HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

Introduction

If youíve been poking around at SLCentralís previous reviews, you might have noticed that very recently I reviewed the Mitac 338 Plus Pocket PC, which carries very similar specifications compared to the HP iPaq 2210 Pocket PC, which is what we are looking at today.

The iPaq 2210 is a mid-range Pocket PC and is considered a business Pocket PC. But, the iPaq 2215 is the same exact PDA, but is considered a personal user PDA. The model #ís are different just for HP to be able to track consumer vs. business purchases either.

So letís get into the review on the HP iPaq 2210 Pocket PC.

main view of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

Specifications

Connectivity, std. - Integrated Bluetooth™ (ver. 1.1), wireless ready with the addition of WLAN 802.11b card (CF or SDIO)

Expansion slot - SD slot: SD, SDIO, and MMC support; CF Slot: Compact Flash Type I and II

Processor - Intel® 400 MHz processor with XScale technology

Memory, std. - 64 MB SDRAM (56K main memory)

Display - Transflective 3.5" TFT liquid crystal display with LED backlight, 64K colors 16-bit, 240 x 320 resolution

Input type - Pen and touch interface

Audio - Microphone, speaker, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, MP3 stereo (through audio jack)

External i/o ports - Interface with USB/Serial connectivity that connects via serial or USB cable

Dimensions (L x W x H) - 4.54 x 3.00 x 0.61 in.

Weight - 5.1 oz

Warranty, std. - 1-year limited

Software included with product (on ROM) - Microsoft® Windows® 2003 for Pocket PC, iPAQ Backup, iPAQ File Store, iPAQ Image viewer, iPAQ Task Manager, Bluetooth Manager, Nevo Universal Remote control, and more

Software included on CD - Microsoft® Outlook®, Microsoft ActiveSync® 3.7, Media Player, Adobe PDF viewer, presenter-to-go, ClearVue Suite, F-Secure File Crypto, Pocket Watch, and more

What's in the box - hp iPAQ Pocket PC h2210, USB Desktop cradle/charger, AC adapter, Slip case, battery, getting started poster, charger adapter, hp iPAQ Pocket PC Companion CD

Design

At first look, you can tell that the 2210 is one sexy PDA. Not only is it small, but itís designed so well, itís almost mesmerizing. The chrome accents on the buttons shine so beautifully, and the black hand grips on both sides are stylish, and makes the unit much more comfortable to hold. Shall we go into detail of the design of the iPaq 2210?

On the front of the unit, youíll find six buttons, as well as the 3.5" LCD screen. Obviously, thereís the power button, which is wisely placed on the top of the unit. Also on the top of the unit is the microphone which can be used for voice recording. On the bottom front, youíll find the shortcut buttons, defaults are Calendar, Contacts, Inbox, and iTask. Iíll be sure to get into each of these, as well as the other programs on this PDA later. Finally, on the front of the unit, youíll find the stylish navigational joystick. I must say that the joystick was a pleasure to use. It was very comfortable, moved around very easily, and it looks great! The real crowd-pleaser, though, is the beautiful 3.5" Transflective TFT color screen with LED frontlight display. The screen looks nothing short of amazing. All colors are sharp, dazzling, and just great, bottom line.

main view of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

On the back of the unit, youíll find a few things. First is the battery compartment. Unlike the Mitac 338 Plus, this unit features replaceable batteries. If you need long battery life, you can always buy an extra battery and pop it in when your primary battery dies. Youíll also find the speaker on the back of the unit. I canít see a plus in having the speaker in the back, instead of in the front. Sound isnít as easily heard when listening to music or watching video on the unit without headphones, since the sound is being directed away from you, and not toward you. I guess HP put the speaker on the back to save room so the front looks better. Finally on the back, youíll find the soft reset button. Unfortunately, there is no hard reset button on this unit. In order to hard reset the unit, you have to press the soft reset button, as well as the Calendar and iTask buttons at the same time. I tell you, this is damn near impossible.

back view of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

The only thing on both sides of this unit is the comfortable black hand grips. This was a great addition to this PDA, and should be added on others. It makes the unit much easier to hold when itís in your hands for a long period of time (for example, when watching video).

left side view of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

HP didnít include a voice recorder button on this unit. I can only see this as a plus because with the Mitac 338 Plus, I accidentally pressed this button when it was in my pocket countless of times. Not too many people need access to the voice recorder feature instantly, so I thought it was wise of HP to get rid of the button thatís pretty much standard with other PDAís.

