Should you get a PocketPC? Should you get the Ipaq H2215? Depends of course on what you want to do, what difference it will make in your life, is it worth the money. The price of the unit is without a memory card...and yes you will need a memory card. I have a 1GB card and it was worth the money. Was the Ipaq worth it? For me yes.
I also bought a foldable keyboard so add that to the price. I am a graduate student and I bought the Ipaq knowing it had a recording function. This is very handy for me in interview situations. I like being able to display PDFs, PowerPoints (not very usable but a nice 'toy' this since the slides are so small), word documents, EXCEL, etc. The addition of the keyboard actually allows me to create files and I really like the size of the Ipaq even with keyboard compared to a laptop.
Of course it is not all work. I had an audible.com subscription for a couple of years and can play my library on this. If you have never tried audible with a pocketpc...it is a worthwhile experience. I am an avid reader but I have found that there are times when listening to a book is just the thing. With 1GB it is not an Ipod but it gets the job done for me and the sound is very good with MP3s. Add avantgo, ebook reader, and ahem, Pocket Everquest and it is a pocket entertainment center.
It is also extemely verstile. To get an idea of what a pocket PC can do for you visit a website that had downloads of applications. I found a very nice scientific calculator with graphing functions that would be at least $70 or more dollars for $12 as a download today. I am also trying out something called pocket earth that is very interesting.
Why 4 stars? I didn't really need bluetooth and there are other products out there a bit less exsepsenive if you don't need that. But HP customer service is A1. If you ask an email question they usually reply within 24 hours although for my old Jornada it use to be within in an hour. The unit comes with a CD-ROM with multiple utlities that you will find useful. In addition to price (and it is a very fair price btw overall) I feel the battery life could be better. Granted size played into that but you will find yourself recharging quite often. In a way that is a backhanded good thing though, it means you are finding uses for it, even if they are frivolous. So if you are willing to spend the money for the unit AND the money for a memory card big enough to serve your needs AND the money for a keyboard if you plan on actually creating documents with the Ipaq and it still seems worth it, enjoy your new pocket computer and your new toy. I am.
on August 15, 2003
I owned Palm Vx for 3 years and finally found a decent color PDA that is sleek withhout sacrificing any features:
- Great navigation button for game lovers (even sony CLIE's aren't close)
- Integrated bluetooth
- Good display and good speed
- HP support was good when I had problem setting up AvantGo
- Even though HP doesn't mention bundled software, they did infact bundle quite good collection of software which I think is around [money amount]worth.
- The synchronization software that comes with Palm is useless. You have to buy additional software and configure it to really get all the contact information mapped to the Outlook contact fields. If you are going to synchonize with Outlook, think no other than Pocket PC based PDA.
- Notes support in Pocket PC sucks. PDA device vendors should start bundling HPC Notes software along with this until Microsoft decideds to make it better. Can't even filter notes by categories.
- Carry case should be flip-open type. You have to take the PDA out before using it.
Even if money is no constraint, I would still go for this model.
I still can't understand why it takes Sony so long to come up with a good mix of features that is sleek. Inspite of being a big Sony fan, I wouldn't pay $800 for Sony PEG-UX50.
Add value to your PDA by buying Pocket Informant or Agenda Fusion.
I gave 4 star instead of 5 because:
- I want it to be as sleek as iPAQ h1910 with iPAQ h2215 feature set
- Software like HPC Notes is not bundled
on July 7, 2003
If you are like me, you just want a good reason to buy the Pocket PC you are now looking at. BUY IT!
Why? Because the OS software and Sync software loads and operates flawlessly. HP answered every complaint ever made about PDA's from its competitors and its own PDA products. This machine tops them all. It was my last machine to review after three days of intense research. When I went to buy the second best, this unit had just hit the rack. After working with it and despite the fact there were no reviews out by other users, I took a chance because it looked and worked absolutely perfect. In the electronics department, this was one the smartest moves I ever made.
Before this, I didn't know what to buy: Pocket PC or Palm. How glad I am that I chose the IPAQ H2215. I am a minister of the gospel and loaded this thing with Bible software, a mini-word processor - heavy weight programs and they work like a dream. It is not a toy or a gadget - it is a wonderful tool!
