New PocketPC: HP 1910

New device alert! I’ve opted to sell my Toshiba e740 Pocket PC. No complaints with the device, but I had begun to feel like I’m trying to hit a fly with a building rather than a swatter. It’s got all sorts of stuff with it, like WiFi (802.11b) and CF/SD support, but I don’t use most of it. I used to use it for a MP3 Player, but the iPod has superceded that. I rarely play games on it or use the built in Wireless LAN. Never watched a movie on it. I used the CF slot for backups and the device for the Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks – maybe for solitaire.

Given the limited uses that I have for a PDA, I was contemplating the Zire from Palm – it sync’s with Outlook and iSync and is only $99. I checked it out and was repulsed… clunky, cheap feeling (hollow really) and overall just… bluh. I mean it’s still just a Palm. Palm that announced this week that it didn’t want to switch from Graffiti to Jot because they said “We don’t think that our customers would want to learn a new way to write for an upgrade of the OS”. What a bunch of dolts! The reason why Palm doesn’t have more users is that people had to learn to write a new way just to use Graffiti in the first place! Jot doesn’t – it reads regular handwriting. Anyway, the Zire was out.

Then I met the HP iPaq 1910. This is the smallest Pocket PC I’ve ever seen. It’s got the best color screen that I’ve ever seen on any mobile device. Ever. No CF slot, but it’s got support for SD/MMC cards, so I can still back up the device. It uses ActiveSync so no worries about sync’ing data. No Wireless LAN and no way to get it either: *yawn*. I won’t miss it. It’s got a 200MHz processor, but some people on the ‘net have learned hot to jump that to 300MHz, but unless I start to watch movies, I won’t notice the speed difference. The thing is incredibly well designed.

Down sides? Only a few. Windows Media Player and MS Reader had to be installed to the RAM; not sure of the reason for this. Also there’s no Backup tool, and I don’t know why. I’ve never heard of any Pocket PC shipping without a backup utility; I’ll have to get that myself. And that’s the gripe: while the device is $300 (much cheaper than the $650 for the e740) it doesn’t come with a cradle ($50), I had to switch from CF to SD memory ($40), no case ($40), and no backup software ($20). Of course, the thing is so new that 3rd party companies, like Brando for screen protection, hasn’t gotten around to making accessories for it yet. The accessories kick up the price considerably, but the size and elegance of the PDA itself makes it worth it.

If you’re near a CompUSA, go see it in person – pictures alone don’t do it justice. Don’t expect CompUSA to have them in stock though – PCConnection does and gets them to you overnight for about $14 in shipping.


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