Dear Reader, This is the best thing I have ever owned. Frankly I don't give a damn that it costs £350 but doesn't always understand my handwriting. I try not to notice that a full charge will last only 5 or 6 hours. And I put on a brave face every time it occurs to me that if I ever want to increase the storage capacity of my Ipaq, I will first need to shell out about £100 for an ‘expansion jacket’ that seems to double it’s size and weight. All of this is insignificant when you consider that it comes in a swish aluminium case, it has a colour screen, plays music, and most important of all - organises your life better than you ever thought possible. Because, dear reader, not only do you look cool just because you own this fantastic toy, you look cool because you keep promises, turn up to appointments, never forget birthdays and remember the names of people you just met. ‘What about functionality?’ I hear you cry – well if this still matters to you after you learn that the Ipaq was voted the number 1 gadget in a recent FHM study, I suppose I’d better tell you: for it’s size, the 3600 has an amazing amount of programs, all able to be synchronised to your home computer – including pocket Word, Excel and Outlook – this is a fantastic idea, as it ensures that both your pocket PC and your desktop are always completely up to date. You can use it to check your emails and surf the web, too. But one word of warning: if you don’t have a mobile phone with an infra red port, you’ll need to start spending in order to get on line, and if you’ve just shelled out 350 big ones this is not going to put a smile on your face! In terms of entertainment, the Compaq offers an mp3 player (which I absolutely love) that can be output via the feeble inbuilt speaker, or at much better quality through a set of standard headphones (not supplied). It also includes a version of
solitaire, which is fabulous for wasting away time that could be spent doing something more productive. And once you get bored of all this, you can download new games from the inter-net. Fab! So what if this baby costs as much as a 1990 ford fiesta. Buy one!! Thanks for reading
Before you buy, it's worth talking to a few people who have had one for 6 months or so. I don't (yet) own one, but the instant I saw one I wanted it! However, I know 6 people at work who have them, and 4 of these developed problems within 4 months or so of purchase(broken button, broken stylus eject, blank screen, mirror image screen(!)). Two of the four have gone back to their Palm Vs, claiming that the Palms have better build quality. On the plus side, the colour screen is excellent, the supplied software is great and (as you would expect) links nicely to the MS Windows Office Desktop. Battery life is reasonable for a high contrast colour screen. In summary, one day I hope to own one of these, but not before I am sure all reliability issues have been solved
Compaq's iPAQ is going to be the gadget to have in 2001. But this PDA isn't just for gadget fans - most people will find it useful and easy to use. In the past PDAs have never done quite enough to make them great value for money. But now the market has evolved. The iPAQ has all the features we've been waiting for. More computing power than you could get for several thousand pounds on a desktop machine a couple of years ago; but it costs under half a grand and you can fit it in your pocket. In addition it comes with mini versions of the familiar Microsoft Office software, plays music and can record voice messages. Compaq have revolutionised palm computing with a little help from Microsoft's excellent Windows CE operating system. There are several other CE machines available, but non are quite as practical, or as cool as the iPAQ. In particular the wonderful clear screen (Colour on the 3600 series) and the nice metallic finish of the iPAQ make it a pleasure to use, and the neat pop up stylus holder adds that little finishing touch. The sync facilities are easy to use if you're a Office user, so you can use it in conjunction with your desktop machine - what more can you ask for. Setting up the sync with the cradle should be easy for most non-technical Office users, but iPAQ owners might have more problems getting the infra red link to work with either their PCs or their phones. My iPAQ is a 3630 and I don't currently have any expansion jackets or cards. I don't find the 32MB of memory to be a constraint (yet). I hope that in the longer term the memory limitation will simply encourage me to delete Apps and Data that I no longer require. This should be easy for users who also have a conventional PC as the iPAQ can simply be used as temporary storage for the data they need to have with them. Don't expect to store loads of MP3 music unless you're prepared to buy some expansion cards. Games, such as
