Thursday, February 16, 2006

iPaq HW6510

I've had about a month now to play with the iPaq HW6510 from HP, and the best that I can say is that the reviews are mixed. It's a decent PDA, although the screen could be a bit sharper and the battery is certainly no champ at staying alive. I find the keypad cumbersome at best. The layout on the new Treo series or even some of the Blackberry / phone combos is much more intuitive, and has a better feel.
I do like the fact that does a decent job at recognizing Graffiti, since I've had five Pilot PDA's, beginning with the Pilot 5000.
It comes with Windows Mobile 5, so you can use Active synch to connect to your Exchange 2003 server in near real time. This works really well and was fairly painless to set up, on both ends.

We are currently testing 'push synch' software from Good Technologies. It works well, but is a huge memory hog. The first thing I'd do for your new 6510 is max out both memory slots, and redirect as much as you can to go there. Initially the Good software reeked all kinds of havoc on my phone, eventually to the point that it would not boot and I had to hard reset. Removing Pocket Streets seemed to clear up enough memory to make things happy again. And the Good software seems to work well across a wide variety of devices.

And speaking of phones, it's a fairly good one. Reception is good with few dropouts in my area, a noted problem with other pda / phone combos. It could be the Cingular network that I'm on now, too.

It does make a great MP3 player, being bundled with Windows Media Player. With headphones the audio quality is actually very good. The external speaker is about what you'd expect.

It does come with a built in camera, which is useless in low light or close up.

All in all I likely would by the new Windows Treo if I had my druthers and was spending my own money. But when the boss is buying, I'll take what I get.

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