While I was very pleased with most aspects of the Axim X30 high in my recent Dell Axim X30 Review, I did feel I needed an extended battery to make it more useable on long flights.
I looked around and picked up the Mugen 2000mAh extended battery on ebay for $49.99 (the same price as a regular 950mAh battery from Dell).
Continue reading for the rest of the Mugen Extended Battery Review……
Description and Usability:
Putting the Mugen extended and Dell regular batteries side by side you can see that the Mugen battery looks a lot larger: it is about half an inch wider and a quarter of an inch thicker.
Looking at the rear of the batteries we can see that the part that goes into the pocket pc is identical.
With the battery in place we can see that the Mugen has a cutout so you can access the switch to lock the battery in place. We did find however that the battery is a little longer than the standard battery and covers part of the indentations in the Pocket PC used to lift out the battery. (This didn’t turn out to be a big issue as the battery life is so good that you won’t do much switching of batteries.)
This profile view shows how the battery sticks out from the back of the Pocket PC. It sounds strange but the extra size seemed to be a benefit as the Pocket PC fitted better in my hand and the extra weight made the Pocket PC feel more sturdy.
We fully charged the battery overnight then ran the battery completely down with media player running, wireless on, CPU on max, max brightness etc. We recharged the battery and repeated the empty/charge cycle 4 more times.
Each recharge takes longer with the extended battery as there is more than twice as much battery to refill. (Full recharge from empty took an everage of 3.5 hrs in the standard cradle.)
One question that gets asked a lot is if the extended battery fits in the cradle: Yes, it fits in the cradle both attached to the Axim X30 and on its own in the 2nd battery slot.
We aren’t big on exact numerical testing here preferring to talk about how an accessory improves the user experience, but for this we need some numbers as well showing how long the X30 with extended battery lasted in some common use patterns:
We tested leaving the X30 for MP3 playback off an SD card with CPU on auto (default setting), wireless off, and backlight off: The average of 2 runs was 12hrs 05mins with the extended battery, and 5hrs 45mins with the regular battery.
Next we testing reading an ebook (catching up on my Tom Clancy reading) with max backlight (CPU auto, wireless off), changing page every couple of minutes: Average was 7hrs 30mins with the extended battery and 3hrs 10mins with the regular battery.
Finally we tested visiting some web pages, and writing/sending some emails, with Wi-Fi on (connected to a router 10ft away), Wi-Fi power management on, Bluetooth off, backlight at about 70%, CPU auto: Average was 7hrs 40mins with the extended battery and 3hrs 20mins with the regular battery.
The Mugen 2000mAh extended battery for the Dell Axim X30 and X3 Pocket PCs provides more than double the battery life of the standard battery supplied with the Pocket PC.
On the 624mhz Axim X30 high, with typical usage (backlight 70-100%, CPU on auto speed adjustment, backlight set to dim when not in use, reading books, listening to music, and going online) you should expect to get at least 7 hours of constant use out of a fully charged battery (compared to 3+ hours with the regular battery).
The only negative I found was that the battery is a little difficult to remove.
Overall Rating: 9/10