Doom, can also take up a lot of space. The iPAQ comes with a couple of extra software packages. ListPro is my favourite at the moment - I always thought that the features of office were less than suited to keeping lists - project lists, to do lists, shopping lists and the like. ListPro addresses this wonderfully. I also like the AvantGo web caching which users of other CE devices can download for free. Microsoft's Transcriber is also first class - I defy anyone not to be amazed at the handwriting that it can recognise! A few warnings - Microsoft reader looks promising - I even bought some electronic books to read on holiday, but it appears that the currently available version of Microsoft Reader for CE won't support the encryption on purchased books. Version 1.5 which is currently available for Windows 98 etc, will eventually be released and this can read encrypted books. I'd hoped to be able to use my iPAQ on the bus to work and I can just about do so if I'm reading or if I'm playing a game, but I find that handwriting is too tricky when you're not stationary. Also note that in the UK it's now supplied with a serial cable instead of the more practical (for most users) USB connection - presumably to accommodate the many NT4 machines that can't support USB devices. Finally, I'd hoped to sync the Microsoft Money on my iPAQ with the Money 2000 on my PC - a feature that I've seen mention of in the specifications for the iPAQ and which I think is fundamentally important if you're already a Money user and you want to keep track on the iPAQ. Well forget it because it only works if you have the $ version of Money - I guess there will be a solution to this, but I've not yet found it. As a former Palm Pilot user, I can say that I'm very happy with iPAQ and I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to get organised.
I owned a Compaq IPAQ 3630 for a little over 3 weeks. Initially I was very impressed with the device. It?s capable of playing full-motion video clips, performing impressive handwriting recognition, accessing the internet over a mobile phone as well as running a variety of games. However, when it comes down to being useful the device has some serious limitations. The 3630 has 32mb of ram, which is not enough. This 32mb is used for system memory as well as storage, so if you are storing lots of things on the device it slows down significantly. Also the spreadsheet is too cut-down for the serious user, with key features such as ?cell-protection? missing. Internet access over a mobile phone has a maximum baud rate of only 9600kbps ? this is over 5 times slower than a 56kbps connection like most home PC?s use, and quite simply its too slow. Web pages take ages to load. Even when you are flashing the device around to friend?s its limitations are apparent. I download a NES emulator (for playing games), however playing games on the IPAQ is difficult because it only lets you press one button at a time, so you cannot run and jump for example. I wanted to like the IPAQ, but its limitations were too serious, so I ended up selling it. Make sure you demo the device before you buy one is all I can say!
This is without doubt the best Pocket PC available on the market today. Its processor power (over 200mhz) and crystal clear TFT screen, the same as used in laptops. It looks set to be a winner. But! it has its flaws. While they arent huge flaws, they really stand out when playing games. The biggest flaw is: The IPAQ doesnt reconise multiple button presses. Oh thats not too bad you say! but wait! in a game when you try to jump right, YOU CANT! it doesnt let you because yto do this you have to press the RIGHT button and the JUMP button. Developers have got around this problem by supplying buttons on the screen, but it still isnt quite the same. Another problem is that dust seems to build up BEHIND the screen, this isnt so bad and Compaq have been very helpfull with this problem. but its still annoying. The IPAQ remains the ultimate Pocket PC, a veritable oasis of mobile computing power. But this oasis has a few scorpions lurking in its refreshing waters.
Who: Compaq iPaq Features; The Compaq iPaq has a 206 MHz processor and a 240 x 320 pixel touch-sensitive colour LCD screen. The iPaq has 32MB of RAM and 16MB of ROM and weighs 178.6 g. (6.3 oz.) including battery. The metal-framed iPaq stands 13 cm. (5.11 in.) high, 8.35he cm. (3.28 in.) tapering to 7.75 cm. (3.05 in.) wide and 1.59 cm. (0.62 in.) deep. Software; For speed, all of the main applications are stored on ROM, including "Pocket PC" versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and Explorer. The iPaq can also display e-books and playback WAV or MP3 sound files. It features a loudspeaker plus headphones jack, an eight-directional cursor pad, and infrared port for wireless applications. Memory and functionality can be expanded with a series of jackets slipped over the basic model. The iPaq has a maximum battery life of 12 hours before recharging. Although I have not as yet managed to get hold of my own personal ipaq model, I have been been lucky enough to get my hands on one, for trial basis at my workplace. Although it took me a while to get to grips with all the functions; i.e. the infrared port and the MP3 facilities. However, once up and running the features were all fantastic. The ipaq offers the facility to synchronise your outlook e-mails on your home or work PC With your ipaq. And yes, for all those who- like myself have become accustomed to desktop applications such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel, can still have these facilities on their ipaq PDA. Furthermore, Dooyoo members can keep updated on their account from practically anywhere. With the bonus of selecting to browse either the web or wap portals.
