quick notes, maintain Outlook-like contact lists, and check basic email. This unit does all this beautifully, and synchronizes well with Outlook 2000. The only strange synchronization I've found is that items sent from the PDA to Outlook 2000 are sometimes misspelled, but never in the other direction. I wonder if this is more due to my "typing" using the stylus and the smaller display, rather than an actual synch problem. The entire synch process is very easy to set up, and operates seamlessly for calendar appointments, to-do tasks, contact lists, etc.

As for the lack of software, I don't use a PDA to play games, use Word, and manage spreadsheets; for those, I rely on "real" computers, with at least a 15" display; great graphics card; lots of RAM and cache; a real joystick, mouse, and keyboard; and a true sound system. I just can't do this cramped by a screen smaller than a floppy disk. I know how frustrating this can be, because in 1982 my "real computer" was an Osborne-I with a 3" screen! So trust me on this; work in an ergonomic environment, and if you seek diversion on those long flights, buy an inexpensive hand held game, and use this PDA for your true business needs.

If you've used Pocket PCs in the past, you will likely be thrown a bit by the menu system; it reminds me of the old DOS shells (such as 1dirplus) that don't give you a functional desktop but require you to work through set menu choices listing its functions and programs. That's actually MORE user friendly when you think about the ease with which you can access your programs.

Lastly, you can easily add basic accessories, such as compact flash memory and modem cards. The BE-300 is the roughly the same size as a Handspring Visor, so if you want to put it in a carrying case, you can use one that is compatible with Visor. The only negative I can say at this time (after one month ownership) is that the battery seems to depelete pretty quickly; I use it daily, on and off, and at the end of each day, I seem to have 50% to 60% left only. That may be normal for a PDA, but seems fast to me.

Rating: 3 stars
Summary: Great for what it's designed for.
Review: This device was designed to be cheaper than a ppc 2002 device therefore it lacks some of the features of the standard ppc 2002 devices. No IR port, no speaker, no StrongARM processor, skimpy app support right now(applications must be ported to the casio overlay on win ce 3.0, and presumably for the MIPs processor). Plusses include the unit is great for wireless networking, including that the built in webbrowser is superior to the pocket IE and that all the memory is flash. So if you happen to run the battery dry as can happen with ppc devices, no data will be lost, this also means when you hit the power button, the unit really is off. The unit has a compact flash type II slot, which supports the IBM Microdrive and other CF Type II devices along with standard CF Type I cards and such. Casio makes a battery backpack and pc card backpack that allows you to use this device with pc cards used with laptops. If you're looking for a handheld that offers mp3 and video playback, uses compact flash storage and has PIM functionality and to play a few hands of solitaire on, check out this unit, at a rockbottom price. The only unit that can compete with this one on price is the older HP Jornada 525, which is much larger, features a slower processor, serial synch, no cover, ppc 2000, and no place to store the stylus on the device. If you only want PIM and games, check out something running Palm OS.

I've seen several reviews complaining about being unable to use activesync with the be-300, this is not true, installing a third party patch allows one to use activesync with your b3-300. I've seen several people complain that it doesn't play mp3's, again not true, included in the bundled software is an mp3 player. I've seen a few reviews saying that it doesn't run windows ce, not true, it doesn't run pocket pc, which is microsoft's "special" version of windows ce run on the higher end models. I saw a review complaining about the lack of a video encoder for the CFM format, not true, included in the bundled software is an encoder for their CFM format. One can also purchase a third party app called PocketTV for the be-300 to play mpeg video. Yes, this device may require you to actually put forth a little effort to get it doing exactly what you want, what doesn't? Visit ... to connect with be-300 users around the world and see what it can do.

Rating: 3 stars
Summary: BE-300, It was a GOOD one, until.......
Review: It was a GOOD one until I tried to buy a new battery for it. It took me a week to get ahold of someone at Casio to order a battery. When I finally did, it was on backorder. They refered me to another supplier that gets them from Casio. When I asked "how much?" they said $63 plus freight ($71 total). I decided that was too much. I only paid $140 for my BE-300 new. I have checked online for other sources and no luck. So, off to the "electronics bone pile" it will go....

Rating: 5 stars
Summary: BE -300 - Best PDA of the century
Review: First of all, this PC is for SERIOUS people, who use it for business, organization, school, etc.
This handheld is an excellent device! It is fast and the OS is simple! Whatever you want to do, there it is and when doing stuff, the directions are self-explanatory. Has good programs, but not many additional ones. The website has lots of differnt programs for the Casio BE-300. Most are very cheap, however they can go up to 20 bucks. Most programs are 5-6 bucks. LOTS OF NICE SOFTWARE (solitaire, freecell, word processor, world clock and much more)
Everything about this machine is great! Fast, beautiful screen, light (weight) and it can fit both types of CompactFlash cards! Get Type 1 though, not Type 2! Also, don't listen to the box. In the Hardware Manual, which comes with it, says that both types fit! I have a Type 1, because it is more common.
Yes, this machine CAN PLAY MP3 files! I have 3 of these files on mine. Also when having headphones, the sound is great.
Anyways, great PDA and great price for it! I recommend that you buy this marvelous device!

