Talk about having a personal touch: the flagship iPAQ Pocket PC H5450 is the first mainstream personal digital assistant to offer biometric security via a built-in fingerprint reader.
The reader is a small, thin, unobtrusive strip beneath the navigation button on the newly streamlined iPAQ case. To use the reader, you must first train the included software to recognise the print of at least one of your fingers (HP recommends training it to recognise two fingers, so you have a backup).
Training with a preproduction unit took about 20 minutes because the software rejected my first attempts to scan in a print of my index finger.
Once the device accepts seven out of eight consecutive attempts, you are permitted to ‘enrol’ that digit and designate it either as the sole acceptable form of identification or in combination with a typed password. When I tried to log in using an enrolled finger, the device usually granted me access within three attempts at most. (You can set the device to do a data-destroying hard reset after a user-specified number of unsuccessful log-in attempts.) More important, it shut out all others, which might justify its slightly steep $1499 price tag for some security-minded users.
The H5450 also boasts built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters; a Secure Digital media slot; a removable, rechargeable battery; and a fast 400MHz Intel XScale CPU.
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