Product Type: Hewlett-Packard Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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HP Jornada 545
Member Name: zpyder
HP Jornada 545
Date: 25/01/01, updated on 25/01/01 (275 review reads)
Advantages: stylish, small, functionable,synchronises well with your pc
Disadvantages: small amount of memory(16 MB), not as powerful as other devices on the market, only 12-bit colours.
The first and so far only pda I’ve ever owned is the Jornada 545. And I must say, it’s extremely good value.
I’ll try and write this opinion so that it’s most helpful for first time buyers of a pda (like I was), as I think the 545 is the best pda for a first time user/buyer.
The Jornada 545 was one of the launching machines for Microsoft’s ‘pocket pc’ this is really an upgraded version of Win CE (Win CE 3.0). Before pocket pc, Win Ce was extremely slow, and lacked features, and so it didn’t really take off. Because of that, Microsoft decided to give it a new name in hope that people would forget it’s still Win Ce underneath.
Even though it is Win Ce, it’s a very good improvement. Before I go any further, I feel I should stress that if you’re looking for a pda just for basic organising functions, have a look at the handspring or the palm pda’s, as these excel in this area. If you’re looking for a pda that offers a little bit more, then a Pocket Pc is right up your street.
Also, if you’re torn between a handheld and a palmtop (Handhelds have keyboards like a laptop for input, palmtops just have the screen), it really depends on what you’re going to use it for. I once heard someone say that handhelds are mainly for use independently without a desktop pc, and palmtops are more for use in conjunction with a desktop pc. I reckon this sums up the difference very well, as obviously you’re not going to be wanting to write a 10 A4 page essay tapping away at a screen, rather you’ll be wanting to use a keyboard (you can buy keyboards for palmtops though), and you’re not going to want to have something which is slightly too large to fit in your pocket just for keeping a large number of contacts and addresses!
The pocket pc is brimmed with features, the Os comes with pocket word, excel, media player, Internet explorer, reader, an
d money as standard. It also has the normal organising features like contacts, calendar, and tasks.
The 545 has an in-built speaker, which is ok-ish for mp3 playback, though it drains the battery quickly and isn’t as good as headphones by a long shot. Still, the price is ok if you bought it solely as an mp3 player, as you get extra features that are useful for mp3 but aren’t available in other players.
Pocket Internet explorer is really IE.3, and isn’t anything special, because the processing power of the pda, it takes a while to load pages, so I recommend only short periods using this pda for internet use.
All data you edit/create/remove on the device is synchronised via Activesync, and if you use the cradle which connects via USB, it doesn’t take long at all to update the device or your pc. The tasks, calendar, contacts, and emails are all synchronised with outlook, and a handy feature for the device is that you can create emails on the device and have them sent via outlook when you next synchronise it!
The OS is becoming more popular, and as a result a multitude of upgrade, addons, and programs are becoming available for it. One of the best things about the 545 is that you can change so much via programs you download on the Internet.
I have to talk now about the downsides of the devices, and why it’s a cheap pda to buy.
The main reasons are:
1, it only has 16 Mbs of ram, and so you can’t add too much to the device without slowing it down somewhat (the ram is used for storage AND running programs at the same time) I suggest you upgrade the memory at first chance by buying a 32 MB compact flash card. This’ll enable you to do much much more on the 545.
2, a software/hardware error in the device means that it can only display 12-bit colours, and not the 16-bit hp said it could. This isn’t too bad, and the fact that the screens colour makes up completely
for the lack of a few colours (when palms are greyscale anyway)
I have talked mainly about the different features that make the Jornada special, and I recommend before making any decision you read the other opinions on this device, as I have found that they vary greatly, and PDA’s are reasonably expensive, so you want to make sure you’re happy with your purchase.
I recommend this device for students mainly, as it’s durable, stylish, and functionable.