HP iPAQ hx4700 Pocket PC

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WHAT’S HOT

    The hx4700 has an absolutely stunning 4"
Transflective VGA screen. That means that all of the menus, programs,
and dialog boxes on the device are shown in brilliant 640 x 480 pixels
instead of the usual 320 x 240 that Windows Mobile Pocket PCs had from
the very start. Equipped with an Intel PXA270 processor running at 624
MHz and an available 135 MB of storage available to the user, this device
is no underdog. As if that weren’t enough, the Bluetooth & WiFi
is kept running strong from a powerful removable 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion
battery pack. And for expansion, there is an industry standard SDIO
and CompactFlash slot.

  
Size has become more and more crucial as of late in the mobile device
market. Note how hx4700 is smaller in footprint only when compared to
its predecessor, the iPAQ h5450.

Device
Size (inches)
Weight (grams | ounces)
4.44" x 2.47" x 0.52"

132 | 4.65
4.44" x 2.27" x 0.63"

156 | 5.61
4.74" x 2.63" x 0.43"

157 | 5.53
4.33" x 2.09" x 0.59"

117 | 4.12
4.66" x 2.48" x 0.47"

130 | 4.58
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.64" x 2.36" x 0.48"

129 | 4.55
3.96" x 2.34" x 0.67"

133 | 4.76
4.68" x 2.44" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.58" x 2.42" x 0.47"

120 | 4.20
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.65"

178 | 6.28
3.92" x 2.41" x 0.60"

137 | 4.83
4.24" x 2.09" x 0.53"

117 | 4.12
4.17" x 2.00" x 0.85"

151 | 5.34
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.57" x 1.70" x 0.64"

140 | 4.94
4.88" x 2.44" x 0.53"

130 | 4.56
4.21" x 2.20" x 0.55"

120 | 4.20
4.53" x 2.47" x 0.47"

146 | 5.15
4.63" x 2.19" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.35" x 2.07" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.56" x 2.41" x 0.51"

125 | 4.41
4.44" x 2.36" x 0.55"

133 | 4.69
4.01" x 1.98" x 0.55"

124 | 4.37
8.28" x 4.67" x 1.08"

640 | 22.5
4.48" x 2.52" x 0.59"

154 | 5.43
4.17" x 2.38" x 0.68"

147 | 5.18
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.71"

165 | 5.82
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.41" x 2.28" x 0.73"

140 | 4.94
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.45"

110 | 3.88
4.56" x 2.36" x 0.70"
200 | 7.05
4.30" x 2.40" x 0.60"
120 | 4.23
4.20" x 2.30" x 0.60"
136 | 4.79
3.70" x 2.30" x 0.60"
126 | 4.44
4.48" x 2.39" x 0.51"
116 | 4.09
4.60" x 2.60" x 0.50"

134 | 4.70

4.10" x 2.10" x 0.60"
150 | 5.30
4.40" x 2.32" x 0.75"
190 | 6.70

BOX CONTENTS

    The iPAQ hx4700 box contents are light
on accessories (probably because it’s geared for business users).

From
left to right: USB cradle, iPAQ hx4700 (with flip cover attached), AC
power adaptor with direct charging dongle.

The
USB docking cradle has simple lines, and gives a clean appearance. Absent,
however, is any type of secondary battery charging cradle.

HP
is now producing one cradle for all its new Pocket PCs. To use a different
Pocket PC, simply change the connecting base. Therefore, the iPAQ hx4700
can pop into any current iPAQ cradle (with the exception of the iPAQ
h6300) provided the right connecting plug was used. Smart!

In
the cradle, the iPAQ has clean lines but maintains a square, boring
design. It gets the job done, but its not as aesthetically pleasing
as previous iPAQ devices.

THE DEVICE

    Let’s take a closer look at the HP iPAQ
hx4700.

Surprisingly
for a device with such a large footprint, the iPAQ has a thin profile.

The
back of the device is home to the large 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion user replaceable
battery.

The
iPAQ hx4700 looks more professional than any of the other recently released
iPAQs. Perhaps that is due in part to the touchpad at the base of the
unit.

The
bottom of the device has a double-latching battery door lock.

At
this angle, you can see that the application buttons are flush with
the touchpad, but have raised ridges to remind the user where they are.

