Remember the time you walked into your Psych 111 class only to realize that you had an exam? Have you ever needed to check an important email but were nowhere near a computer? Or have you ever wanted something better to do than the crossword puzzle in lecture.
If this sounds like you, you might want to check out Compaq”s iPaq Pocket PC H3635. Similar to a Palm Pilot, the iPAQ offers a ridiculous amount of features. More than just an everyday planner, this handheld organizer also doubles as an mp3 player, a voice recorder, a word processor, an email station and more. Not only does it offer a myriad of features, the Pocket PC”s display is full of vibrant colors and the backlight makes it easy on the eyes.
Powered by that little company known as Microsoft, the Pocket PC gives prospective handheld organizers something that Palm Pilots and Handspring Visors cannot offer Microsoft Windows applications. Included software includes Word, Excel, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. These features all work surprisingly well considering how small the device is.
While the Windows features on the iPAQ are a nice thing to have, most of them require additional accessories in order to truly appreciate them. Straight out of the box, the iPAQ does not have enough memory to hold any more than two or three mp3 files. In order to get closer to an hour of music, however, the Pocket PC is compatible with Compact Flash cards. These memory cards are also useful for storing digital photos, everyday files and more.
Similar to the mp3 function on the device, programs like Word, Excel and Outlook can be difficult to use with the stylus pen provided. These devices work like a charm with the use of the available fold up keyboard. Costing around $150 (the Pocket PC H3635 retails at $500), this keyboard makes the iPaq live up to its name as a the Pocket PC.
As for the email and Internet options of the device, these options can only be taken advantage of with the available 56k modem (also about a $150). With the modem, the Pocket PC allows you to check your emails from professors or check up on your favorite teams on ESPN.com.
Aside from PC functions of the iPAQ, the device is also an exceptional organizer. For starters, writing with the stylus pen seems much easier than Palm organizers. Rather than feeling like you are writing in a new language, writing with the provided pen is rather easy to do. The only downside is that is still takes a while to write stuff in. Any extensive writing with the Pocket PC should be done with the available keyboard. In addition to writing notes, the Pocket PC also has a voice-recording button on the side that is useful for personal reminders, interviews and even recording lectures (extra memory would be required).
Lastly, the Pocket PC is a great alternative to drawing three-dimensional cubes and doing the crossword puzzle during classes. Featuring Solitaire and Microsoft Paint, students can put the ease into Comm. 102 by playing games. Aside from the games provided, additional games can be purchased or downloaded from the web.
In the end, it is clear that Compaq”s iPAQ is the mother of all pocket organizers. In fact, with the right accessories, it can be considered a pretty decent computer as well. The only real downside of the device is that to truly appreciate it, you need to purchase the keyboard, modem and memory cards.
Adding up the total cost using the calculator program on the device, you will find that you need to spend close to a $1000 to get the most out of the iPAQ. For this reason, one must ask if a pocket organizer is really worth that kind of money, when you could buy a good computer and a notepad for around the same price. However, for those who cannot remember a thing or just want to buy the ultimate portable gizmo, the Pocket PC H3635 is definitely worth checking out.