HP iPaq h1910

We’ve often complained in the past that HP iPaqs are too expensive, so the release of a sub-$700 model is very welcome. But not only is the h1910 HP’s cheapest iPaq yet, it’s the slimmest too. Put it next to Dell’s Axim X5 and you can really see the difference -- the HP is smaller in every dimension.

One of the reasons for this is the SD (Secure Digital) slot. If HP had opted for CompactFlash instead, we would expect the h1910 to be considerably larger.

The screen is superior to rival manufacturers’. It’s the same transflective type that’s used on higher-end iPaqs, so it looks bright and colourful indoors and is even visible outdoors to an extent. Build quality is good, the lightweight unit weighs in at 120 grams, buttons are sensibly placed and the stylus is comfortable to hold.

So far, so good. But compromises have been made. There’s only 16MB of flash memory installed, which means that HP has opted for a cut- down version of Pocket PC 2002. If you want to use media player, instant messaging or e-book software then you must install them into the system memory. There’s 64MB of memory to go round, although oddly you only have access to 46MB.

You’ll find a bundled USB cable and a pair of stereo headphones but unfortunately no cradle. Unforgivably, HP has designed the h1910 so that you can’t use older iPaq cradles -- or other peripherals come to mention it. To keep costs down further, HP has employed a 200MHz processor rather than the usual 400MHz model although most people won’t notice the difference.

In brief: HP iPaq h1910
We’d recommend the iPaq h1910 for those that want to use a Pocket PC as a flash diary and address book but little else. It’s an excellent buy, however, for those that value size, weight and the quality of the screen above all else. For others, the compromises that have been made in the memory, operating system and processor departments will be too much to bear.
Price: $699
Phone: 132 347
URL: www.hp.com.au

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Stan Everett

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