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13

Good entertainment-first PDA

Pros Windows Pocket PC 2003 2nd Professional Edition. Programmable buttons, and nice stylus.
Cons Not too powerful. Image viewing was slow.
Recommended it? Yes
The Bottom Line:  For $350 this is a good PDA with lots of features. It has everything you need to start off with. The size is a major plus.
This is my first PDA. I wanted one to keep me organized and this seemed to be a good one when I was at Best Buy.

I'll start off mentioned the features that don't seem to be connected to Windows Pocket PC:

The default interface is set for someone who wants a multimedia entertainment pocket PC. No worries. I was able to adjust it. HP installed a custom interface to use the multi-media aspects of the device. I changed that to the default Windows screen because I wanted access to the calendars, contacts and tasks list. But the physical buttons (below the screen) on the device still reflect multimedia use so the symbols on them don't exactly reflect their function when you reprogram those buttons.

These buttons can be dual programmed...each button can be held down for a couple seconds for a second function. You go into Settings to program the functions of those buttons (two per button!).

The stylus is nice...its shaped so you don't have to be exact when putting it in...you can be slight mispositioned and it will still slide in its little hole.

The shape is kind of boxy. When viewing the landscape view, its a little hard to hold. I guess its like that for most Pocket PCs.

Within its leather slip-case it's small enough to wear in my jeans pocket...though it does bulge. I remove it from my pocket when I sit down. Most of the time, I'll keep it in my jacket pocket.

The alarms / sounds are very audible. I use it as my wake-up alarm now. Theres a convenient Record button on the side that you hold down to record voice memos. The screen is nice and smooth...something I noticed that was different from the Dell Axim -- the Axim seemed to have a rougher surface...I'm not sure why, but I like the smoothness better.

The wireless lacks a little bit. If you want basic wireless access, you can do it, but if you want to customize it you can't. Example: you can't put in a pass phrase for WEP encryption; nor can you select 64 or 128 bit encryption. I've compared it with the Dell Axim and the Axim is much much more customizable in this area.

The multimedia is slow compared with a laptop. Viewing pictures (4 megapixel) takes a long time compared to an iPod Photo. Playing music and video is very good as long as the video are low bit rate files.

The software is Windows Pocket PC 2003 2nd Pro. I'm not gonna review it here since its pretty much the same with all Pocket PCs that have it.

I'm returning this PDA, though its a good PDA. I'm upgrading to a power house PDA: the Dell Axim x50v. I'll review that later.

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