The battery is replaceable and operates a good 5-6 hours in heavy use. The cradle connection is solid; there is no doubt that you are charging the unit. There is a place on the charger for a second battery, as the battery can be replaced by the user. Also, there is an adapter to permit you to charge on the road, without the cradle. Nothing extra to buy.
It uses both CF (compact flash) and SD Card, has blue tooth installed and the screen is marvelous. The processor is lightning fast. The unit fits in your shirt or pants pocket easy enough. If you work a lot away from the office or home desk top, this is the unit you want.
on October 7, 2003
I purchased this PDA after owning 3 Palm OS PDAs and after debating purchasing a Pocket PC PDA for alomst a year. I have no idea why I waited so long.
First off, the size and weight of this PDA are fantastic! Much smaller than the Dell that I almost bought. I bought the case with belt clip and I always have it with me when I am working.
Another huge advantage over the previous Palms that I owned - direct integration with my MS applications. It is fantastic to be able to directly open and modify Excel and Word documents without using a 3rd party software package.
The bluetooth feature is great. Another reviewer listed this as a con. They need to do some digging into the advantages of bluetooth. My whole house is wired for network so I have no need for 802.11 wireless access. Bluetooth is the perfect solution. I purchased a USB bluetooth adapter that has a 100 meter range for $24 and can sync my palm, send/receive emails, browse the web and access files from anywhere in my house. If I wanted to do that with a wireless network, I would have to buy a router for $100, buy a wireless adapter for my PC and then have a PDA with WiFi built in. HP makes one, but it is $655.00. Not only does it cost twice as much, it is much larger and much heavier.
You can't use Wireless with a phone or with GPS - two more reasons for bluetooth. You can also get bluetooth headphones and keyboards.
Overall, I love this thing. The speed is great. The screen is very sharp and the OS is very easy to use if you are familiar with Windows.
on June 22, 2003
The 2215 is the best PocketPC I have owned since the original iPAQ 3635 years ago. With built-in Bluetooth, CF, and SD, the iPAQ 2215 is highly expandable, in the smallest form factor of a device with such features. The unit is LIGHT, 5.1oz. The screen is brilliant as all those of iPAQ 39xx-onwards units. The sound quality through the internal speaker is loud, and through headphones loud and high-quality (with integrated Bass and Treble controls). Bluetooth works very well...I use it to sync with my laptop and connect to the net with my Nokia 3650. When I need high-speed internet, I pop in my Ambicom 802.11b CF card and I'm online. Microsoft's new PocketPC 2003 Operating System is the fastest thus far...Pocket Internet Explorer is much-improved, accomodating full-sized websites to the smaller screen. Windows Media Player 9 is also much-improved, particularly in playing videos. The iPAQ also has a universal universal remote control built-in (Nevo), and it works very well to control my home theater system.
Definately a thumbs-up...Never been happier with a device.
on July 30, 2003
I waited a long time for the new models to come out and ordered the 2215 as soon as it was available. It was worth it.
First off, let me say that the software upgrade from 2002 to 2003 is barely noticeable, except for a few connectivity features, one of which I've found very helpful. This version has a good Bluetooth Manager that makes connecting to a Bluetooth cell phone (such as a Sony/Ericsson T68) easy. With this feature, the cell phone can be used as a modem with a dialup internet service (e.g. MSN or Earthlink) for net access from anywhere with free nights and weekends, and in addition to the included email software and Internet Explorer just about all the net software you could want is available for PocketPC - AIM, ICQ, IRC, SSH.... If you want Wifi you'll need a CompactFlash addon card.
Pocket Word and Excel are useful but don't expect to write a book on it without an addon keyboard. The iPaq picture viewer with slideshow and thumbnails is a nice touch, works very well with the CompactFlash card from my digital camera.
As far as the hardware, you get 400MHz, 64MB, 2 kinds of expansion slots, Bluetooth and a very nice screen in a package that's an inch shorter and a fair bit sleeker than older iPaqs - definitely pocketable. The battery life is a good 8 hours (less if you're doing battery-draining things like running the screen at full brightness or playing Age of Empires). 64MB sounds like a lot but you'll use that up pretty quickly if you start installing software or downloading e-books - fortunately a Secure Digital expansion card works seamlessly and doesn't add to the size or weight of the device.