Rating: 5 stars
Summary: BE-300 is Very Good-BUT
Review: This is an excellent PDA.
BUT it stopped working in 3 months but i would still highly recommmend it because i caused the problem and it is very sturdy and the screen quality is great and the mp3 player is nice too!
Plus CompactFlash is a must have!
Buy It!


Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Much better than you might think...
Review: I'll cut right to the chase...if you are looking to have a cheap, color PDA to help you keep track of all the important things (Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, etc.) and have a little fun in the process, then this is a wonderful little device. No, it doesn't run as many things as an iPaq can run, but you'd be surprised by the growing community of users and developers out there that are pushing the limits on what it can run. I personally am able to:

View maps of many cities
Listen to MP3 files
Surf the internet
Chat with friends
Watch movies
Play games
Remotely control my desktop PC

All from a device that costs one half to one third the cost of the 'bigger' Pocket PCs.

There are some cons - forget about viewing anything in the bright sunlight because the screen just can't handle it. And there's not a long list of redundant software programs for it (yes, that's a snipe at the 50 or 60 finger/ping/whois programs available for the more 'mature' systems). But, the apps that are available are extremely functional and extremely good (those that doubt can look up a program called eXpod and you'll see what I mean).

Bottom line, give it a little love, and if you like to tinker around with handheld computers, give this one a chance

Rating: 2 stars
Summary: I was misled.
Review: Although this unit looks cool and probably functions well, I was misled. My intention for purchasing a pocket PC was to use the Pocket version of Microsoft Streets & Trips and to be able to use a spreadsheet I created using Microsoft Excel. After hours of trying to install and connect using Microsoft ActiveSync (the program required to install Pocket Streets & Trips & other Windows CE Software) I gave in and called customer service. They quickly told me that it wasn't going to work because Casio's system is NOT WINDOWS CE but rather is BASED on that technology. It is Casio's own version of Windows CE so, guess what, the software made for Windows CE pocket PC's will NOT WORK ON THE CASIO. The only software available for this unit is the little it comes with and whatever is available on ... Check out the website and you'll find there's NOTHING there. What a disappointment. I'm sorry to have wasted my money and time. Again this is not based on the unit's performance itself, but rather on the fact that its operating system is very misleading. They claim that it's "Windows Powered" and they use the Windows logo but again it IS NOT WINDOWS CE and will NOT RUN WINDOWS CE SOFTWARE!

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Exellent PDA, with good features
Review: I have a BE-300, and Its great. I recently installed a new FREE OS for it called Expod (...) (now called PP3x), which takes TOP-MENU, the default OS off. It gives the BE PPC2000 compatability. I just wished that it had a GPS adapter for it, that is one reason I purchased it. I dont know of anywhere that sells one. Even though, I can hook my celular phone into it, and connect to the internet, I can also connect to E-mail, and I can even listen and watch movies and music. You can also emulate, old computer consoles, and old game consoles such as nintendo, and Atari. I think it is a great value at a great price. Even though there is no GPS adapters available.

Rating: 5 stars
Summary: E-200 Rules (almost)
Review: I love this PDA, however, one glaring problem exists, the backlight does not always come on (apparently a problem with early production units only). This is an acknowledged issue with Casio, and they have a special telephone number (toll call) to arrange for resolution within the warranty period (I have had it recently repaired under warranty and it works OK now.)

That said, I especially wanted a color screen and the two memory card slots (one CF and one SD/MMC) are useful as I keep all the data files on the 128M SD card and could still use the CF slot for something else (wireless modem, for example).

External memory (CF or SD) is essential if you plan on using extensive additional software or many data files on this device as the embedded 64M isn't much.

The speaker is too small to be useful for music, so plan on using earphones for mp3 or wma playback (Microsoft Media Player is included.)

I also used the Cassiopeia as an E-Book reader for my commuting. Microsoft has a Pocket PC version of their reader available (free, but requires registration and activation.)

Also, I found it was useful to buy an extra rechargeable battery and keep it charged.

Happy with it overall.

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Cassiopeia BE 300 Pocket Manager
Review: I've owned a Be 300 for over a year, and only have good things to say about the device. Compact Flash is a must! It allows instant changing of programs when separate applications are loaded to the memory card instead of main memory. A car charger and AC adaptor also is a must for the Road Warrior.

It's reasonably sturdy, plastic instead of metal, but that also makes the unit lighter to carry. I have equipped my unit with a keyboard, several 128Mb CF cards and a plethora of applications that makes it totally functional for use in the office or on the road.

While not a Pocket PC, there are enough applications available to suit the needs of most users, and more software is promised in the near future. The cost also makes it a an attractive buy. The cost of the software is also reasonable.

My advice, try it, you'll like it if you don't need to do large projects like building massive databases on the fly. The only compliant I have is that currently, there is not a full featured Word Processor for the BE 300, but I'm told by Casio that one will be available in a couple of months.

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