Pros Excellen screen, fast OS that makes writing DOC a joy, and good WiFi
Cons Major failure in button design.
Summary I got my 210 about a week ago. I wanted this PDA mainly for reading technical documents, for power point presentation, and writing notes on the road. The screen is really nice. OS is fast so that the letter recognition goes very smoothly. This makes hand writing very smooth, much better than Palm LifeDrive, my wife has a LifeDrive.
My main disaapointment is on the up and down buttons. You can not use them easily. I am an engineer by training and know that at this time an age how much effort goes into the design of products to make them practical and usable. I do not know what HP engineers have been smoking to come with this button design. Also, it is the failure of the management that did not check the product before OK it. It is really difficult to push the up button and use it effectively. I had to program other buttons to do the up & down job.
Overall, IPAQ is an excellent PDA if you don't mind stupid button design. However, to be honest evrytime I think about this stupid button, it makes me angry.
Pros Excellent pocket pc for those of us who hate cell phones
Cons No accessories
Summary Well of course the bulk of the praise (as hard as this is for me to say as a Microsoft critic) goes to Microsoft for Windows Mobile 6.0. It works perfectly, and the options for add-on software are almost endless. That is what makes this device great. Everything from music to travel maps can be accessed from this goodie. Connecting new programs is a breeze. Remember DOS and how easy it was to load a program to work with DOS. This is almost that slick. This software should go in the Microsoft Hall of Fame.
From the HP side, having 128MB of RAM makes this device work. I had 64MB in my previous PPC. It was never enough. Also the fast processor is essential for smooth operation. Bluetooth and WiFi work very well. 802.11g is nice to have. Previous device was .11b and the lack of range was troublesome. The two card slots are terrific too. One has music. (32GB of music baby! Who needs an MP3 player.) One has all my specialty programs. Battery life is okay not terrific.
The lack of a cradle, a decent case and even the inability to purchase a spare battery are very annoying. Not having those ready at 210/11 liftoff was pathetic marketing by HP. Hopefully we will see them soon.
I have a cellular phone for talking. I have the 211 for everything else when I am away from the office and don't want to haul out the laptop. Also there is no extra charge for internet access with free WiFi being almost everywhere. Why pay extra phone charges?
Pros Fast, Great Screen, Great multimedia capability, great sound on headphone
Cons 'Up' button problematic; Very low volume on native speakers;
Summary First of all, please note this is a non-technical user review. Here goes..
After a looooooooonnng wait, HP finally got its act together and brought out the 200 series. This is my 4th PDA, the last one being a PDA-Phone, of which I was getting sick and tired! I am a medical doctor, who uses the PDA for various medical software; studying/refering-on-the-go..and in case of my new iPAQ 200, as a portable media player. I was in the market for a phone-less PDA..and was getting disappointed with the bandwagon of the do-it-all devices (what with the slow performance; poor battery life, and the "all eggs in one basket scenario")
The iPAQ 212 is BIG...seriously BIG!Contrary to reports/specs on various websites, the actual size of the 200 is 75.4 x 133.8 x 17.4 millimetres
(3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches); Weight 192g. And its FAST...seriously FAST. The PXA 310 624Mhz processor's performance is noticeably better than other 624MHz processor of the previous gen PXA. The RAM is a respectable 128MB. The storage is a measly 256MB though. Dont know why HP has cut corners. I would have expected 2GB at least, The good news is it accepts SDHC cards in addition to CF cards so you could theoretically have a storage space of 48GB!! (32GB-CF + 16GB SDHC). Running relatively heavy medical applications such as UpToDate and Thomson Clinical Xpert simultaneously is a breeze - all the while listening to music!! The Multimedia performance is excellent!! I have thrown several high quality videos at it and its played it flawlessly (using TCPM player). The VGA screen, oh my god...the SCREEN!! There is nothing like it! Its beautiful! But then, this is my first VGA device, so I might be biased.
The Audio quality is much much better than many reputed MP3 players. This iPAQ thankfully takes the usual 3.5mm Headphone jack, and the sound is excellent, full range and clear. So you can "ebay" your MP3/PVPlayer (albeit after buying the 32GB card). The in-built speaker, unfortunately, is pathetic. You can barely hear it at the loudest of volume. So, bye-bye to any plans of using this as a voice-instructing GPS/or even as an alarm clock/reminding device.
The "upward" direction of the Navigation D-pad is restricted by the structure of the device. This is a BIG design flaw, coming from a company like HP and that too in such a high end device which aims to re-invent/resurrect the phone-less PDA. I have often had to rotate the screen to landscape mode just because that way its easier to scroll up/down the pages using the sideways buttons of the D-pad.
