Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2007
I have very mixed feelings about this review. The HP IPAC rx1955 has a lot of potential. After several weeks of owning it, I have come to some conclusions. When working well, it is amazing to have such resources as E-mail and I-messaging, E-banking, map locations, directions, traffic flow, weather radar and news and even streaming video, all in the palm (no pun intended) of your hand. The unit is small, lightweight and stylish. It easily fits into a shirt pocket even with its nylon case. Now, the not so good. HP has designed it with a huge shortcoming of only 25 MB of operating memory. The operating system immediately uses about half of that. Also, the built in storage is only 30 MB, so adding an SD card is mandatory. I make it a habit of going to the "system" tab and shutting down un-needed software to retain a margin of 5 MB of operating memory. This is way too small. I attribute many of the "lock-up" complaints of owners to the background accumulation of running programs. I also go through a shut-down procedure of shutting off all programs and shutting down the WiFi before turning the unit completely off. However, I have still found myself doing just too many soft resets - several a day. I know I have the latest updated software, since I verified it with HP. It's an annoyance, but I'm still somewhat pleased with unit when it operates properly.
Working with the OS is a bit tricky. You need to find software programs and websites that work within the pocket PC framework and unfortunately, within the small operating memory of this unit. Normal websites do not always give satisfying results. Text passages may overlap and become unreadable or link buttons do not show up. I discovered these software to be useful for the HP pocket PC:
Google Maps for Pocket PC - This site is simply amazing. You can search locations and business, see traffic flow patterns, drag the map continously across the screen. You will need to download their software and install it through your desktop while it is synched-up to your pocket pc.
Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC - Many websites offer downloadable .pdf files that need this software to be viewed. Again, you must install it through a synched desktop.
WiFiFoFum - While the HP unit lists available access points (but no bars), this software actually gives a numeric listing of their received power in dbm (better than bars)
Pocket PC friendly websites include:
[...] - This site gives a selection of streaming video from around the US and the world. This is also amazing to see on your pocket PC. I watched a clip of the Beatles performing "Help!"
(...)- This site gives Pocket PC friendly formatted weather reports and maps.
A word about E-banking. Don't give up if you don't find sign-in and sign-out links when the banks website is viewed on the pocket PC. Go to your desktop and find the source URL for these buttons and then type that URL as a "favorite" into your Pocket PC. It will take you directly to a sign-in page.

Update 6-9-07
I have had the HP rx1955 for over 3 months now and I like it so much, I just bought another as a spare from Amazon.com. The model has been discontinued and I don't know if HP is going to continue the rx19XX line. If it does, I would recommend that HP keeps the same form factor and add more user available memory. As I have settled into a routine of closing un-needed programs rather than let them run in the background, there has been less need for doing soft resets. If you adjust to the limits of this model, it will serve you well with its portability. You must also treat it as if it is a small picture frame with a thin pane of glass. I'd say only put it in a shirt pocket and no other pocket where pressure can be applied. I found a small aluminum case that was used to hold a designer wallet and I keep it in that with some packing material when traveling. It for sure beats a clunky laptop when flying. As to WEB surfing, the unit will handle 95% of websites, but there are a few sites that will consider the Windows Mobile 5.0 browser "outdated" and will give you that message. I ran into this when my Credit Union "upgraded" its login procedures and suddenly I could no longer do electronic banking. However, in another case, I was able to monitor the progress of an expected airline flight arrival and even see the local weather radar on the rx1955 as a severe thunderstorm approached the area.
After three months, I would add another star to my review. Also, for all the people that complain about the stylus falling out - make sure the top of the stylus is (gently) screwed on tight. Even a partial loosening of that top can prevent the stylus from engaging a tiny detent inside the unit. Hence the stylus will tend to fall out.
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Product Details

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
73 global ratings