One complaint - the rubber grips on the sides are not attached as securely as I would have expected, and they are coming off. I fixed this with superglue.
Addendum, one year after purchasing:
The rubber grips came off completely, and I ended up calling HP about a week before the warranty ran out. They sent me new ones, no charge, and replacing them is very easy. I'm pretty sure they came off because the slip cover they include rubs against them, so I still recommend this PDA highly but advise you to get a different case for it.
I've been using Palm and Pocket PC / Windows CE devices for almost seven years now. Palm Pro, Palm IIIx, Visor, Visor Edge, several Clies, Nino, iPaq 3600, iPaq 3800, Jornada, Cassiopeia, Maestro, Razor Zayo...I'm hardly a newcomer here.
That said, every device had some sort of flaw. PalmOS was too limited to be a decent value, while Pocket PC / CE devices were too heavy to keep in my pocket. Finally, HP got it right.
The h2215 is the perfect balance between a powerful OS, powerful hardware, and a device you can truly keep in your pocket. The expansion options are absolutely wonderful -- you've got CF I/II and an SD slot that supports SDIO, so you'll always be able to have extra memory, without sacrificing wireless connectivity.
While Pocket PC 2003 isn't much different than 2002 in terms of cosmetics, it's a huge leap forward in terms of stability and ease of use. Connecting to wireless networks is a snap, and I've yet to have anything cause me to do a reset.
The h2215 is light, and easy to hold. The rubberized grips are absolutely perfect -- just light enough to keep the unit firmly in your hand, but not as uncomfortable as the grips on the side of the Dell Axim.
The best part (at least for me) is that old iPaq accessories work on the h2215. I was able to pull the sync cable I bought for my old 3800-series out of the closet, and plug it right in to the 2215 without any problems.
This is truly the best PDA I've ever carried. At this price, it's a steal.
on December 4, 2003
- Can use both CF cards and SD memory
- Decent battery life (Avg: 6-9 hours)
- Nevo is a pretty cool universal remote
- Docking station and Active Sync
- Integrated Bluetooth, would be better if it had 802.11b instead
- Media Player can't play avi files
- Wish it came with a vibration mode for alarm
I've had my iPAQ for the last 4 months and it's been least to say an experience. With it's calender program I'm able to organize my life because, college life is extremely chaotic. The calender is easy to tweak for editing the pattern or just a single occurance. For some time I was also using it as an MP3 player, while I was getting the kinks out of my Archos, which works properly now. The sound quality is superb, with and without headphones. The playlist feature is good considering that it uses Media Player 9(I'm not very fond of Media Player I still use 6.1 on my PC). In addition I've been able to play small MPEG's on it. However, it can't play AVI files that I make from my digital camera.
The resolution from pictures is pretty decent for the screen size (3in x 2.25in). The picture viewer prpogram runs a bit slow but it does the job. It comes with Nevo which is a good universal remote program that is easy to navigate. It uses Active Sync which allows you to syncronize email and calander between your iPAQ and PC.
Now I haven't been able to try Bluetooth (the campus I'm on uses 802.11b wireless) which is more common I think and would have been better than the integrated Bluetooth. I have been able to use the internet on it while it was connected to my PC. It wasn't complicated using the onscreen keyboard. For taking down quick notes it uses a handwriting recognition function because of course using the styllus on the keyboard can be a little tedious for some things.
The main reason I would recommend this iPAQ is that you can choose between two types of storage. The smaller SD memory, which is a little expensive or CF memory which which is cheaper. Not many Pocket PC's utilize CF memory and because the camera I have uses CF I decided to buy it.
At some point my iPAQ did stop functioning and I had to call HP tech support. I've seen lots of horror stories abobut them but I had a pretty easy time on thet phone with an ENGLISH speaking person with no accent. He was very helpful sent me a new battery (which was where the problem was) and I had my iPAQ back running in less than a week wait. I'm very happy now.
on July 31, 2005
This is a fine IPAQ Pocket Computer that packs lot of capacity into a small case:
-400 MHz Intel microprocessor
-Good 3.5-inch screen with backlight, 240 x 320 dot per inch, 16-bit color
-Pocket PC 2003 operating system. It is compatible with any Pocket PC 2003, 2002, and even with certain Windows CE 3.0 programs that are compatible with the ARM microprocessor.
