Hewlett-Packard iPaq 210 Enterprise Handheld

GCN Lab review


"The computer is personal again,' states Hewlett-Packard's latest marketing campaign. The new 4.96-inch by 2.99-inch by 0.63-inch, 6.8-ounce iPaq 210 is so bulky that the marketing statement seems literally true.

HP jammed everything but the kitchen sink into this handheld. Unfortunately, they decided not to include a phone, which means that you have to carry two devices, one of them a PDA that seems easily large enough to house a phone.

Despite its size issues, the PDA is a solid performer. Powered by a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 operating system running on a 624 MHz Marvell PXA310 processor, the HP 210 delivers the Microsoft Office suite applications at lightning-fast speed. It was so good at running Office, we soon found Mobile Office too primitive for the handheld and wished for a more beefed-up version. For the size of the unit, it would have also been good to see a QWERTY keyboard, but you're stuck hunting and pecking awkwardly with a stylus.

It seems as though HP took few creative steps to make it anything special, instead relying on older, time-tested philosophies. But at $450, there are more exciting alternatives that deliver just as much in performance and come with the bells and whistles associated with the price point.

An example of this tried-and-tested approach is the inclusion of a Compact Flash slot. Few people use this media anymore compared to the more popular Secure Digital, and CF slots take up a lot of space that could have accommodated a phone or keyboard.

Like the iPhone, the 210 uses Bluetooth 2.0 and has a larger, 4-inch VGA thin-film transistor touch screen. However, the iPaq also shares a fault with the iPhone in the form of its built-in battery. This represents a move away from what made the older iPaqs so great: Everything was removable, making them fully customizable. This isn't the case anymore.

But despite these drawbacks, if you're in the market for old and reliable and don't mind spending half a grand, look no further than the iPaq 210.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above