Pros Easy to figure out, fits very well in pocket and hand, wi fi works very well
Cons soft resets, no cradle, no bluetooth (although I dont really need it)
Summary I have had this for a month now, and so far I like it. I could not decide between this and the palm tx. I normally take cnets advice when I buy, but they are taking way to long to review the hp, so I went out on a limb and bought the hp. This is my first pda, and all the articles I read pointed me towards the palm. My wife has a zire 71 and it is nice and easy to use. But after being at best buy for 2 hours using both, I just like the feel and the function of the hp. Like I said earlier I have had it for a month and have had no real problems with it. I do have to soft reset it 2-3 times a day, which really bothered me at first, but it only takes about 20 seconds to do. The documentation is somewhat poor as well, but even with no experience on these things I figured it out very quickly. There are also a lot of magazines and websites with tips and how to's. Wi fi works really well, I have been able to access internet from almost everywhere I have tried, and I live in a pretty small city. All in all a good experience so far and I would recommend it.
Pros Internet in your pocket!
Cons Needs ROM updates immediately.
What a great device - AFTER I updated the ROM.
It took a while for HP to come out with updates for this device, but now that they have, it seems to fix many of the Version 1.0 bugs.
I put a 1 Gig SD memory card in it & can carry around LOTS of music, pictures, files, etc.
Windows Mobile 5 makes good use of the memory card. If you install new programs for this machine, they reside on the card instead of eating up main memory.
Of course, if the battery runs out of juice, all of your programs and data are safe because they are stored in non-volatile flash ROM - VERY COOL. They call this persistent memory and it makes all the difference in using a device like this on the road when chances of running out of battery power are pretty high.
Internet access with this device is a breeze. Being able to surf the net, check your email, and use Windows Messaging is a big step up from previous devices. Windows Mobile 5 makes it easy to seek out access points and connect to them without a lot of hassle.
Avantgo is a great addition to any PDA. Now that you can update wirelessly, it's even better.
MP3 and video playback is a lot of fun. The screen is bright and can be rotated to landscape mode by a push of a button. With the memory card, I can load quite a bit of music and let it play for hours (with the backlight off).
I haven't quite gotten the hang of updating the Windows Media library with the music that is stored on my memory card. At this point I don't know if this is my mistake, or if another update is in order from HP/Microsoft.
Again, this device was a DOG when I first bought it. However, with the two updates that HP has posted on their site, I'm thinking that this is quite a bargain for $300 (or less).
Is There Gas In The Car?
Pros Good features set for price; Works well
Cons Win Mobile 5 has a few bugs, and little to no documentation
Summary I picked one up from HP direct shortly after reading the preview - I want WM5 for the persistent memory and PPT reading, and WiFi for surfing and (eventually) wireless exchange syncing, but don't need alot of the other stuff.
I had sync problems due to corp firewall sw (black ice), but tech support was great at helping me through it.
The WiFi works fine, as does most of the other features, so in general I am happy.
However, I do have to soft resets frequently. That doesn't lose data or mess up any setting, but it is a nuisance. Guess thats the price for being on the .0.0 version of an OS.
The other issue is that there is VERY LITTLE documentation. A BASIC users guide comes as soft copy, and a very short starters guide in paper (and many languages), but that's it. I did get steered to a bit more on the HP site, but it is still basic. And NOTHING on the MS site. And when I sent an email to MS for help they blew me off (thank's Uncle Bill).
Also note that not all sw will run yet. I bought the Lardian NIV Study Bible, and it doesn't work right, though they promised a WM5 patch with in 2 weeks.
So, if you dont mind being on the bleeding edge, and dont mind sorting out issues in a new device, I feel this is a great combination of features and price - It does what I want for $100 less than any alternative, and is thinner and lighter as well.
Pros Sleek design, light weight
Cons Needs several soft resets daily, needs constant charging.
Summary I thought I was upgrading from my Ipaq 1910 when I got the Rx1955, but it was the same sad story of constantly needing to do soft resets (3-5 times a day!). I kept it for 3 weeks until I had had enough. I exchanged it for the PALM T/X & I couldn't be more pleased. No more PPCs for me.
HP denies that there are any reported problems with needing to soft reset often, yet I have seen so many reviews that highlight the same issue. HP should fess up & do something about it already - what a waste of time.
Pros Thin, Light, Great battery, Great Wi-fi, SD expandability, Effective Voice Recorder, Great Screen Backlight and Color, Bundled Windows Media Player 10 is flexible in video/audio.
