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HP iPAQ 1910 Pocket PC

(Discontinued)—Reviewed Dec. 30, 2002 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

Introduced December of 2002, the iPAQ 1910 and iPAQ 5450 are the first iPAQs to be branded as HP rather than Compaq since the merger of these two companies. The 1910 is the first "affordable" iPAQ, priced at $299, making it competitive with recent inexpensive Pocket PCs such as the Dell Axim, Toshiba e335 and ViewSonic V35. It's the smallest and lightest Pocket PC right now, and it also sports the slowest processor of current XScale Pocket PCs, running at 200 MHz. The iPAQ 1945 was released in July of 2003 and adds a faster processor, new Pocket PC 2003 OS, SDIO support and Bluetooth. Be sure to check out that model as well as the 1910 if you're looking for a great screen and a very slim, light and elegant PDA.

iPAQ 1910

Screen, Sound and Controls

As with other transflective displays, the screen is amazing. I'd say that the iPAQ transflective screens are the brightest, though the ViewSonic comes a close second and the Dell a third. Transflective screens reflect ambient light to illuminate the screen (for outdoor viewability and power savings) and also have backlighting. This means that they are outdoor viewable, have deeper and richer colors compared to non-transflectives, are more color-accurate and have blacker blacks.

Sound is typical iPAQ: for both speaker and headphones it's as loud and good sounding as it gets on a Pocket PC. No clicks or pops from the speaker. Note that for some reason, the headphone jack is 2.5mm (cell phone size) rather than the standard 3.5mm audio mini-jack used on most consumer electronics devices and other multimedia-capabile PDAs. Go to Radio Shack and get a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter for about $2.50, it's part # 274-373.

The circular directional pad is more comfy compared to the older iPAQ's oval design and a pleasure to use.

Horsepower: processor and memory

The 1910 has 46 megs of available RAM. The unit has 64 megs total RAM, but it uses NAND technology like the ViewSonic V35, which means the OS is copied into RAM to improve performance, and so that 18 megs isn't available to you. Since most budget Pocket PCs have 32 megs of RAM, you're still ahead of the game. Is this enough? If you're into listening to MP3s, watching videos and playing games, then you'll want to invest in one or more SD memory cards. If you're going to use this PDA for standard PIM (personal information manager) tasks such as contacts and calendaring, along with working with Word and Excel docs, then 32 megs will be OK.

The iPAQ 1910 has a 200 MHz processor, the slowest XScale offering by any manufacturer to date. Other budget Pocket PCs have a 300 MHz processor and the higher end models such as the iPAQ 3900 series and the Toshiba e740 have a 400 MHz XScale processor. However, when using PIM apps, Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and the like, it seemed speedy enough (how much horsepower do you need for these kinds of apps? Not a lot.) You will notice a small lag after launching apps like Pocket Word and Pocket Excel, but it's not that bad (about 2-3 seconds).

Benchmark figures are about 1/2 of the 400 MHz XScale iPAQ 3900, as expected. Video playback isn't as smooth, nor are the frame rates as high as faster Pocket PCs. But while you may notice occasional skips, overall playback is watchable and is better than I would have expected on a 200 MHz XScale Pocket PC.

 

 

 

 

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Accessories

The 1910 can't use accessories made for other iPAQ models such as expansion sleeves. If you're intending to use CF cards for storage, wireless networking and the like, the 1910 isn't for you. Keyboards, cradles and cases made for other iPAQs won't work with the 1910 either. USB cables made for the 3800/3900 and 5400 series should work since the connector is the same, but is flipped backwards on the 1910. The SD slot does not support SDIO, which means you can use it for memory cards, but not Bluetooth or forthcoming SD WiFi cards.

Software Bundle

While other iPAQs offer generous 3rd party software bundles, the 1910 is a budget device. This means you won't get any free 3rd party software. You'll get the standard Pocket PC 2002 software such as Pocket versions of Word, Excel, Outlook and Internet Explorer. Windows Media Player is on the CD but is not pre-installed, and the same is true of Terminal Services because this is a Pocket PC 2002 Standard rather than Premium device. PPC 2002 Premium devices have 32 megs of ROM and hence more room for pre-installed apps. Note that if you're upgrading from a different Pocket PC, make sure to remove any prior installations of Pocket PC Windows Media Player from ActiveSync because the installer with otherwise get confused and only install the upgrade rather than the full version on your 1910.

You also won't get some of the iPAQ applications that came with prior and higher-end iPAQs such as FileStore backup/store to flash ROM or the Nevo AV remote found on the iPAQ 3900 series and the 5450.

Battery Power

The 1910 and iPAQ 5450 are the first iPAQs to come with user replaceable batteries. Want more runtime? Swap a new battery in. Old one getting tired? Simply buy another one. The battery slips into the back of the unit, similar to cell phone batteries, and spares will cost you $50. How long will the battery run per charge? 900mA isn't a lot of juice (the iPAQ 5450 has a 1250mA battery), but the slow processor speed requires less juice, so it should translate into decent runtimes of 3 hours under average use.

Conclusion

Very slim, light and attractive- you can't get much smaller than this in today's market. At this price users can finally get into an iPAQ without spending as much as the cost of a basic desktop PC. However, the 1910 doesn't offer the same expansion options via the myriad sleeves that makes the rest of the iPAQ line so attractive to many folks. The screen is gorgeous, the build quality is good, and you can replace the battery any time you wish. It has 46 megs of RAM while other budget competitors have only 32.

Suggested list price $299

Pro: Best in class screen, strong battery life for a Pocket PC. The smallest and lightest Pocket PC, and it looks great too! This unit has 46 megs of available RAM, while other budget units only have 32 megs. The battery is user replaceable! Con: Processor speed in the slowest of any current Pocket PC, though performance feels decent. No generous software bundle. Can't use iPAQ expansion sleeves. The SD slot doesn't support SDIO (takes memory cards only, not Bluetooth, WiFi and etc).

Read our comparison of the Pocket PC 2002 brands

 

Specs:

Display: transflective TFT color LCD, 16 bit color. Resolution: 240 x 320.

Battery Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.900mA.

Performance: Intel XScale 200 MHz processor. 16MB NAND Flash ROM, 64 MB built-in RAM (46 megs available to user).

Size: 4.46" x 2.75" x 0.5". Weight Approximately 4.23 oz.

Software: Pocket PC 2002 operating system. Microsoft Pocket Office suite including Pocket Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Reader, and Outlook. Also Voice Recorder, Windows Media Player for Pocket PC as well as handwriting recognition.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 2.5mm (cell phone size!) stereo headphone jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player included.

Expansion: 1 SD (Secure Digital) slot. No SDIO support.

 

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