The
four quick launch application buttons are (from left to right): Contacts,
Messaging, Calendar, and iTask. This device also supports dual function
buttons, which means when they are tapped and held they can perform
a completely different function.

The
built-in touchpad is a feature that distinguishes this Pocket PC from
any other currently available.

By
default, the touchpad acts like a navigation pad allowing for up/down/left/right
and action button movement. However, holding down the first quick launch
application button changes to "Cursor Mode" bringing a cursor
on screen and changing the touchpad navigation buttons into an actual
omni directional fully featured touchpad. This is a tremendous feature
because it now allows for true one handed operation of the device, without
need to remove the flip cover.

The
touchpad is very sensitive and makes for effortless trips across the
screen with the smallest movement of the finger.

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

Naturally,
HP followed the trend they started with the iPAQ h2215 Pocket PC by
including a removable dummy card to cover the CompactFlash slot. Usually,
dummy cards do nothing but get on my nerves. For people who are worried
about maintaining an excellent resale value on their Pocket PC, losing
one of these dummy cards may drive them nuts.

Like
the iPAQ rx3700 and rz1700 devices, HP has adopted a simplified approach
to LED notification. If the device is connected to a wireless access
point, the blue LED is solid. If it’s searching, it is flashing. If
you have Bluetooth on, the same light becomes solid blue. The other
two LEDs are used for battery charging indicators and reminders. It
can’t get any easier than that, and that is a welcome change.

PICTORIALLY – HP iPAQ hx4700 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 hx4700 up against several other Pocket PCs.

From
left to right: HP iPAQ h5450, HP iPAQ hx4700, and HP iPAQ rx3700. The
pictures do not do justice to the amazing quality of the hx4700’s screen.

From
left to right: HP iPAQ h6300, HP iPAQ hx4700, and Dell Axim X30.

From
left to right: i-Mate Phone Edition (XDA II), HP iPAQ hx4700, and HP
iPAQ h4150.

From
top to bottom: HP iPAQ h4150, Dell Axim X30, HP iPAQ rx3700, HP iPAQ
h6300, i-Mate Phone Edition (XDA II), HP iPAQ h5450, and HP iPAQ hx4700.

Note
that the HP iPAQ hz47000 maintains a thinner profile than all of the
Pocket PCs except the top two.

And finally from the bottom...

 

THE DISPLAY

    The display is the best I’ve ever seen on
a Pocket PC. The colors are warm and vibrant, and text is incredibly
easy on the eye at VGA resolution with ClearType enabled.

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


Photographs look perfect on the screen, with no noticeable graininess.

INTEGRATED
SOFTWARE

    The hx4700 comes standard with Windows Mobile
2003 Second Edition. From there, HP has bundled a few invaluable business
applications. Note that all screenshots were taken at the full 640 x
480 resolution, but are thumbnailed at 320 x 240 pixels.

For the
full screenshot, click on each thumbnail.

The
standard Today screen is enhanced by the higher resolution screen, making
use of clearer fonts and higher quality icons. HP has also bundled a
dashboard-type program displaying remaining power, memory, storage,
and backlight intensity all from the Today screen.

   

The
normal apps such as Calendar and Messaging look similar in VGA mode.

   

Most
programs received a high resolution facelift. Solitaire and Calculator
are no exception.

As
has been a trend with more recent iPAQs, HP has included the Dockware
screen saver/calendar plug-in. Whenever the device goes idle, it shows
this month’s calendar silk-screened over any photos located on the device.

Also
included is the ClearVue suite including ClearVue PDF and Presentation
(to view PowerPoint slideshows).

At
VGA resolution, viewing full PDF document pages is finally possible
with very little scrolling.

In
a very generous move, HP included the full version of Pocket Informant
5. For more information, check
out our review
.

Its
interoperability with the included HP Mobile Printing is handy. The
device can print from Contacts and Calendar over Infrared, Bluetooth,
or any network connection (including a wireless one).

HP
Mobile Printing even has a few rudimentary printer options.

To
my surprise, applications meant for QVGA devices were stretched to fit
the screen of the hx4700.

HP
has also included a completely new application called BT PhoneManager.
It drastically cuts down on time and effort expended when setting up
an internet connection through a Bluetooth enabled phone.

The
app includes both step by step help connecting up with any popular Bluetooh
enabled phones, and also includes profiles for popular mobile phone
service data accounts (it already had the settings to connect to the
Internet using T-Mobile).


