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HP iPAQ hx4700 PDA Review

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Impressions and Conclusions

The new iPAQ flagship turned out quite a reliable and high quality model. This device is packed with innovations – they include a VGA display (the first in this series), touchpad, 624 MHz processor of the new generation, high capacity battery, and many others. What concerns classical HP solutions, hx4700 inherited a couple of radio interfaces – Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, periphery, and the control system. The only exception in hx4700 is the use of two expansion slots – CF SDIO: as you may know, the previous iPAQ model of this class supported only SDIO.

Overall impression of the iPAQ hx4700 is good. The bright, sharp, high contrast and smooth display of this device is especially impressive. Its performance is up to the mark as well, this device is practically on a par with the best QVGA models in the interface response times despite its 4 times as large display area. Metallic casing is convenient and reliable. And the set of features in the new iPAQ is very good, though actually not that different from the old models.

We have three minor complaints. Firstly, touchpad is not always convenient. Theoretically, the engineers should have combined the touchpad with traditional mechanical buttons. Secondly, RAM capacity is only 64 MB – this is not actually an inconvenience but it arouses some questions. Thirdly, hx4700 is a tad oversized and hefty – it's not a big problem in itself, but the form factor of the h4150 still seems preferable.

But the negative issues mentioned above are not too critical, and the hx4700 remains one of the best top PDAs today. For now it directly competes with two VGA models – ASUS MyPal A730 and Toshiba e800. Both models are generally slower than the hx4700: Toshiba – due to its 400 MHz processor, ASUS – also due to its slower CPU, plus not a very good memory system. So, for now the hx4700 is the fastest hi-tech Pocket PC, though expensive. But the final top class disposition for this season will become clear only after two more VGA PDAs are released – from Dell and Fujitsu-Siemens.

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Ivan Melnichuk (ivan_melnichuk@ixbt.com)

November 18, 2004
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