My husband used his Palm Pilot until it's little screen got so worn out, it developed a hole! Too much stylus action and the docking station bagan to resemble a minature copy stand, loaded down with leaflets and copies of IT Week. For weeks, I've heard nothing but remarks pertaining to being dis-organised and juggling various diaries online and off. Not managing to sync diarised notes and documents or even managing to remind himself to leave 15 minutes earlier to get a seat on the train to Waterloo. Sitting up in bed before 'lights out' used to be a chance to catch up on daily gossip and hubby would talk to me about techy stuff and I'd fall asleep. Over recent weeks, I have fallen asleep to the technical synopsis of the Compaq iPAQ H3630 Pocket PC. This morning at 11:29am a parcel arrived. I knew it HAD to be the new hand held by the way my husband dived from behind his desk to the front door in one bound. The box was smuggled into the office and the door shut. I heard muffled sounds of "ooh" and "woah" and it was this point that I knew my life had changed. I popped my head round the door. The sparkle in his eyes as the boxes unfolded. One by one, my husband carefully cradled each box to rest on the desk top. With wimpers and giggles emitting from his tightly closed-lipped grin, he removed the pocket Pc and sat back on his chair, with a sigh. Carefully, he located the button and released the stylus from it's cleverly designed port and with pin-point accurancy he proceeded to...play with the damn thing for over 4 hours. At this point, I hasten to add, the manual was still undisturbed in the bottom of the packaging. I heard small beeping sounds and comments like "ah, that's why it doesn't work"...some 5 hours after the box has been opened and yet, the instructions...are...where? You can tell a lot about a PDA by the person behind the machine! Having
had little snippet demonstrations of each feature, I feel that I know this little gem personally. Now all I have to do is buy one and then I can dictate and email a message to my husband "Tea's ready"!! Some techie stuff before I sign off: So, the Compaq iPAQ H3630 Pocket PC is more than a personal organiser. It is even more than a minature laptop. It's not your heavy duty edit/document creation device, but for someone on the move, it's the most advanced bit of kit ever developed. Although the new Palm PDA's, HP Jordana's and Casio's all have good functionality and now colour screens, the Compaq takes the biscuit when it comes to managing multi-media besides the standard calendar, in-box and to-do list. Handwriting recognition is wonderful (it even recognises scribble and OCR's it into text!) Can view pictures from a digital camera, play MP3 files, browse the web, record voice aswell as boasting a colour screen that would grace any laptop. The back light also allows you to view the screen in any lighting conditions including full sunlight, unlike most PDA's. Lastly, compared to the Palm Pilot that ended up with a hole in it, this little beauty looks like a Star Trek (beam me up Scottie) device travelling at warp speed. Let's face it, a 206 MHz processor is faster than many household desktops. Switch it on and it boots up in less than .25 seconds. Don't let the boss see it or he'll think he's paying you too much!
I put off buying a PDA for a long time. I bought the Ipaq nearly 5 months ago. LOVE IT! It's easy to use, works well with your PC or laptop. As well as the office tools, I have audio books, regular books, games and music and video on mine. There are lots of support sites on line, to help you get even more out of your Ipaq. These units were difficult to find for most of the year, but they are starting to appear in volume now. Show me a palm that can do all that, and in colour! Buy one, and I doubt you will regret it.
