Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
HP iPAQ 612c Business Navigator
An all-round performer
- HSDPA 7.2, GPS, Wi-Fi, operation speed
- Dull design, scroll wheel isn’t as intuitive as it could have been, lack of extra HP software, no turn-by-turn navigation
The iPAQ 612c offers a fairly impressive list of features and bundles them to form a reasonable device. The lack of HP software is disappointing and the scroll wheel could use some work, but there is plenty to like about this handset on the whole.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Featuring a unique scroll wheel that sits on top of its keypad, HP's latest iPAQ is a smartphone that offers plenty of features. Along with the software bundled with the Windows Mobile OS, this beast boasts HSDPA 7.2, AGPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Aesthetically, the iPAQ 612c isn't going to turn many heads. Its design screams business tool rather than fashion statement, but this is rather appropriate considering its branding as a 'Business Navigator'. It's not an ugly device, but the black and silver colour scheme and slightly chunky build definitely won't appeal to fashionistas.
A unique feature of the 612c is its touch-sensitive scroll wheel. This consists of a raised ring above the keypad that simply allows you to swirl your thumb in order to navigate through the device. Although its responsiveness is excellent, the fact that it doesn't incorporate a selection button is an annoyance. The enter button is located to the right of the scroll wheel, meaning you have to lift your thumb away from the wheel to press it. For this reason, we prefer the three-way scroll wheel located on the left hand side of the handset, although the fact that you have to press it quite firmly to select a menu item is a little annoying.
Aside from the dual scroll wheels, the 612c has two selection buttons below the display and features plenty of shortcut keys, including start, OK, clear and enter. We liked the button in the lower left corner that re-orientates the screen from portrait to landscape, while the 'silent' button at the top of the unit is also a handy touch. The keypad is reasonably comfortable for typing on, despite there being little space between each key. The buttons do require a firm press, however, and the raised ring denoting the touch-sensitive scroll wheel can be a slight hindrance when typing.
The iPAQ 612c runs Windows Mobile 6, so it includes all the standard features bundled with this version of Microsoft's OS. Excel, PowerPoint and Word Mobile applications are included, as are Windows Media Player and a PDF viewer. For e-mail, it's easy to configure for use with Microsoft Exchange 2003, while you can also use standard POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, including Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. A suite of Windows Live applications includes Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, Spaces and Live Search, while HP has included shortcuts to Google search and Google Maps in the Start menu.
We were reasonably impressed with the speed of the 612c: running multiple applications doesn't tend to slow down performance. For extra memory, the 612c comes with a microSD card slot, but its location behind the battery is an annoyance.
Unfortunately, the lack of HP software add-ons is a little disappointing. Most vendors have a software suite that they include on WM6 devices, but HP only offers a fairly straightforward shortcut menu and Photosmart Mobile software — hardly inspiring business applications. The Photosmart software is useful in tandem with the 3-megapixel camera that features flash and a self-portrait mirror. The program allows you to e-mail, message and print photos, as well as upload them to HP's Snapfish printing service.
GPS is also a feature but the 612c doesn't come with navigational software installed — a little ironic considering it has been dubbed the 'iPAQ Business Navigator'. The Google Maps application is present and works reasonably well on a search and locate basis, but for turn-by-turn navigation you'll need to purchase extra software which is a little disappointing.
The 612c is an HSDPA 7.2 device and it worked without any issues over Telstra's Next G network during testing. For mobile Internet, the standard Internet Explorer browser isn't the most intuitive to use, but pages loaded swiftly so we had little to complain about. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP and USB 2.0 round out the connectivity features. HP also includes a fairly mediocre mini-USB headset and mini-USB cable in the sales package.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 4 Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- 5 Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 review: Smaller form-factor, higher performance
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?