On the top of the unit, youíll find quite a few things. First off, youíll see the Smart Media/MMC expansion slot, which is used to add more memory to the unit. Right next to that, youíll see the protective covering blocking the entrance to the Compact Flash slot. Pulling it out is very easy, and once itís out, you can add your Co mpact Flash memory card, or any other Compact Flash accessory (modem, 802.11, etc). Also on top is the stylus holder, and the headphone jack (standard 3.5mm size).

top view of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

The HP 2210 is pretty small, also, smaller then any other PDA Iíve seen. It is about an inch smaller in length compared to the Mio 338 Plus, but it is slightly wider. The unit weighs 5.1 ounces though, a little hefty in my opinion, but definitely manageable.

The 2210 also comes with a very stylish cradle, that connects to your PC via USB or Serial (no USB 2.0 just yet), as well as charges your unit. You can even put in a spare battery and charge that while youíre charging the unit itself. Very cool, huh, itís what I call multitaskingJ .

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC Cradle

Features

The HP iPaq 2210 has a plethora of features onboard. Weíll go through the list.

First off, the 2210 features the 400MHz Intel XScale CPU, which is one fast sucker. Imagine, 400MHz in this little unit. Just a few years ago, it was hard to imagine 400MHz in a desktop. Now look at this technologyÖ itís really incredible.

The 2210 has 64MB of memory, and 57.11MB of it is available to the user. I already have the entire unit filled with MP3ís! The 64MB is standard in PDAís now, and its suitable for pretty much everyone.

But if you need more space, the 2210 offers two, count Ďem two, expansion slots, one a Compact Flash (Type I and Type II) slot, as well as a SM/MMC slot, so youíll be ready for any upgrades needed.

The 2210 is wireless (802.11) ready, just pop in your Compact Flash wireless card, and youíre ready to go. It would have been nice to see built-in wireless, but what can you expect from a $400 unit? But it does have Bluetooth 1.1, which is very nice. Technology is starting to see more and more devices that support Bluetooth, and while itís not yet a standard in PDAís, newer models usually have Bluetooth.

As I said previously, the 2210 has a 3.5" TFT LCD display that is just stunning. It has 64,000 colors, is a 16-bit screen, and has a 240x320 resolution. BeautifulÖ

Obviously, the 2210 has a microphone, a speaker, as well as MP3 playback (through the included Windows Media Player 9). MP3 playback is awesome, and Iím using the unit as my music player while my Rio Riot is in for service. Quality is great, and itís very easy to use. Just pop in a big Compact Flash card and you can fit quite a few tunes on your PDA!

Just announced a few weeks ago was the Microsoft Pocket PC 2003 Operating System, and with surprise, the 2210 has the 2003 version installed! I couldnít find any significant difference between 2002 and 2003 though. Iíll explain the differences later in this review.

You can use the iPaq 2210 as your TV remote control, too! I tested it with my Sony 32" TV, my Motorola/Comcast Digital Cable box, as well as my Denon receiver, all worked great! It did not, however, support my Lite-On LVR-1001 DVD player, but this is understandable. While it is a great concept, and it does work great, itís just a pain to have to take out the stylus every time you want to change the channel. Iíd stick with the regular remote control for now.

The 2210 also has its fair share of software included, but Iíll explain that later.

Windows Pocket PC 2003

Iíve been using the iPaq 2210 for the past two weeks, and when comparing to the 2002 version of the Windows Pocket PC operating system, I canít see a significant difference between the two. But, just for all you people that are curious, Iíll go through the main differences.

The Today screen (much like the Desktop in Windows) looks almost exactly the same as the 2002 predecessor, with the exception of one minor addition. Itís the small Connectivity Icon, right next to the volume control button. Basically, when you click it, it shows you the connection to the internet youíre using, as well as a button to set up the internet if not already done.

