QuickTime VR of the Clio

Clever Clio

By David W. Dawley

I wrote this report on my experience using the Clio handheld PC by Vadem  as part of my job as the Computer Operations Manager at Eagle Asset Management . I used the Clio between March 12, 1999 and March 25, 1999.

There web page is http://www.vadem.com/

The User Manual is at: http://www.vadem.com/Clio_user_manual.pdf


HPC Evaluation

Function Testing Review for the Vadem Clio


Sound, stable manufacturer and market proven product

Vadem is provider of mobile computing products and systems to OEMs for the past 15 years. The Clio is also the basis for the Sharp TriPad.

Near or under $1,000.00

MSRP $999.00 - Can be purchased for as little as $868

Instant power-on

Push the power button and the Clio is on and you resume working where you left off.

Cradle or cable only connection

Simple serial cable connection via DB9F-DB9F null modem cable. Includes adapter to connect the cable to Clio. The docking adapter is also where you plug in AC. The adapter seats well enough but it is easy to disconnect when both wires are attached. I would recommend a second cable if the system is going to be used on multiple machines.

 Ability to be connected to Internet and/or Home Office and retrieve email (RAS)

 I was able to synchronize remotely and access the Internet via the RJ RAS. IE/CE has a nice feature called “fit to window” which resizes the width of the page to fit on the screen. My home page, http://www.dawleyonline.com/ , is designed for viewing at 800X600. I changed the view to “fit to window” and it worked well with minimal distortion. The configuration is a little odd, you have to use your PC's IP addess as the primary WINS server.

 Easy, one touch or no touch synchronization

 Synchronization can be set to active mode. As you save or update Outlook items, it is automatically updated on the Clio.

 Color screen

 The Clio 9.4” 640X480 256-color DSTN display. While the Clio’s display cannot compare to a display on a true laptop in terms of resolution or color depth, it is highly functional. It is usable outdoors but not in direct sunlight.

 Presentation ability - Run PowerPoint - Nice screen size and view

 The Clio has Microsoft Pocket PowerPoint. I ran up the sample presentation and it worked. It would make sense to have someone who makes a lot of presentations look at it to see if is suitable for the task.

 Keyboard and keys large enough on which to touch-type

 The 16.5mm center to center keyboard is functional though touch typists may find the keyboard a little cramped.


 Touch pen

 The Clio comes with a stylus and is one of the primary ways to navigate screens.

Touch pen with satisfactory handwriting recognition

The Clio handwriting recognition is satisfactory. It will work for note taking, but I suspect that the keyboard will be the primary mode of local input. One has to be careful resting your hand directly on the screen while writing because Clio may try to interrupt it as input.

Windows CE 2.0 or better operating system

The Clio comes with Windows CE version 2.2

Outlook98 synchronization

Synchronization can be set to active mode. As you update Outlook items, it is automatically updated on the Clio. Outlook synchronization is very easy and very solid.


I downloaded and installed PC/Anywhere CE. It worked fine. The 640X480 resolution is a little cramped, but it allows you access to a remote machine and it is fully functional.

 External VGA port

 No external VGA port, but the Clio can use a VGA PC/Card.

 Ability to send documents directly to print

 If the printer has an infrared port, printing is no problem. I tested printing a week’s worth of Outlook items and the speed seemed quite reasonable. The Clio can also print by attaching the serial cable directly to the printer.

 Ability to view and run Advisor’s Resource/Digest

 I was able to access to traverse the Digest with no problem.

 Storage space minimum

 The Clio contains 24MB ROM and 16MB RAM and can be expanded. The Clio has Type II PC Card slot and a Compact Flash slot.


 The Clio has an infrared port that can be used to print, synchronize and transfer data with other Handheld PCs.

 Touch sensitivity

 I am a semi-touch typist. I did not make many more typing mistakes than I usually do. I would not want to do lot of typing at one stretch on this keyboard. The arrangement if functional, but I expect it would aggravate my carpal tunnel after an extended amount of time.

 Upgradeable/Expandable (RAM, Modem Speed, etc.)

 The Clio has Type II PC Card slot and a Compact Flash slot.

 Built-in modem

 The Clio implements a 33.6Kbps low-power modem via software.

 Battery life - how long the unit can go on a charge (test for 3 cycles)

 The Clio was partially charged when I got it. I charged the batteries fully the first night I had it.  I did not need to recharge until 2 days later. I would guess that I am getting a solid 8 hours of active use. I left the Clio connected (with ActiveSynch running so it was up to date) throughout the charging process. It took about 8 hours to charge under those conditions.

 Battery - how long it will take to recharge (test for 3 cycles)

 I left the Clio connected (with ActiveSynch running so it was up to date) throughout the charging process. It took about 8 hours to charge under those conditions.

General Comments

I was dialed into work with two active telnet sessions with 2 calendar entries open one of which I was editing with the handwriting recognition on battery power. An impressive display of multitasking functionality! Sure beats being chained to my desk! I have had the Clio for 12 days. I have really put it through its paces. I have to say I am very impressed! It will not solve all of my problems. It helps me keep on top of things, keep connected. It will not do everything a laptop will do, but that is not the intended use of this machine. The Clio was well above the "glorified Palm III" that I was expecting before I started this evaluation. It is a solid blending of current hardware and software. I do not want to give up the machine.


Until someone can show me a more capable machine, the Vadem Clio is the one I would buy.

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