Pros Everything I need to function in the field and much more
Cons I can't convince my company to retire my laptop entirely
Summary Not to go into a personal bio but I have had a long line of PDA's going back to the beginning. No matter what I paid I had to accept some limitation, no this offered no that available. That FINALLY ended with the Hx. I see that it was called bulky and that the video performance was likewise questioned by Cnet. I'm watching "Butterfly Effect" in my spare time and it looks great to me, even in daylight. Bulky? It fits in my coat pocket and does everything my laptop can. In fact, I leave the laptop at home and access it from the Hx if needed. I also read a review that complained about needing a third-party PIM. There hasn't been a PDA made that didn't need a third-party PIM. I had them with my Palm's/Clie's and I have them with my Hx. And expansion? I have 6 gb of expansion; CF and SD, it's wonderful. I could list all the attributes but all you have to do is read the specs. Now to the issue of cost, cost, cost. It's not cost, it is the VALUE I receive vs. the money I spend. This product has VALUE. You want to know why the T5 just lowered it's price, AGAIN, because it has less VALUE. They could give the things away,it doesn't matter, the T5 doesn't have the functions I need so it has no value. Giving a 10 seems to have given the Cnet review component a fit so I have been warned about the seriousness of this rating. Let me put it simply then, dollar for dollar there is no better PDA on the market. Prove me wrong.
Pros Excellent display, excellent speed, plenty of memory,
Cons (ouch!) expensive, touch pad takes some getting used too, as with all PDAs BATTERY LIFE!
Summary This is what all PDAs dream of being one day. I've had more than 6 different PDAs in the past and they were mostly for keeping schedules and some note taking, ect.
This one is basically a mini computer and it pretty much does everything a mid ranged laptop would do and its just as fast. To say this is a treat to own is like saying ice cream is good on a hot day. Yea, it's true but you really don't get how true it is.
The wireless and bluetooth are both easy to use and set up (and it's a good thing because the manual basically thanks you for your purchase and tells you how to turn it on and off and that's all).
If you hear something when you turn the wireless its the giant sucking sound that wireless is using to drain your battery.
The display is beautiful. It's by far the best display I've seen on one of these little things.
I have downloaded a few photos and watched a movie and it's just as good as any tv or monitor (not including Plasma, HDTV, ect) but its good.
Because of the super sized processor this thing moves faster than a taxi in a bad neighborhood. It just flies threw programs.
Depends on what you want to do but after having these PDAs for years the programs are getting better but you really have to look hard to find the good ones.
So at $500+ a pop this isn't really an impulse buy (unless your last name happens to be Trump) so you will really have to jusify why you need one of these more than your wife needs to pay her car note, or why you need it more than the kids need braces, or why you need it more than well you get the point.
But if you happen to do well on poker night and you have a few hundreds just burning a hole in your pocket waiting to just jump out and make a purchase then you could not do any better than one of these. It is absolutely worth every penny!
MY ONLY WISH
My only wish is that they had a really good camera on this unit but I guess they had to hold something back for next year.
That's my summary and I'm sticking to it!
Pros Excellent colour screen. Good sound recording and playback. High quality construction. Freely available visual C++ programming environment is very useful for programmers wanting to develop for this device.
Cons Windows CE is not as good as PalmOS ... it seems slow and clumsy, and I've had key applications (like the 'Today' screen) crash. It's like having a desktop computer in you hand (which is actually a bad thing.) The touch pad is awful ... hard to activate
Pros Works well as a 'pocket-sized notebook computer'. Nice screen. Fast processor. Wireless.
Cons Slow, unresponsive, buggy software that crashes often - ie what you'd expect from your desktop computer, but not good enough for a handheld.
Summary Whether you rate this iPAQ at 2/10 or 8/10 really depends on what you want to do with it. As a replacement for your Windows notebook computer it's probably quite good - the interface is familiar and you can run lots of Microsoft Office software. It really falls down as a digital diary / shopping list / notepad / portable reference guide. It's just not responsive enough to work in the situations you need it.
