HP iPAQ hx2755 Pocket PC

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WHAT’S
HOT

    As I mentioned in the
introduction, up until now each iPAQ model shipped
has had more or less one unique strength. Lately, it
has been a rarity to see the sort of engineering that
went into the iPAQ h4155, which was a marvel in its
day for combining both small size and terrific wireless
connectivity options. With the rz1715, HP released
a slimmed down Pocket PC, but left out any wireless
features and kept the price too high. With the iPAQ
h6300 Phone Edition device, the battery life and phone
capabilities were impressive but the device didn’t
even include Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. The
rx3715 is the only iPAQ available today to bear the
Windows Media 10 player, but its digital camera (the
primary selling point of the device) leaves much to
be desired. Finally, the hx4700 is a near perfect PDA,
offering the best screen I’ve ever laid eyes on, but
on its downside, has a menial 64 mb of system memory.


    The
HP iPAQ hx2755 stands to fill some of the gaps
HP is leaving with their most recent products.
It has a massive 256 mb of memory (128 mb RAM +
128 mb ROM of which 80 mb is accessible to the
user), along with a 624 Mhz Intel PXA270 processor,
biometric fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth,
and a small size.

   Size
has become more and more crucial as of late in
the mobile device market. Note how close in size
the hx2755 is to the iPAQ h2215.

Device
(no cover)
Size
(inches)
Weight
(grams | ounces)
HP
iPAQ hx2755
4.71" x
3.01 " x 0.65"
164
| 5.80
HP
iPAQ hx4700
5.17" x
3.03" x 0.59"
187
| 6.60
HP
iPAQ rx3715
4.50" x
2.80" x 0.64"
158
| 5.57
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 h2215
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 h4150
4.47" x
2.78" x 0.50"
132
| 4.60
HP
iPAQ h5450
5.43" x
3.30" x 0.63"
206
| 7.26
Dell
Axim X50
4.70" x
2.90" x 0.70"
167
| 5.90
Dell
Axim X50v
4.70" x
2.90" x 0.70"
175
| 6.20
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 hx2755 box had
all the normal accessories you would expect to come
with a new Pocket PC, along with the HP Companion CD
and documentation.

From
left to right: AC power adaptor, direct power charging
dongle (for charging your device without the cradle),
iPAQ hx2755 with flip cover, and USB cradle.

As
has been a pattern with the new line of iPAQs,
the cradle can be used with any iPAQ by changing
the base.

In
the cradle with the flip cover, the iPAQ is reminiscent
of the older HP Jornada Pocket PCs.

Without
the flip cover, the hx2755 takes on an identity
all its own.

THE
DEVICE

    Let’s take a closer look
at the HP iPAQ hx2755 Pocket PC.

The
lighter gray tones on the front of the unit give
it a bit more elegance, but the profile of the
device could stand to get thinner.

Although
it may be convenient to glance through the flip
cover at an upcoming appointment, those concerned
with finger prints will need some therapy. It has
been virtually impossible to keep the flip cover
clean.

The
back of each device is home to the large 1440 mAh
Lithium-Ion user replaceable battery. An optional
2880 mAh battery pack will be available for purchase.

The
iPAQ hx2755’s rounded corners are a welcome relief
from the other iPAQ models released this past year.
Overall, this device feels really great in the
hand.

Using
the device with the flip cover up can be a bit
awkward sometimes, mostly because it feels like
a communicator from Star Trek.

The
bottom of the device houses the reset pin-hole
and docking port. And as is the case with all modern
Pocket PCs, the quick launch keys shortcut the
start of Calendar, Contacts, Messaging, and iTask.

The
top of the device featuring (from left to right)
the stylus silo, Compact Flash slot, SD slot, and
headphone jack. On a negative note, when using
the device the user must pull out the stylus before
fully flipping up the flip cover, since the cover
actually covers the silo when pushed all the way
back.

The
left side of the iPAQ is relatively plain, offering
only the voice record button.

The
screen, although only QVGA (320 x 240 pixels),
has adequate smoothness and excellent brightness.

With
flip covers on, the iPAQ hx2755 (right) has a thicker
profile than the iPAQ hx4700.

