"Best Phone-less PDA at the moment"4.5 starson by kartikatre
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