Spreadsheet
viewing becomes much easier at the resolution the hx4700 affords.

   

Word
documents are starting to look more complete in both Portrait and Landscape
modes.

   

Internet
Explorer is finally starting to render web pages the way a desktop PC
would thanks to the extra screen pixels.

When
coupled with landscape mode, the VGA screen makes Terminal Service Client
very useful. There is not nearly as much side to side and up and down
scrolling.

 

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 hx4700. All of these benchmark results come from the Pocket
PC application Spb Benchmark from Spb
Software House
.

The iPAQ hx4700 scored at a near top level. Certainly the best yet achieved by an HP device.

CPU Speed comes in at slightly below the top level for the hx4700.

Yet again, the hx4700 is right on the coat-tails of the Dell Axim X30 when it comes to decompressing images.

When it comes to the file system speed, the hx4700 takes the top position. It seems recent HP models have done well in this test.

Surprisingly, the iPAQ hx4700 takes second place to the home-user oriented iPAQ rx3700 when displaying files in File Explorer.

After contemplating these test results, I realized that this device is right on tap to bring some serious competition to high end PCs like the Dell Axim X30. The only thing stopping this device, however, is price.

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 hx4700 4h 19m
HP iPAQ rx37007h 13m
HP iPAQ rz17003h 13m
HP iPAQ h63006h 42m
Dell Axim X30 3h 38m
i-mate Phone Edition 3h 53m

The 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion
battery makes the hx4700 a steady performer in terms of battery life. Although it is not on par with the rx3700, the hx4700 did surprisingly well considering its power hungry 4" screen and 624 MHz processor. HP has generally been doing a great job raising the bar in battery life while still not sacrificing a whole lot of performance.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ hx4700 is available from HP. The price has been reported at $649.00. This puts the device right on tap as HP’s most expensive device, making it the natural successor to the h5000 series Pocket PCs. If HP really wants to compete with the Dell Axim X30, they’ll need to offer a bit of a price reduction to go along with the dazzling screen on this device. In other words, the features can’t justify such a high price.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ hx4700 is available from HP. The price has been reported at $649.00. This puts the device right on tap as HP’s most expensive device, making it the natural successor to the h5000 series Pocket PCs. If HP really wants to compete with the Dell Axim X30, they’ll need to offer a bit of a price reduction to go along with the dazzling screen on this device. In other words, the features can’t justify such a high price.

PROS


  • Magnificent, 4" VGA Screen

  • Snap-on flip cover which adds minimal bulk
  • Fast 624 MHz processor speed
  • Innovative touchpad
  • Relatively thin

CONS


  • Square-edged design


  • Very large footprint

  • Overpriced

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is a real gem. The 4" VGA screen makes me never want to look at a different Pocket PC screen again. VGA is definitely the future of these devices, make no mistake about it.

Despite its square-edged design, this is a rock solid Pocket PC. If you need the power and performance of a 624 MHz processor, and love to have the latest in display technology and touchpad input, then this may be the perfect Pocket PC for you. If only the processor speed matters to you, you’d better off buying two Dell Axim X30s for the price that one of these hx4700’s cost. It might make a great Christmas gift!

Although this device would be better with a smaller price and a reduced footprint, it is still the best Pocket PC we have tested to date. If you want to be on the cutting edge and don’t mind the price tag, this Pocket PC is too good to pass up.

PROS


  • Magnificent, 4" VGA Screen

  • Snap-on flip cover which adds minimal bulk
  • Fast 624 MHz processor speed
  • Innovative touchpad
  • Relatively thin

CONS


  • Square-edged design


  • Very large footprint

  • Overpriced

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Overall, this Pocket PC is a real gem. The 4" VGA screen makes me never want to look at a different Pocket PC screen again. VGA is definitely the future of these devices, make no mistake about it.

Despite its square-edged design, this is a rock solid Pocket PC. If you need the power and performance of a 624 MHz processor, and love to have the latest in display technology and touchpad input, then this may be the perfect Pocket PC for you. If only the processor speed matters to you, you’d better off buying two Dell Axim X30s for the price that one of these hx4700’s cost. It might make a great Christmas gift!

Although this device would be better with a smaller price and a reduced footprint, it is still the best Pocket PC we have tested to date. If you want to be on the cutting edge and don’t mind the price tag, this Pocket PC is too good to pass up.

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About The Author
Derek Snyder