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Review of PDAs

The HP iPaq hx2790 sticks to the basics, but has just enough entertainment potential and business abilities to satisfy almost everyone. With the addition of Windows Mobile 5 there are even more tools for getting things done while on the go. At around $500.00 it is one of the most expensive PDAs on the market. The hx2790 also lacks the high-resolution screen compared to that of competing products, such as the Dell Axim X51v and the Palm TX. If security is very important to you, the HP iPaq hx2790 has a biometric fingerprint reader.

The HP iPaq hx2790 has a sturdy frame and case. It is designed with rounded corners and protective rubber inserts that offer extra protection against abuse. This gray and silver PDA measures 3 x 4.7 x 0.6 inches and weighs 6.4 ounces. It is a little heaver and longer than similar devices, but still feels good in your hand. A smoked-plastic screen cover is included but it does add half an ounce to the package and it does not flip all the way over.

The HP iPaq hx2790 features a 3.5-inch display screen and shows 65,536 colors but has a QVGA (240 x 320) resolution that cannot compete with other similar devices such the Dell Axim X51v, which puts out four times as many pixels. Despite the resolution, the hx2790 still is bright and rich enough for most peoples needs, and the text is very easy to read. This device has four instant-start application buttons just below the screen for those in a hurry, and a fingerprint reader to help protect data and to access the system.

The HP iPaq hx2790 comes equipped with Secure Digital and CompactFlash expansion slots for those who like to have flash memory. They are located on the top of the device and accept even the thicker CompactFlash hard drives, such as the IBM, or the Hitachi Micro-drive modules. For listening to tunes on the go, this PDA has a standard headphone jack that is next to the card slots. There is also a lone voice-record button on the left side. The hx2790 is packaged with an AC adapter and a desktop cradle. Accessories such as a Bluetooth GPS kit and a snap-on thumb keyboard are not included but are available to purchase separately.

The addition of Microsoft Windows Mobile 5, an evolutionary update to the Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition used on the hx2750 model is the biggest improvement. This device has a handy Power Point viewer along with enhancements to mobile versions of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, and Outlook. After the screen orientation is set to landscape to mimic a monitor, this can turn it into a one-on-one presentation device.

Like several other PDAs on the market today, the HP iPaq hx2790 comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios for maximum data flexibility. Using the included USB cradle, synchronizing data with a host PC works well. This PDA is equipped with a 1,440mAh lithium-ion battery, which lasts for approximately 5 hours and 22 minutes of constant use. A double-capacity battery pack is available for $130.00, which would make it possible to leave the AC charger home for approximately two days. It does add another ounce to the weight of this device. The HP iPaq2790 generally works well in a variety of different ways, from e-mail to iPod replacement to video viewer. The price of the HP iPaq2790 can set you back $450.00 - $500.00. There is an occasional delay in reacting to commands but despite the price and the delay reaction, the iPaq2790 is one of the best PDAs available on the market today.

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