There is no doubt that the iPaq is a fantastic product (like most products that Compaq have come up with), but there is perhaps a little too much hype around it. Because of the way it has been marketed, far too many reviews have focused only on the positive points. The iPaq uses the "Pocket PC" (basically a new version of Microsoft Windows CE 3) - which, it has to be said, is nothing special. In all fairness, that is not Compaq's fault. The interface isn't terribly easy to use, but has some solid and interesting features once you have mastered it. It has 32MB RAM and uses a (supplied) cradle connected by USB cable to computer, with built in mains power/battery recharger. The most irritating thing about this product, which most reviews have overlooked, is the lack of ability to expand it. You cannot simply add expansion cards or a modem. Firstly you have to purchase an "expansion jacket", which rather detracts from the stylish look of the pocket PC. Then you have to purchase the expansion cards to use with it. This is all additional cost. I would have liked to have seen more connectivity on this device. If you have a mobile phone with infrared port and built in modem, you're OK. However, most of us don't. You have to buy an expansion jacket, a card modem from Compaq and a compatible GSM kit to use with your mobile. It might be argued that this device was not designed for mobile Internet access - so why include Pocket IE and Pocket Outlook Express? It boasts a colour screen and automatically adjusting backlight, which does a good job of preserving battery power. Standard applications include Microsoft Pocket Office suite, Money and, most interestingly: Windows Media Player. This allows you to play MP3s using the device using either its built in speaker, or headphones. Remember though, 32MB is the limit - MP3 takes up roughly 1MB/min. Unfortunately, there is no built in
keyboard, which makes text input a little difficult. Handwriting recognition is excellent however. A great device if you want something stylish that you can mess around with at business meetings and pretend you are taking notes. Not for you if you want to surf the Net, write letters on the move, or store huge amounts of music. Watch out for the varying prices - some retailers charge as little as £358, whereas some charge as much as £450 for this item. Check around first.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding this product, but has it been worth it? The Compaq Ipaq has two names. The Ipaq 3650, that is the model sold directly by Compaq to the consumer. The Ipaq 3630 is the model sold by third parties such as jungle.com. There is no difference in the products, just the name. The Ipaq uses the new windows CE operating System, Windows CE 3.0 or otherwise known as the pocket pc operating system. Previous versions of the OS were slow, sluggish and prone to crashing. This time Microsoft have got it right, and it's not hard to pick up because most of us are familiar to windows, and as the name suggests, it is similar. The Ipaq is supplied with a docking cradle, and the best thing is that it is USB. USB (universal serial bus) is the quickest way to synchronise, and is especially important when synchronising large files. The Ipaq is a cool, sleek looking device, and is certainly one of the best-designed products of the year, visually speaking. It has a shiny alloy look and finish making it look brilliant. It is very light at only 8 ounces. The lightest of the pocket pcs. It's not all looks though, behind the flashy exterior is the fastest processor ever seen in a PDA. At 206MHz is blows the opposition away, and the speed difference is noticeable. A palm has a 20MHz processor to put it in context, but of course, uses a simple operating system. The Ipaq boasts the standard 32MB RAM, which is needed if you are going to take full advantage of what it can do. The Ipaq uses 16MB flash ROM, which means that the ROM is upgradeable, or in other words, you can upgrade to the next version of the OS. With other devices, you’re stuck with what you got, as the Ipaq is the only pocket pc to use the technology. The Ipaq uses expansion jackets instead of integrating expansion into the device. This is the most controversial feature of the Ipaq and has received harsh criticism.