Another 'defect' is the low sensitivity of the touch screen - especially in the centre of the screen. It requires higher-than-previous-devices stylus pressure to register a command. But this is something which one can get used to..I hardly notice it now
Wireless Connectivity - both Bluetooth and to WLAN is easy and stable. WLAN even supports WPA2 security. I haven't tried VoIP yet.
The 2200mAH battery is a longevity monster and you can get by days-on-end without recharging.
Overall, one of the best devices ever! I wonder if the digitizer touch sensitivity and the low speaker volume could be addressed to as a ROM upgrade. The Navigation pad design is another matter though.. and the only reason I am not giving this device a perfect 10
Pros Very good unit overall. It is fast and generally reliable. Large high definition screen. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth function well as does ActiveSync.
Cons Poor battery life. Hard rest requires three hands, Requires hard touch on screen.
Summary The battery is 2200mah and should last quite a while yet it does not last 4hrs even with minimal use of wi-fi or Bluetooth. With all functions shut down and the unit turned off the battery will drain 33% a day. On the third day of being off it will require a charge.
Anoter irritating issue is that the USB cable will not charge the device, you must use the serial cable, what is with that? A cradel would also be nice.
Customer service is seriously lacking. On-line you can only locate the iPaq 211 for sale. If you try to locate it for service or questions you can't find it, using their search function brings up some other PDA and printer cartriges. Calling customer service for warranty service or tech assistance is the only way to go but you will have to spend about 20 min just to get to the right person. Even then with the units model# and serial# they sent me the wrong battery. Oh and they do not have batteries for sale for unit. They tell you to search on-line for third party sales for a battery.
The device for its size should have had a GPS built in. My Garmin iQ3600 was smaller and had a great GPS built in. The system does work well with a Bluetooth GPS and 3rd party maps installed. It connected in about 30 sec. through Bluetooth.
This unit should have had at least 1G of internal storage. It is nice that the unit will accept large capacity storage cards, though the CF card will drain the battery some if not removed even if the unit is turned off. The operating system also has a default setting that has it automaticlly looking for the ActiveSync, so you need to set that to the manual setting to keep this too from running down the battery.
With all these issues it is still a very good PDA. HP needs to take into consideration what users are looking for and then they will have a great PDA.
Pros Compared to my previous HP e755, the HP 211 is 3 x faster cpu, 2 x more memory, 2 x more video resolution, portrait and landscape viewing modes, improved battery life, no accidental hard-reset, new bluetooth and SDIO. WIFI & bluetooth easy connect.
Cons 1/8" audio out jack in worst location,speaker worthless,no cradle, no backup software,no infrared,hard reset requires 3 hands, no cigarette lighter adapter for charging PDA in car
Summary I paid roughly $700 for my HP e755 4-5 years ago and I still use it today. I paid roughly $400 for the HP iPAQ 211 and for almost 1/2 the money the 211 sports all the pros I mentioned above. Generally I'm very happy with the 211 and highly recommend it for businesses or personal use since it integrates well with ms office 2007 applications, Visual Studio 2008 development and is very responsive processing data. My large local database requests use to take 9 seconds to complete on my E755 PDA and now complete in 3 seconds. I hope the next generation includes the following improvements:
1. Add back the missing cradle (though one can be purchased 3rd party)
2. Must add back the missing backup software so one can quickly restore after hard-reset.
3. Move the 1/8th" audio out jack from the bottom to the top of the PDA so you can use the PDA in a shirt pocket or in a jean pocket.
4. The speaker volume is totally unuseable. Move speaker back to the front and make it louder so it can be used for GPS instructions and other voice guidance.
Note, the E755 speaker volume was also unacceptabley low!
5. Use the single reset button to prompt for soft reset or hard reset.
6. Add back the missing infrared so PDA can be used as tv and stereo remote control again as I did with the E755
7. Add FM transmitter so music can be easily played on home stereo, in car, and at friends and family environments without fooling around with wires.
8. Add standard iPod connection to bottom of PDA so it can be cradled in all of the 3rd party speaker and clock radio systems.
9. Add minimum 7MP digital camera capability so one can take business photos that can be blown upto 8x10" without clarity loss. 640x480 30FPS WMV audio/video camcorder too.
10. Like HTC touch pro, add useable slideout keyboard for data-entry applications.
11. Memory is cheap, give us 16GB or 32GB built-in memory for music and video storage. Leave the CF and SD slots free for 3rd party devices like camera, gps, barcode scanner, etc.
12. Add cell phone capabilities
13. Simple barcode scanner on top of PDA.
14. Add easy to press user assignable softkeys to the top left and right side of the PDA that are easy to press with the thumb of the same hand holding the PDA.
15. Add cigarette light adapter for charging PDA in car.
16. Level indicator when taking photos or hanging pictures on the wall.
17. Old school thumbwheel on leftside of PDA for adjusting volume or scrolling.
I guess that's enough for my wishlist!