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC Windows Screen Shot

The 2003 version also has a much better IE. It can now show much more advanced things on websites, unlike the previous versions.

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC IE Screen Shot

Windows Media Player 9 is included, which looks different then the previous WMP 8, but if offers basically the same features. Added though, is a personal volume control for Windows Media Player, so you can mute the audio/video, for example, but still have system sounds on.

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC Media Screen Shot

Finally, Microsoft added a Pictures viewer, which lets you easily look at all your pictures on the device.

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC Pictur Viewer Screen Shot

Those are really the only differences between the 2002 and 2003Östupid isnít it? Makes me think about why Microsoft released Windows ME, same situation, right?

Software

The 2210 comes with a plethora of software.

Probably the coolest would be Nevo, which lets you use the 2210 as a remote control for your entire home theatre. Instead of explaining this feature again, here is a copy and paste from a previous section of this review:

You can use the iPaq 2210 as your TV remote control, too! I tested it with my Sony 32" TV, my Motorola/Comcast Digital Cable box, as well as my Denon receiver, all worked great! It did not, however, support my Lite-On LVR-1001 DVD player, but this is understandable. While it is a great concept, and it does work great, itís just a pain to have to take out the stylus every time you want to change the channel. Iíd stick with the regular remote control for now.

HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC Screen Shot

Really besides those two pieces of software, thereís nothing too different between this and the other PDAís out there. Hereís a list of the other software included:

The unit does have a lot of software, but not much more then the standard amount. Itís nothing to complain about though.

Performance

When testing performance, I had to decide to benchmark or not. I ended up deciding not to for a few reasons. First of all, there arenít really any programs on the Pocket PC that are that CPU reliant. Second, pretty much all Pocket PCís with matching CPUís perform the same, and third, I do not have any comparison results from another PDA.

Battery Life

When using various programs, such as Pocket Word, Solitaire, and Calendar, battery life died in about 4 hours and 35 minutes, which is very impressive. Keep in mind this is using the full screen brightness setting.

Syncing

It is actually very easy to sync data from and to the PDA. Once you have the cradle set up, youíll need to install both ActiveSync, as well as Microsoft Outlook (2002 is included, but any version should be OK). Both are included on the CD.

Once you set up ActiveSync correctly, once you place the PDA on the cradle, the computer will take all your e-mails, contacts, calendar entries, tasks, etc. from your Outlook data file and dump them on the PDA. Donít worry, if you donít want a specific item (such as your Inbox), you can always remove it from the sync list.

When adding documents, files, additional programs, etc, you donít use Outlook or ActiveSync. Instead, you go to My Computer, Explorer, or whatever program you use, and just go to the "Mobile Device," which is automatically added when your PDA is detected. From here, you can easily transfer files back and forth from PDA to computer. The computer will need to transfer files to a specific PDA-compatible format, however.

The cradle uses USB 1.1, which can be a pain when uploading big files to the PDA (or the extra memory in your Compact Flash or SM/MMC slot). It took quite some time to get my partial music collection on my 128MB CF card. But, since the device has a limited amount of memory, the wait isnít significant.

Cradle View of the HP iPAQ 2210 Pocket PC

Conclusion

I must say that I was very impressed with the HP iPaq 2210 PDA. Itís fast, stylish, useful, and flat-out great!

On top of that, itís very reasonably priced, which is surprising. This unit packs in quite a big load of features, and yet HP still manages to make it priced so that an average business user, or even your average Joe can go pick one up at their local CompUSA. The HP 2210/2215 sure is a great deal.

If anyone is looking for a good Pocket PC, then you definitely want to check out the 2210.

Pros:

Fast

Stylish

Lots of Programs

Small

Bluetooth

Expandable

Lots of Memory

Cons:

No WiFi

SLRating: 9.5/10

Due to a reformat and my stupidity of forgetting to back up the "My Pictures" folder in which all of my reviewís pictures are located, I, with permission from Justin at FastLaneHW.com, have borrowed all pictures and screenshots shown in this review from www.FastLaneHW.com. Be sure to check out their site, as well as Justinís review on the HP 2210/2215 by clicking here. Thanks, Justin!



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