When
Bluetooth or WiFi is on, the blue LED on top of
the device flashes, regardless of whether it is
connected. This is inconsistent when compared with
the iPAQ rx3715 and iPAQ hx4700, both of these
devices have a solid LED when connected to a network.

PICTORIALLY
– HP iPAQ hx2755 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 hx2755 up against several other mobile devices
running Windows Mobile.

An
all HP lineup. From left to right: HP iPAQ hx4700,
HP iPAQ hx2755, and HP iPAQ h6315. As you can see,
the iPAQ hx2755 is very close in footprint and
thickness to the h6315.

From
left to right: HP iPAQ rx3715, HP iPAQ hx2755,
and Dell Axim X50v.

From
left to right: HP iPAQ hx2755 and the Audiovox
SMT5600 Smartphone.

From
top to bottom: Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone, Dell
Axim X30, HP iPAQ rx3715, Dell Axim X50v, HP iPAQ
hx2755, HP iPAQ h6300, and HP iPAQ hx4700.

Note
that the Dell Axim X30 and HP iPAQ hx4700 are still
the thinnest.

And
finally from the bottom..
.

 

Continue
On: Display / Biometrics and Security / Integrated
Software . . .

THE
DISPLAY

    The HP iPAQ hx2755’s display
is bright, but lacks the resolution and color depth
that some of the recently released VGA Pocket PCs have
produced. If HP had added a VGA screen to this device,
along with the rest of the other features it offers,
it would be a best in class Pocket PC. However, without
that advantage, this device at times felt a day late
and a dollar short. It’s amazing how 6 months ago,
I would have loved this Pocket PC in every way. But,
after using a device with a VGA display for that long,
it’s very hard to accept anything less.

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


Photographs
are bright to the point of being washed out on
the iPAQ hx2755’s (320 x 240 pixel) QVGA display.

The
Dell Axim X50v’s (640 x 480 pixel) VGA display
renders the same picture with higher resolution,
but the same washing out occurs.

Finally,
big brother HP iPAQ hx4700’s (640 x 480 pixel)
VGA display renders the photograph with higher
resolution and excellent color balance.

BIOMETRICS
AND SECURITY

    Like the HP iPAQ h5450
and h5550, the hx2755 has an integrated biometric fingerprint
reader. This means the end user can substitute a fingerprint
swipe for a normal numeric or alphanumeric password.
As if that weren’t enough, HP has teamed up with Credant
systems to bring an entire suite of security tools
to the device, called HP ProtectTools.

   

The
Settings control panel applet (left), and the HP
ProtectTools Setup (right).

   

HP
ProtectTools not only locks the device when the
user specifies, but also can encrypt data such
as Calendar, Contacts, E-mail, and so forth. Enabling
the service is completely customizable (left),
and the method of unlocking is as well (right).

   

Since
the password and/or fingerprint will withstand
even a hard reset, it’s important to create a few
fail-safe questions (left). The amount of encryption
can be controlled from the following step (right).

Once
set up, a fingerprint can be used to unlock the
device and decrypt all the files.

Once
configured, HP ProtectTools serves up common tasks
from an icon based start page.

INTEGRATED
SOFTWARE

Like
the iPAQ hx4700, this device includes the TodayPanel
home page plug-in. From left to right, it displays
the battery power remaining, system memory available,
file store (or storage card) memory available,
and display brightness. Each icon when tapped links
to its corresponding full control panel applet.

The
bottom right corner of the today screen has an
icon which opens iPAQ Wireless, the applet used
to enable and configure the integrated WiFi and
Bluetooth.

The
Bluetooth Manager includes a full list of services,
including Audio Gateway, to be used with Bluetooth
mono and stereo headsets.

The
HP Mobile Printing application included in ROM
can be used to print e-mail messages to Infrared,
Bluetooth, and Network printers.

   

HP
didn’t load this iPAQ with the latest revision
of Windows Mobile. This has left out two key features.

As
seen above on the left, the device runs Windows
Media Player 9 while every other device hitting
the market runs Windows Media Player 10. This means
users will not be able to automatically synchronize
TV recorded on Windows Media Center PCs or others
capable of recording and storing digital video.

