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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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).
TFT color LCD, 16 bit color. Resolution: 240 x 320.
Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.900mA.
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
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
in speaker, mic and 2.5mm (cell phone size!) stereo
headphone jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket
Media Player included.
SD (Secure Digital) slot. No SDIO support.