HP iPAQ rz1715 Pocket PC

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WHAT’S HOT

    This Pocket PC incorporates a completely new design. Gone are the rounded corners that Compaq and later HP was becoming known for with their iPAQ line, the corners of this device are square and cut. The iPAQ rz1715 has absolutely zero surprises under the hood like built-in wireless or a super fast processor, just a great looking display.

   Size has become more and more crucial as of late in the mobile device market. Note how rz1715 is actually larger than its low cost predecessor; the iPAQ 1910/1940.

Device (no cover)
Size (inches)
Weight (grams | ounces)
HP iPAQ rz1715
4.48" x 2.75" x 0.53"
120 | 4.23
HP iPAQ h6315
4.68" x 2.95" x 0.73"
190 | 6.70
HP iPAQ 2215
4.57" x 2.95" x 0.63"
142 | 5.01
HP iPAQ 1910/1940
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
Dell Axim X3i/X30
4.60" x 3.21" x 0.58"
138 | 4.80
Dell Axim X5
5.00" x 3.20" x 0.71"
196 | 6.90
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

BOX CONTENTS

    The iPAQ rz1715 comes with an extremely menial offering of included in accessories. No cradles, just a USB cable and power adaptor. Add with that a CD and manual containing Outlook 2002 and Activesync, and you have the whole package.

From left to right: power adaptor, Getting Started Guide/CD-ROM, USB sync cable.

The power adaptor plugs directly into the USB sync cable to power the device and recharge while syncing.

It’s impossible to plug the AC adaptor’s power directly into the rz1715 without using the USB sync cable.

Without the rounded edges of its predecessors, the iPAQ rz1715 seems a bit dated, as if it came out before previous models instead of after.

THE DEVICE

    Let’s take a closer look at the HP iPAQ rz1715.

The fit and feel of the device is adequate, nothing revolutionary.

The bottom of the device houses the soft reset pin-hole and USB connector port.

The front of the device features the application buttons and a 4 way directional pad. At the center of the directional pad is the action button. The directional pad actually has very fine pictograms on each edge which correspond to functions in Windows Media Player such as previous track, next track, etc. The center of the pad has a play/pause pictogram. Application
buttons include (from left to right): Calendar, Contacts, Inbox, and Today.

The power button, SDIO slot, infrared port, and headphone jack are positioned on the top of the device.

SD cards can be inserted using the push-push loading system.

The one and only LED on the device flashes amber to indicate that the battery is charging.

PICTORIALLY – HP iPAQ rz1715 AGAINST OTHER SEGMENT DEVICES
   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 rz1715 up against several other Pocket PCs.

From left to right: HP iPAQ h6315, HP iPAQ rz1715, and Dell Axim X30. Side-by-side, you can see that the iPAQ rz1715’s screen has very rich color.

From top to bottom: HP iPAQ h4150, HP iPAQ rz1715, HP iPAQ h6315, i-mate Phone Edition 2003, and Dell Axim X30.

Notice that even the HP iPAQ h4150 has a thinner profile and it has twice the RAM, wireless functionality, and a faster processor.

And finally from the bottom..

THE DISPLAY

    The display, in my opinion, is this device’s one and only strength. The colors are warm and vibrant. Impressive.

The following photo was taken in a room that was completely dark to show the true color of the screen.

The display on the rz1715 shows rich colors, closer to the way the photo looked on my desktop PC.

INTEGRATED SOFTWARE

    The rz1715 comes standard with Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. Besides that, the device has very little to offer in the way of integrated software.

Upon starting the device for the first time, I was greeted with this hideous menu. It’s almost as if HP is trying to make this Pocket PC look barren of functionality. The Music button opens Windows Media Player, the Photos button opens the HP Image Zone that is bundled on most HP Pocket PCs, and Contacts and Schedule lead to their respective applications. I think adding this menu is insulting to end users. They can handle the Start Menu, I promise. Besides that, it slows down an already pokey device with its high color depth. Ouch.

Thank goodness the menu was only part of a Today page item, you can disable it by simply shutting it off and enabling whatever you’d like to see in its place.

The Today screen fully restored.

The rz1715 comes with three applications in ROM: HP Task Switch, HP Image Zone, and the Experience HP iPAQ tour.

HP Task Switch can be accessed by tapping on the arrows icon on the taskbar. Pick a program and tap on the "X" to close it.

The Task Switch is more than adequate, providing some options.

As with the iPAQ h6315, HP included the Profiles applet in the Settings panel. It can be used to create macros that automatically adjust backlight, volume, and power management options.

The iPAQ rz1715 has an astonishingly small 25 MB of RAM available to the user. HP redeems itself somewhat by providing over 10 MB free of Flash ROM storage.

The rz1715 is actually capable of dual functions on each hardware button. A function for a normal press and for a press and hold are completely user definable.

Thanks to Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition’s landscape display support, reading web pages on Pocket Internet Explorer becomes a bit easier.

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 iPAQ rz1715. All of these benchmark results come from the Pocket PC application Spb Benchmark from Spb Software House.

The iPAQ rz1715 scored at an average level. It obviously has been optimized because it runs faster than 400Mhz iPAQ 5450 with its 203Mhz processor.

CPU Speed comes slightly below average for the rz1715.

The iPAQ rz1715 faired quite well with graphics.

The rz1715 couldn’t load a 200 Kb HTML page as fast as the rest.

After contemplating these test results, I realized that this device is really quite fair across the board. It doesn’t have a cutting edge design, it doesn’t have a lot of power, it doesn’t even have a good feature set. In all regards, this product lacks a defining point: something that makes it worth buying. Even a smaller size would do the trick.

BATTERY LIFE

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

Full brightness, normal utilization, 72 hours of standby allocated (where applicable):

Device

Time until 0% battery

HP iPAQ rz17153h 13m
HP iPAQ h6315 6h 42m
Dell Axim X30 3h 38m
i-mate Phone Edition 3h 53m

The iPAQ rz1715 scored the lowest in our tests, and had the absolute least amount of onboard technology. Every other device had built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, or Cellular GSM radios. Since the rz1715 does not have a user replaceable battery, this figure is a bit embarrassing.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ rz1715 is slated to be available from HP. The price has been reported at $279.00.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ rz1715 is slated to be available from HP. The price has been reported at $279.00.

PROS


  • Beautiful display with very vivid color

  • Integrated SDIO Slot

CONS


  • Menial 25 MB RAM


  • Bigger than previous iPAQ models

  • Poor battery life
  • Battery is not user replaceable
  • Overpriced

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is nothing special. The Toshiba e400 and HP iPAQ 1910/1930 Pocket PCs can do everything it does in a smaller, more slim package, for about $100 less. Whether HP is branding this as an Entertainment PDA or not, the end users will see through the gimmick.

There are plenty of things this device can do, but every other Pocket PC out there can do the same, if not more, for less money.

Drop the price or make it smaller, until then, this device is just another voice in the choir.

PROS


  • Beautiful display with very vivid color

  • Integrated SDIO Slot

CONS


  • Menial 25 MB RAM


  • Bigger than previous iPAQ models

  • Poor battery life
  • Battery is not user replaceable
  • Overpriced

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is nothing special. The Toshiba e400 and HP iPAQ 1910/1930 Pocket PCs can do everything it does in a smaller, more slim package, for about $100 less. Whether HP is branding this as an Entertainment PDA or not, the end users will see through the gimmick.

There are plenty of things this device can do, but every other Pocket PC out there can do the same, if not more, for less money.

Drop the price or make it smaller, until then, this device is just another voice in the choir.

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About The Author
Derek Snyder