Thread: New HP Handhelds
09-26-2005, 05:54 AM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
New HP Handhelds
CNET editor's take
Reviewed by Bonnie Cha
Edited by Kent German
Reviewed September 26, 2005
It's been three years since HP released its HP iPaq Pocket PC H1940, but the appealing PDA has remained one of our favorites. It has an ideal, compact form factor and a solid set of features, such as wireless connectivity. For these reasons, we're thrilled with the company's latest release: the HP iPaq rx1950. Of course, the rx1950 has some new highlights, too, namely the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, integrated Wi-Fi, and better multimedia support. The HP iPaq rx1950 costs $299 and should appeal to users of all types, but if you're looking for a higher-end, more business-oriented device, check out the new HP iPaq hx2790.
Upside: Though we praised the HP iPaq rz1710 for its thin-and-light form factor, we weren't huge fans of its utilitarian look and plastic feel. Fortunately, that's not the case with the HP iPaq rx1950. In a throwback move, HP returned to the more classic design of the H1940 and the iPaq H4150 to give the rx1950 an attractive look and a compact yet solid form. Even better, this pocket-friendly PDA has integrated Wi-Fi.
Of course, we can't forget the new Windows Mobile 5.0 OS. The revamped Microsoft Office mobile suite offers Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. In addition, the support for persistent storage means your handheld's data won't go the way of the dodo if the rx1950's battery happens to run out of juice. Multimedia functionality also gets a boost with Windows Media Player 10.0 so that you can listen to your favorite WMA and MP3 music files, watch WMV video and recorded TV, and display photos on the go. Other features on the HP iPaq rx1950 include a bright 3.5-inch, 64,000-color display, a voice recorder, a standard headphone jack, and a user-replaceable battery.
Downside: We are absolutely excited by the inclusion of Wi-Fi on the HP iPaq rx1950 but completely disappointed by the lack of Bluetooth that we found on the H1940. There's an SDIO expansion slot, so at least you're not completely left in the cold. We also wish there were a hold button on the PDA. Instead, with our preproduction unit of the rx1950, we frequently found ourselves hitting the voice-record button on the upper-left spine whenever we picked up the device. It's a minor design quirk but one worth noting, especially since we got used to the hold button on the new Dell Axim X51.
Outlook: The HP iPaq rx1950 fills a huge void in the company's lineup, satisfying consumers and business users who want more than the extremely basic iPaq rz1710 but don't need the bells, whistles, or expense of the HP iPaq hx2000 and hx4700 series. It'll give good competition to the Dell Axim X51. As usual, we'll put the PDA through its paces in CNET Labs' performance tests, so check back soon for a full review.
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