Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diamond Multimedia Mako Mobile Internet Organizer

Diamond Multimedia
Diamond Multimedia Mako Mobile Internet Organizer
by Diamond Multimedia
Platform:   Windows NT / 98 / 2000 / 95
4.5 out of 5 stars(24)

1 used & new from $199.00

(Visit the Best Sellers in Electronic Organizers list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

With its keyboard and desktop PC-like software array, the Diamond Mako is a cost-efficient alternative to the $1,000 sub-notebook PCs such as the HP Jornada 710/720. It's actually the American-marketed version (by SONICblue) of the British Psion Revo, and comes complete with some quirks left over from the transition--for instance, the Mako's primary background screen displays "Revo" instead of Mako.

The Diamond Mako features a horizontal touchscreen and keyboard in a package only an inch longer than a palm-sized PDA. It offers not only the usual array of PC-syncable address book, agenda, and calendar functions (compatible with Outlook, Lotus, and several other PIMs), but also includes software compatible with Microsoft Excel and Word.

The Mako is designed for people with a limited PDA budget who have spreadsheet and word processing work to do and little patience for carrying a hefty and expensive notebook PC. With accessory software and an add-on foldable keyboard, you could convert a Palm handheld to act like a Mako, but it would be a costly and clumsy conversion.

Since the Mako carries only 16 MB of RAM, the Mako's software condenses your files, then converts them to full size in the compatible PC-based Microsoft or Lotus format. Our Windows PC treated the Mako as it would any other connected drive (via serial port), making file access and transfer relatively seamless via sync or Windows Explorer drag-and-drop. The Mako's cradle allowed us to also connect the AC adapter, so we could link and charge the Mako at the same time.

But you will pay for your portable penury. The Mako's one-quarter-sized monochrome VGA screen (480 x 160) is not backlit--and screen contrast isn't that fabulous to begin with. The lack of backlight preserves battery power, but you'll need optimal lighting conditions to work effectively.

The Mako's keys are proportionally tiny, which makes touch-typing nearly impossible. As illogical as this sounds, we also found the keys either too sensitive or not sensitive enough. And as a consequence of necessary compact compromises, certain keys are awkwardly placed--for instance, the "-" (dash) key requires a combination-function keystroke. Considering that most people have long-practiced keyboard habits, these quirks are far more annoying than you might think.

And because of the Mako's horizontal design, it is less handy than a palm-sized PDA. For instance, simply finding a phone number or checking on the address for your 3 o'clock appointment really does require two hands.

The Mako's software is based on the EPOC standard, the increasingly popular European mobile-computing platform. Even though there is a dearth of EPOC-compatible applications in the U.S., especially compared with the thousands of Palm- or Windows-compatible options, most of the major add-on application bases are covered. However, the Mako's wireless Web and infrared capabilities can be used only with a GSM cell phone, which is gaining ground here, but is still a poor relative to more common CDMA and TDMA phones.

There are people who swear by Psion-based products, but the money saved here might only be worth it as a temporary and low-cost transition between pen and paper and a real notebook PC. --Stewart Wolpin


  • Small and lighter and less expensive than notebook PC
  • More functionality than palm-sized PDAs
  • Built-in keyboard
  • Included spreadsheet and word processing programs compatible with Excel and Word
  • No screen backlighting
  • Tiny keyboard
  • Limited accessory software
  • European-compatible wireless and IR standards

The Diamond Mako mobile Internet organizer offers word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail, and Web browser software in a compact design with a built-in keyboard. With the included docking station, you can easily synchronize between your Mako and your PC, while the infrared port allows you to beam contact data back and forth with other PDAs.

The Diamond Mako automatically converts files from Microsoft Word and Excel, Lotus SmartSuite, Corel Office/Novell/WordPerfect, and other popular applications. It also offers automatic e-mail synchronization with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus cc:Mail. Mako's e-mail and Web browser are configurable to most POP3-based ISP or corporate accounts, and setting up e-mail access and Internet service is easy with the included eSetup application. You have the option of sending and receiving e-mail or browsing the Internet by connecting via infrared to the optional 56 Kbps Diamond Mako travel modem or through a compatible data-enabled GSM digital phone with infrared capabilities linked to a GSM network service provider.

Organizer functions include a memo pad, to-do list, datebook, world time, and a calculator. Data entry is made easy with the full 53-key QWERTY keyboard with hot keys. The touch screen interface also allows you to customize and use command icons.

The Diamond Mako comes complete with Epoc Connect 5.01 software and its own docking station for easy connection. The included power adapter plugs directly into the docking station, so the Diamond Mako charges automatically every time it's docked.

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