Cons Not the fastest PPC, but fast enough for 90% of uses. Occasionally will not wake up from standby, requiring soft reset (pulling battery). No dock, and charger is shaped oddly.
Summary (One of the things worth noting is that the RX1950 is the exact same product as the RX1955. HP just has two names for it's home and business departments.)
The screen is 320x240, but don't let that scare you away. The resolution is high enough that you can browse the web and watch movies with a clear, crisp picture. The backlight is surprisingly bright for using so little battery power. The colors are great, and the screen doesn't get washed out when you use it outside (except for _direct_ sunlight). The refresh rate is sometimes lagging when playing movies, but other than that it runs fine.
The device has a replaceable battery, which is a great feature. Assuming 1/2 power backlight (normal operating level) and wifi on, the unit runs for 7-8 hours straight or 3-4 days on moderate usage. The battery is light and small; measuring about 1" x 1.5" x .3" The unit sometimes requires soft resets (pulling and reinserting the battery), so the fact that it's replaceable is quite handy.
Small, but sized just right to fit your hands. The placement of the stylus is not the best on the top of the device- the top of the stylus is easily confused with the screw covers. It also stays put over time which is good because some PDA's tend to loosen their grip in the stylus holder as they get worn.
While the rx1950 lacks BlueTooth, the great Wifi makes up for it. I have issues with Windows Pocket 2k5 over wifi, but the unit itself picks up wifi signals quite well and holds on to the signal for a very good range. I can pick up 28 signals in my college dorm room, whereas my laptop wifi card will only find 12 from the same location. Even on a network that I contact at 1 bar out of 5 for signal strength, it still downloads quickly and refreshes well. It logs onto networks in 4 *seconds*, not minutes as I have seen some other Palms and PPC's. Wifi auto-refreshes when you wake the system up from standby without instruction from the user.
I use this to record class lectures, and it gets great range but poor quality. The microphone (on the top of the unit) is rather static-laden, but that goes away when you raise the recording quality. Don't expect to use it to record music, but it works fine for voice notes and recording interviews/meetings if someone is sitting far away.
Audio Output Quality:
Built in speaker: Bad. Headphones: Awesome.
The built in speaker is located behind the center navigation button at the bottom of the device, and it lacks bass or proper mounting to give a good signal. Don't plan to use it for listening to music far from the device or at high-quality.
However, plug in a pair of headphones and this thing beats an IPod for sound quality hands down! I have Koss headphones, and the sound I get from the RX1950 is the best I have ever found! Plug in a 1gb SD card (~$30 on ebay) and take all the songs you want with you instead of an IPod. The ActiveSync software that comes with the RX1950 will automatically shrink music files down so that they take much less space than on any other MP3 device.
One of the first things to do is to turn off the HP intro screen that they replace the "Today" screen with. It looks pretty, but it's quite useless. It doesn't give you access to any normal programs except the web. Using Window's normal Today screen is much more useful and feasible. HP does help in that they give you a great add-on to the Today screen that gives you quick access to battery levels, memory usage, backlight, and more.
The buttons are well placed except for the Voice Recorder (VR) button. I found it an inconvenience that the way the default case (provided with the rx1950) is shaped, it requires gripping the unit by the sides at the top and pulling upward. The VR button is right where you have to grip and so it starts unnecessary recordings. This can be fixed by a settings feature- "Disable all buttons except Power when on standby"
Another thing the buttons lacked was a divot or depression to be able to trigger them with the point of the stylus. The buttons are metallic and dome shaped, so the stylus slips off and you have to stop and use a finger.
The unit is surprisingly thin (.4") compared to most other PDA's. It's just thicker than the height of the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card. The curvy edges make for a smooth, sleek feeling in your hand, and the ridge around the outside gives your fingers just enough grip to easily hold it steady. It fits just right for writing on the screen while walking as well.
The power supply to the device comes in through the universal connector on the bottom of the unit. The problem with that is that the power has to go in through the back of the usb<->universal connector. You cant just plug the device straight into the wall.
Suggested Add-on Software:
(All free, just google them)
AgileMessenger for instant messaging.
Opera Mobile: Offers multi-window and zoom support that IE doesnt.
Magic Button makes the start bar much more efficient. Absolutely necessary software.
SPB Pocket Plus makes the today screen more useful, fixes bugs in IE, and gives you more button command options. (free version doesnt bother you with ads)