This is a neat compact unit which looks pretty cool in it's silver casing. Under this nice looking outer are the workings of this little unit, with an Xscale PXA 250 processor this little handheld is probably not the fastest, but it is better than average heading towards the top. It's easy to seeTFT screen is 3.5 inches and consists of an active matrix, making the graphics crisp and clear. The device operates through Windows CE 3.0.
On powering up the first thing you will notice is that it looks just like a mini PC which indeed it is, the familiar Windows screen is there with the also familiar Start bar. There are also several sub menu's which can be personalised to suit the user, that is some can be removed and others added. The date menu is not removable since it is obviously deemed by Microsoft as a necessity.
The operation of the unit is very similar to that of your home PC, being that it is a menu driven system, programs can be downloaded via the units USB cable
which are called today screens. They are themed and provide a slightly better user interface than the one provided by Mr Gates. Using this cable attached to a PC connected to the internet you can also download many other games and utilities to enhance your little handheld. This is achieved using another Microsoft program called active sync which simply synchronises your device with your PC. It creates a user defined folder on your PC where it stores all your handheld info and files should you wish to do so. So since the portable has Microsoft Excel
and Word in the pocket versions you can create your spreadsheets and word documents which are saved in a special pocket Pc
format. Active Sync
translates these files if you wish to modify or simply have a copy of them on you desktop PC
so both units are always containing the same data.
Outlook is also supplied with the unit so all your address book
info is automatically synchronised to the way you prefer. You can have it update the info to correspond to either the handheld or the desktop PC. A task manager is also supplied where you can manage all those important details. There is a colander where you can keep track of your appointments and place alarms on those that require a reminder. The notes program is quite novel in that here you can use the supplied stylus to write in your own handwriting any little notes you wish. The stylus is used to do most things on the unit but there are buttons provided for the Calendar, Task manager, Internet home page
, and email. An internet connection
is required for some of these processes but is not supplied with the iPAQ. Two cables come with the unit one for charging it from a normal socket and the other to connect it
to a PC through the USB connection. The battery life is quite substantial since I'm using this quite a lot during the day, I find I might have to charge it every other day. Battery life
can be extended by reducing the brightness of the screen, here there are 4 levels Power Saving, Normal, Bright, and Super Bright the latter just drains your battery in no time and unless you are in total darkness and using it as a torch need never really be used.