Hewlett Packard’s iPAQ 2215 Pocket PC

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Let’s how this iPAQ measures up.


WHAT’S
HOT

This Pocket PC is a completely fresh design. It
breaks from the traditional sleeve bearing iPAQ form factor, and sports
some all new styling we’ve never seen on the iPAQ line of Pocket PCs.
Perhaps that HP influence is finally setting in.


Size has become more and more crucial as of late in the mobile device
market. Manufacturers are enthralled to continually create more powerful
devices in a smaller shell. Let’s do some comparisons with the iPAQ
2215 versus other Pocket PCs.

Device
(no cover)
Size
(inches)
Weight
(grams | ounces)
HP
iPAQ 2215
4.57″
x 2.95″ x 0.63″
142
| 5.01
HP
iPAQ 1910
4.46″
x 2.75″ x 0.50″
120
| 4.23
HP
iPAQ 5450
5.43″
x 3.30″ x 0.63″
206
| 7.26
Compaq
iPAQ 39xx
5.28″
x 3.30″ x 0.63″
184
| 6.49
Toshiba
e740
4.90″
x 3.10″ x 0.60″
190
| 6.70
Toshiba
e310
4.90″
x 3.10″ x 0.40″
138
| 4.90
Toshiba
e570 Series
4.90″
x 3.00″ x 0.70″
181
| 6.40
HP
Jornada 560 Series
5.20″
x 3.01″ x 0.68″
173
| 6.10


BOX
CONTENTS


This iPAQ comes boxed with all the same accessories that we’ve seen
in previous models. You’ve got the cradle, manuals, ac adaptor, a new
slip case, software, and extra stylus.

The
all new USB cradle has a slot for an extra battery to charge while syncing
the iPAQ.

On
this device, HP has dropped the dual USB/Serial connectors in favor
of a USB-only cradle.

As
always, the AC Adaptor comes with the built in adaptor dongle to connect
AC power directly to the iPAQ without need of the cradle.

In
the cradle, the iPAQ 2215 looks sleek and slim. Very impressive.

THE
DEVICE

   Check out the iPAQ 2215.

Notice
the new rubber grips on the side of the iPAQ. Perhaps they are taking
a lead from Dell here.

From
the back. Notice the battery door which covers the user replaceable
battery.

The
iPAQ 2215 feels terrific in one’s hand. It’s the perfect size for a
snug grip.

Thanks
to the built-in Bluetooth and CF card slot (to use with an 802.11b card),
carrying around this device may take care of all the connectivity you
need.

The
base of the device sports only the sync port.

Now
back onto the front. The round buttons make for simple and clean lines,
complimenting the rest of the device. The joypad, although small, is
well implemented and easy to use. The iPAQ 2215’s front takes many design
cues from big brother iPAQ 5450, but the joypad seems to have improved.
For some reason, navigation is easier on the 2215 than the 5450 using
the joypad.

Application
buttons include (by default): Calendar, Contacts, Inbox, and iTask (the
bundled task switcher).

The
top of the iPAQ has two LED indicators. They are used to notify the
user of Bluetooth activation, power/charge status, and calendar reminders/notifications.

The
dual slots of the iPAQ 2215 is probably one of the strongest selling
points. This leaves users open to add memory and wireless 802.11b device
cards. Out of the box, the iPAQ 2215 has a dummy card in the CF slot,
but no dummy was to be found in the Secure Digital slot. It was simply
wide open.

Even
with a wireless 802.11b CompactFlash card inserted, the iPAQ maintains
a trim feel in the hand (or pocket).

PICTORIALLY
– HP iPAQ 2215 versus HP iPAQ 5450 & HP iPAQ 1910

   Most of you are probably wondering how this device
measures up when compared to other Pocket PCs. For the purposes of this
review, we matched the iPAQ 5450 up against two other Pocket PCs; its
predecessor, the Compaq iPAQ 3970, and its super slim brother, the HP
iPAQ 1910.

From
left to right: iPAQ 5450, iPAQ 2215, iPAQ 1910. Side-by-side, you can
see that the iPAQ 2215 sports a similar display to the iPAQ 1910.

From
top to bottom: iPAQ 1910, iPAQ 2215, iPAQ 5450. Note that the iPAQ 2215
does away with any rocker switches or voice record buttons on either
side of the device. In all honesty, I won’t miss them; thanks to them
I constantly turn Pocket PCs on accidentally.

Notice
the top of the iPAQ 2215 features the microphone inset and headphone
jack (no miniplugs- it’s standard size).

And
finally from the bottom…

All
in all, I find the design of the iPAQ 2215 extremely practical. The
rubber side grips really make a real difference in the fit and feel
of the device.

THE
DISPLAY

The iPAQ 2215 features a 16-bit transflective
color display, capable of producing remarkable brightness while still
maintaining great contrast.


The screen on the 2215 is very similar to transflective screens seen
on previous iPAQs. It is virtually identical to the iPAQ 5450’s screen,
but only smaller in size (3.5″ versus the 5450’s 3.8″). It
has a bit more brightness and less contrast than the iPAQ 1910 Pocket
PC, which at times has too much contrast. if only HP would bundle a
utility to tweak these settings

On
the bright side, not only does the iPAQ 2215 support ClearType- but
HP even went so far as to include a “ClearType Tuner” so that
users can fine tune how their text is rendering with the ClearType technology.