Secondly,
as above seen on the right, when creating a new
POP3 account in Messaging, there is no way to specify
separate settings for an outgoing mail server.
As more and more people are required to use their
own SMTP server, which may use a different login
and password, having this option has become invaluable.
As with Windows Media Player 10, every other new
Windows Mobile device hitting the market includes
this.

Although
this may not seem like an important omission, it
limits an otherwise powerful device from fully
utilizing all that the Windows Mobile operating
system has to offer.

As
always, HP has included separate bass and treble
controls in their iPAQ Audio control panel applet.

Continue
On: Device Speed / Battery Life / Overall Impression
. . .

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 HP iPAQ hx2755. All of these benchmark results come from the Pocket
PC application Spb Benchmark from Spb
Software House
.

The hx2755 scored highest on the Spb Benchmark index, meaning it had the overall best speed when tested.

The hx2755 received the highest ranking in the category of CPU speed.

The iPAQ hx2755 scored at an unprecedented level showcasing its impressive graphics speed.

The hx2755 has the fastest file system as well.

And finally, the iPAQ hx2755 finishes with a perfect set of first place records with its impressive platform speed.

Although this device didn’t originally appeal to me, these tests make a compelling argument. The more and more I use this Pocket PC, I realize how quick on its feet it is, and just how much of a time saver that can be. Imagine switching from application to application, never having to worry about closing them out because this Pocket PC does not hesitate, and it won’t leave you waiting.

BATTERY LIFE

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


Full brightness, normal utilization, automatic performance level (where applicable):

Device

Time until 0% battery

HP iPAQ hx22755h 22m
HP iPAQ hx4700 4h 19m
HP iPAQ rx37157h 13m
HP iPAQ rz17153h 13m
HP iPAQ h63156h 42m
Dell Axim X504h 07m
Dell Axim X30 3h 38m
i-mate Phone Edition 3h 53m

The 1440 mAh Lithium-Ion
battery makes this device a strong performer, putting it in between the iPAQ hx4700 and iPAQ rx3715. Considering this has a 624 MHz processor, I’d say the near 5.5 hour battery life is very formidable.

Once again, an optional 2880 mAh Lithium-Ion battery is available. It’s safe to assume that with this optional battery pack battery life would double.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ hx2755 is available for $549.99 from hpshopping.com. The HP iPAQ hx2415 is similar in features but has a less powerful 520 MHz processor and 64 MB of RAM, which is available for $449.99.

PURCHASING

    The HP iPAQ hx2755 is available for $549.99 from hpshopping.com. The HP iPAQ hx2415 is similar in features but has a less powerful 520 MHz processor and 64 MB of RAM, which is available for $449.99.

PROS


  • Large 192 MB user accessible storage


  • Biometric fingerprint reader & encryption software

  • Fast processor speed
  • Dual expansion slots
  • Excellent battery life
  • Rounded corners

CONS


  • Screen is only QVGA


  • Missing Windows Media Player 10

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Originally, I was not expecting much from this device. I thought that this would just be another way HP has found to ruin what was once a great line of Pocket PCs. However, because of its rounded corners, terrific speed, and somewhat small size, I think that HP has really done a great job. But, in some ways it seems that they were just a few steps from true greatness. With companies like Dell producing Pocket PCs with VGA screens for a hundred or so less than this iPAQ costs, HP should pack it all in and stop settling for second best.

PROS


  • Large 192 MB user accessible storage


  • Biometric fingerprint reader & encryption software

  • Fast processor speed
  • Dual expansion slots
  • Excellent battery life
  • Rounded corners

CONS


  • Screen is only QVGA


  • Missing Windows Media Player 10

OVERALL IMPRESSION

   Originally, I was not expecting much from this device. I thought that this would just be another way HP has found to ruin what was once a great line of Pocket PCs. However, because of its rounded corners, terrific speed, and somewhat small size, I think that HP has really done a great job. But, in some ways it seems that they were just a few steps from true greatness. With companies like Dell producing Pocket PCs with VGA screens for a hundred or so less than this iPAQ costs, HP should pack it all in and stop settling for second best.

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About The Author
Derek Snyder