There are good points for the expansion packs though. Firstly the Casio devices have integrated Flash expansion facilities but there is no more room for expansion. With the Ipaq you can choose which expansion pack you have on at a time, to suit your needs. The jackets available at the moment are the compact flash jacket and the PC card expansion. Both enable modems to be attached and internet access therefore possible. With compact flash memory cards, extra memory can be added. The IBM microdrive can hold 1GB of data! But at £500, it more than doubles the cost of the Ipaq. GPS expansion may become available. This enables you to pinpoint your position anywhere on Earth! Unfortunately, there are bad points to the expansion packs too. Firstly it adds bulk and weight to the sleek little device. Some may argue it protects the device, but all it did to mine was scratch it! Also, the price is a bad point. It adds price to an already expensive piece of equipment. You’ll pay about £40 for the CF expansion pack and about £90 for the PC card expansion system. Compaq do give you a voucher for them though, and it’s about £20! The Ipaq is supplied with some good software. As part of the pocket pc OS, it comes with the pocket office suite. This includes pocket versions of word, excel, money, outlook, internet explorer and media player. Also they include Microsoft reader, which enables e-books to be read, and Microsoft transcriber, an exceptional handwriting recognition program. The screen is capable of showing 4,000 colours, whereas the Casio devices can produce 65,000. 61,000 may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. The difference is barely noticeable. Compaq makes up for this with one of the Ipaq’s best features. The screen can be seen in all lighting conditions. Even in direct sunlight, the screen is 100% visible, and this could be a winning feature for Compaq. The ambient light sensor is another great feature, i
t senses light and adjusts the screen brightness accordingly. Say you go into a tunnel on a train, the screen will suddenly become brighter. This is a good way to save on battery life, and at 12 hours it’s the best of all the pocket pcs. The Ipaq is capable of playing many types of media. With pocket media player it is possible to play mp3 tracks. You can just plug in a pair of headphones and listen away. A nice feature is that you can listen to the music while using another application. Secondly, the Ipaq can play mpeg videos. With some software like pocket tv you watch short movie clips and animations in the palm of your hand. Also, using Microsoft reader, it is possible to read e-books. This is a new type of format that allows publishers books to be viewed on a screen instead of on a page. The advantage is that it takes up less physical space. These media formats take up a lot of room though. E-books are about 500k, mp3 is 1MB per minute as is mpeg video. If you are particularly interested in using these features a memory card may be a worthy investment. The Ipaq’s price varies widely. It is as cheap as £350 at some places, and as expensive as £450 at others. I managed to get jungle.com down to £353 after I saw it at gb.buy.com for that amount. But gb.buy.com don’t seem to have them anymore. Everywhere seems to have put up the price now as well, which shocked me. Getting hold of one of these devices at the moment is proving rather difficult. Compaq don’t seem able to meet the huge demand for the Ipaq. I think we will be lucky to see these units in the shops for Christmas. I was lucky, I got one of the earlier batches so I have mine now. The rarity is due to a parts shortage. There are a great demand for LCD screens because of the new popularity of PDAs and mobile phones. I think the huge delay is partly due to Compaq’s incompetence! The Ipaq definitely deserves the hype it gets, and hopef
ully they will become more available soon. It is great product, and is certainly the best pocket pc. PDAs are mainly for work and organisation, but the Ipaq is so much more!
OK, from the title you may have already guessed that I am really impressed with my new iPaq. Having had almost every Palm and Psion, I have watched the PocketPC (what was WindowsCE) gain in maturity and come of age. I looked at the HP and the Casio but being vain I liked the look of the iPaq the best so I started hunting one down. I recieved mine 2 days ago, having sold my Psion5 in anticipation and have not regretted it one bit. The iPaq looks very good and is very light, the screen has superb clarity both indoors and out and makes it a joy to add contacts, appointments etc. The Compaq specific buttons and utilities are also excellent as I prefer to close the applications when I am done with them and not let the OS held memory/battery use. The USB cradle that comes in the box is sturdy and syncing with both my laptop & home pc is quick and easy. On the down side, I have 2 areas that I think would make the iPaq utterly unbelivable, that is a printed users guide (the enclosed CDRom looks nice but does not really help) and the leather pouch was abit bigger to hold the iPaq with a expansion cover. The other thing is I cannot get it to send files via IR to a W2K Professional PC, but this may just be me? This apart, small gripes I think you will agree. In summary the iPaq is awesome, good looks, speedy, long battery life, upgrade options (via flash RAM) and if you want a PDA and share files and data that this has to be the only option. Buy one now and you will not regret it ... i promise =)