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HP iPAQ rz1710

HP iPAQ rz1710
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by Jonathan Cheah (editor@mobile88.com)

The iPAQ rz1710 is intended to be the succeeding model for the 1900 series which was launched sometime last year. Designed as a basic Pocket PC for beginners, it comes in a really slim package.

At A Glance:

Price: RM 988
Local Distributor: HP Sales Malaysia (M) Sdn Bhd.
Contact: 03-2332 3333
Build quality: 8/10
Applications: 8/10
Interface: 8/10
Value-for-money: 9/10
Overall rating: 8.25/10
+ Good price
+ Slim build
+ Landscape/Portrait Modes
- No Bluetooth
- Poor Resolution
- Battery built inside

Small and simple
The iPAQ 1710 is designed to be an entry-level product. That means it is a Pocket PC with only the basic features, and this results in a comfortable price tag for the product. The rz1710 comes in a plastic shell which makes it very light, weighing in at only 120 grams.

I had the opportunity to test this product with the Motorola RAZR V3, and I can say that they are both very thin. Stacking both the phone and the PDA on top of one another still made for a very comfortable package which was easy to carry around in the hand. Of course, both the phone and the PDA could fit rather comfortably into a shirt pocket.

Don’t be fooled by the rating of the Samsung processor, as the response time of this PDA is equivalent to that of many PDAs with 400MHz-plus processors. However, the screen was slightly non-responsive to stylus taps occasionally, but this could be due to the miniscule 32 MB of RAM, of which only slightly more than 26 MB is for the user.

Perfect for beginners
As with the other iPAQs launched around this same period, the product ships with the second version of Windows Mobile 2003. This version of the Windows Mobile OS allows the device to be used in both portrait and landscape screen configurations. Of course, the resolution is slightly inferior to the higher end hx4700 which we reviewed last month, but the resulting reduction in price makes it worthwhile to consider this PDA.

The HP profiles program inside the settings menu makes it easy to change a few settings at one go. The user can switch between predefined profiles such as Silent, Normal, Meeting, Outdoor and User, and there is no need to change the sounds, backlight or battery-saving settings here.

The 1710 does not come with a cradle, but instead uses a USB cable that is paired with the charger. It includes the usual complement of Microsoft software, amongst which are the pocket version of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger. In fact, aside from the connectivity hardware and capability, the 1710 has pretty much the same punch as more expensive PDAs.

I would not put the 1710 into a pants pocket for two reasons. One reason is that the screen could get scratched, so one of the things you will need to buy is a screen protector which is not included in the purchased package. The other reason is that you can light up the screen with any of the four shortcut buttons just below the screen. Each button can carry two functions, one activated by a simple press-and-release, and the other activated by a press-and-hold.

Editor,s Opinion

I have mixed reactions for the HP iPAQ rz1710. When compared against the earlier h1940 model which the rz1710 is supposed to replace, the processor specifications are slightly lower even though the screen is pretty much the same. However, it is one of the few PDAs on the market that you can buy for less than RM 1000.

Unless you need to be connected to a WiFi network, the iPAQ rz1710 is perfect for the beginning user, or for users who do not need so many features. It plays movies and music rather well, but you will need to invest in a storage card as the built-in memory is not likely to be enough to store music and video files. It does not make sense why there is even less memory than in the earlier 19xx models.

It carries about the same PIM applications as the other iPAQs, and the costs are saved by not including a cradle in the sales package. I would say that although it is thin and appealing, I would prefer that there was a little more power under the hood. This is exactly what HP said it is – a low cost, no frills iPAQ – but the price could be a little better.

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