POCKET
PC 2003

Since Pocket PC 2003 is brand new and first
available on this HP iPAQ, we’ll take a moment to go over some exciting
new features of the operating system at large.

Immediately
after using Pocket PC 2003, you notice the the connectivity arrows up
in the clock area. This shows the status any connection. Tapping on
them will allow you to establish a connection– be it dialup, Bluetooth,
WiFi, virtually anything. It’s great to have this sort of control over
the connections built right into the operating system rather than added
by third party applications and plugins.

Contacts
have undergone subtle changes– now all email addresses become active
links which will fire off a new message in Pocket Inbox.

Solitaire
is no longer the Solitary game on Pocket PC– Microsoft has included
the bubblets clone called “Jawbreaker”. Very addicting.

Pocket
PC 2003 also packs in a program called “Pictures” that acts
very similarly to “My Pictures” on a Windows XP based desktop
computer. You can view, crop, rotate, and zoom/pan your pictures- or
just view them all in the very handy slideshow mode.

Pocket
Inbox now includes support for Signatures.

Tasks,
Contacts, Calendar, and Inbox have all undergone a slight facelift with
the light blue lined backgrounds.

The
upcoming appointments on the Today screen will now show events on future
days if there are no appointments on the current day.

And
of course, Windows Media Player got a fresh look and more power.

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POWER

HP has kept with the same standby options found
on the 5450 Pocket PC.

You
can select anywhere from half of a day to three full days of reserve
power.


DEVICE
SPEED

Continuing the speed tests we have performed
with other Pocket PCs, we’ve updated the speed table to include the
results from the 2215. All of these benchmark results come from the
Pocket PC application VOBenchmark from Virtual
Office Systems
. Each number represents how many times within a
given unit of time the specific operation was able to be performed.
Higher numbers are better. Average of best three recordings taken.

TestHP
iPAQ h2215
Compaq
iPAQ h3970
HP
iPAQ h5450
Toshiba
e740
CPU:
Floating Point

12.68

12.6612.6412.65CPU:
Integer

26.96

26.9526.8926.95Graphics:
Bitmaps – BitBlt

78.25

26.4256.6277.81

Graphics:
Bitmaps – StretchBlt

28.60

.7918.130.25Graphics:
Filled – Ellipse | Rectangle | Rounded Rectangle

4.68
| 12.94 | 3.82

.51
| 2.10 | .50
2.16
| 6.64 | 1.55
0.53
| 5.34 | 0.48
Memory:
Allocation
11.2311.16

11.73

11.47Memory:
Fill

1.97

0.950.910.95Memory:
Move
1.240.370.370.39Text

5.20

3.244.631.48

 

Wow! The iPAQ 2215 seemed to beat other handhelds in
all but on category. I believe it. The device is extremely quick on
its feet and seems to do everything from downloading email to synchronizing
with a PC faster than any Pocket PC before it.


BATTERY
LIFE

Here are the results of our run it to
the ground tests:


Full
brightness, 48 hours of standby allocated:

Time
running before low battery warning (25% remaining)
Time
running before very low battery warning (9% remaining)
Time
running before complete shut down
4
hours, 36 minutes
5
hours, 28 minutes
5
hours, 58 minutes


INTEGRATED
BLUETOOTH


HP has included its reworked version of the Bluetooth Manager found
on the iPAQ 5450 on this device. The initial screen shows any shortcuts
to devices that you may have set up. The shortcuts allow quick access
to devices that you’ve connected to in the past. The other tab allows
you to see currently active connections. There are quick icons on
the task bar that allow you to setup a new device connection and to
create a “business card” to exchange over BlueTooth. The
Tools menu allows you to view any paired devices and to initiate a
business card exchange.

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PURCHASING

The HP iPAQ 2215 has been popping up here
and there at local electronic stores. Amazon.com has also been on
and off in accepting pre-orders. The price seems to be stable at $399.


PROS


Slim
and sleek

  • Easy
    to hold rubber side grips
  • Integrated
    Bluetooth
  • Excellent
    battery life
  • Dual
    (CF & SD) card slots
  • Bottom
    connectivity port is the same as previous iPAQs (5400, 3900, 3800)


CONS


  • No
    access to iPAQ legacy sleeves

  • Volume
    isn’t quite as loud as previous iPAQs


OVERALL
IMPRESSION

Overall, this Pocket PC has really impressed
me. I find it hard to believe that I was so satisfied with my iPAQ
1910. That just goes to show you that to succeed in this business,
a company must continually push the envelope (even if that means outperforming
their own products).

That
being said, HP has certainly not fallen short of that expectation.

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PROS


Slim
and sleek

  • Easy
    to hold rubber side grips
  • Integrated
    Bluetooth
  • Excellent
    battery life
  • Dual
    (CF & SD) card slots
  • Bottom
    connectivity port is the same as previous iPAQs (5400, 3900, 3800)


CONS


  • No
    access to iPAQ legacy sleeves

  • Volume
    isn’t quite as loud as previous iPAQs


OVERALL
IMPRESSION

Overall, this Pocket PC has really impressed
me. I find it hard to believe that I was so satisfied with my iPAQ
1910. That just goes to show you that to succeed in this business,
a company must continually push the envelope (even if that means outperforming
their own products).

That
being said, HP has certainly not fallen short of that expectation.

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About The Author
Derek Snyder