Pull it out in a shopping centre to quickly check your to-do list and you'll have to wait while the 'Tasks' application loads - only to find that task list consists of just bullet points with the text missing - this happens every few times I start the application. Then you'll have to reboot the computer. Then start 'tasks' again. This sort of procedure is almost second nature with a desktop or notebook computer ... we expect unresponsive, bloated software. But I think of a pocket PC as a computer for when you're at the 'sharp end' of life: on the road, at a business meeting, with a client, etc ... and the iPAQ 4700 doesn't cut it.
I've used the 4700 for 6 months. I've also used Palm computers for several years. I've got one that has one sixth the processing power of the 4700 but actually runs at least 10 times as fast. The thought of having to reboot one of my Palm computers is almost unthinkable.
Just this evening my iPAQ crashed and required a *hard* reset - losing all data on it. The little computer regularly switches itself on for no apparent reason and remains on, so that when I go to pick it up to take out the door with me, the battery is completely dead.
The wireless works well, and is a feature lacking from many Palm PC's. I've used the iPAQ quite nicely as a platform for browsing the web. I've also found having both a CF card slot and SD card slot to be very handy. The computer has worked well for previewing and culling photos from a digital camera.
The built-in Windows Media Player is a bit clumsy to use and doesn't play back MPEG-1 movies ... a really bad omission. Video performance is 'ok' at best. The audio sounds good though, and the iPAQ makes a nice (if expensive) MP3 player.
The iPAQ hx4700 may well make a good platform for Linux - apparently an appropriate version of this is under development.Updated
Some things I forgot to mention...
The iPAQ 4700 seems to be of very high quality construction. I took one to Antarctica and back and it survived all the conditions. It's quite heavy though - not so easily 'pocketable'.
The touch pad is particularly useless for games, and appears almost useless for any purpose. It’s a complete waste of space. If HP had just put a few good old fashioned 'buttons' along the bottom then that would've been great.
The Microsoft ActiveSync software for synchronising with your desktop computer is a bit annoying. It tries to synchronise continuously while connected - compared to the Palm software which synchronises only when you press a ‘HotSync’ button. Trying to get ActiveSync to realise it's connected to the iPAQ is often quite tricky though. The procedure is first to turn on the computer then insert it in the cradle. If the computer turns off to save power then you'll have to remove it from the cradle, turn it on, and then replace it in the cradle. Sometimes this doesn't work and you'll have to repeat once or twice until the software realises it's connected. The HotSync button used on Palm devices is actually more reliable.
The on/off button of the iPAQ is quite hard to press (at least you won’t do it by accident I guess). Every once in a while pressing the button to turn the device off doesn’t turn it off but just reduces the screen brightness to zero while the computer is actually on. You then have to find the brightness control on screen (while not being able to see the screen – just remember where the little slider is and keep guessing until you get it).
The device doesn’t really have much memory, and what it has is 'segmented' so that you easily find yourself running out. Even after a hard reset (no extra software loaded) and 1.5 gigabytes of memory cards in the computer I can try to load a 4 megabyte image file and be informed that there's "insufficient memory". The iPAQ's main memory is 64 megabytes, divided into storage and program memory. You might well end up with 15-20 megabytes of available program memory which quickly reduces as you run multiple programs, until there are only a few megabytes free. You need to be careful when installing software not to put it in the default location (main memory), but in the "iPAQ file store". Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time worrying about the available memory in this device and reshuffling data around to free up space.
And a final observation ... if you’re interested in programming the Pocket Windows computers then Microsoft supply a really good, free, C++ development environment for you to use (check their web site). With the nice screen and fast processor of the iPAQ 4700 you could write some really good games...
Pros VGA!, Speed!, TouchPad, 4" Screen, Wireless, Bluetooth, Magnesium Case, Intel XScale 624MHz processor, Flip cover for screen
Cons Price, lack of VGA acceleration, 64MB RAM instead of 128MB
Summary The hx4700 is HP's best yet. You can load this thing up with 15 or 20 programs, either on storage memory card, or FileStore Memory, and do more than any handheld on the market. I've heard some gripes about the TouchPad,but after getting used to it, it works quite well, especially in landscape mode, which, by the way, rivals most of the dedicated video multimedia players. Nothing is cooler than having a mouse cursor on your handheld. Except, for the fact, the new 4" VGA screen could use better acceleration, and the RAM could use an additional 64MBs (I'm going to do this from a third party), this unit would be a 10. I'm sure HP has more of this up their sleeves