-64 MB of memory
-Accepts Secure Digital and CompactFlash II memory cards so you can expand the computer memory beyond 64 megabytes.
-Replaceable battery (it is easy to access the battery by opening the lid on the back of the pocket pc). This is much better than pocket computers with built-in or nonreplaceable batteries because these types of PDAs are usually too costly or difficult to repair if the batteries die for good.
Battery life is about 12 hours and recharging time is 4 hours.
-Built-in headphone jack, integrated speaker, and microphone.
-Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Explorer, MP3 and Media Windows Player and so you can easily synchronize the files on this pocket pc with your desktop computer.
-Has a picture viewer and eBook reader.
-There is a large selection of pocket pc programs you can run. You can go to a website like www.amazon.com or on the Internet to pay for these programs online and download them to your computer.
-You can input data into this PDA by using the built-in stylus to tap an onscreen keyboard, or you can use the various other input modes like "recognize" mode which will convert your writing into text with 2 or 3 simple steps.
If you want a portable, full-size keyboard for the IPAQ 2215 then you want to get the HP FA118A#ABA IPAQ Foldable Keyboard (Product Number 249711-002). This keyboard is handy for inputting a large amount of data quickly and folds up into a very compact size for easy portability.
-This pocket pc only comes with Wireless Bluetooth, but it is easy to add other wireless connectivity by getting a wireless adapter like the Linksys Wireless-G Compact Flash Card WCF54G. This state-of-the-art wireless adapter is compatible with 802.11g and 802.11b (2.4 GHz) standards, has a throughput of up to 54 Mbps, and supports up to 128-bit WEP encryption security.
I bought a refurbished IPAQ 2215 with 1-year warranty from Amazon.com and it is reliable as any new IPAQ pocket pc.
on August 4, 2003
I got this PDA for a few weeks now. There are so many nice things said about it already; seems like there is no need to say anything more. Let me just try to mention the extra nice surprises I found.
On hp's website comparing the ipaqs, it says only the 5000 models has mutiple input methods: transcriber, block (graffiti), letter recongnition and soft keyboard; while the 1900 and 2200 models has only soft keyboard. I almost chose the Dell Axim over the ipaq for this! Just let me be clear, this ipaq 2215 has all four input methods built-in.
Some reviews on Amazon complain about the lack of documentation. Well, the box does have very little paper, but the 200+ pages of users manual is right on the CD-ROM. I have found all the answers I want from the manual so far. And I think it's great now they are not shipping heavy manuals. With electronic versions, whoever wants a hard copy can print it out. And those who don't need it will save trees. Moreover, it is more portable and easier to search with electronic books! The saved printing cost and shipping cost will benefits the buyers eventually.
Let me also briefly point out what this handheld can save you: the Nevo univeral remote program works perfectly (with easy on-line info and download), that save you 100-200 bucks on a high quality learning universal remote. (By the way, have you ever been in a public place, like airport or restaurant, where you find those TVs too loud? You can control them with your own remote! Ha!) If you need a graphics scientific calculator, there are a lot of not-too-expensive downloads to do the job; another 50-100 bucks saved. It serves well as a digital picture frame for slide shows with hp built-in viewer (better than the microsoft's "pictures" program). And of course, it can easily replace your mp3 player, and voice recorder if you uses one.
I guess there is something less than desirable about the ipaq in a way: It's too new and too hot! I bought a mini keyboard for it the other day but returned it coz it only works with older ipaqs. I bought a really nice Linksys CF wireless card too, and again returned. Linksys told me their CF wireless cards don't work with PC2003, yet at least. They are working on the new drivers. So, if you have some older accessories, keep in mind they might not work, although there might be new update drivers later. The ONLY other thing that is a little disappointed is that the windows media pocket version only support mp3, wma (audio) and wmv (video) files, but not mpg. So you have to convert mpg into wmv with some external programs if you want your own video clips portable. Just typical microsoft's strategy to monopolize the market. How sad.
But all in all, if you buy this *really hot* pocket PC now, you won't regret it later.