And They’re Off! (New HP iPAQs)

ipaqs
Engadget was the first place I saw this, but no doubt the rest of the gadget/pocketPC blogoshpere is giddy with excitement over the new HP iPAQs. Just to give you a feel of the geekiness of this event, some of the biggest scandals and rumours prior to release have been about HP changing the naming scheme for these devices:

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Instead of all names beginning with an “h” and then a string of four numbers, its new lineup will use two letters followed by four numbers, e.g. rz1700, rx3700, and hx4700.

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They all look pretty sexy now that they have been released into the wild, and there’s no doubt that HP have (with a VGA screen on a 600MHz PPC) retaken the totally insane out-specced PDA ground that they lost for a very short time.

The 6300 form factor (e.g. the h6315, second from left) has probably had the most pre-press, after some very accurate leaks found their way onto some prominent sites. The h6315 represents HP’s foray into smartphones. More accurately it is a PPC with quad-band GSM phone functionality. And WiFi, and bluetooth, and an SD Card slot, and a VGA screen, and, and, and….

One thing I haven’t seen in all the rumoured specs is the touchpad on the hx4705 (first on the left). A touchpad on a device that is 90% touchscreen!? The genius marketing literature effusively states: Integrated touchpad navigation with mouse-like cursor. Excuse my French, by why the freaking hell would I want a “mouse-like cursor” when I have a perfectly good stylus-like pointing device in my hand?!

The last two devices (the rx3415 and the rz1715) represent the newly coined “Mobile Media Companion” device range. I’m sorry, Media Companion!? They are PDAs with an SD card slot and some media software. Did someone at HP take a hit to the head with a fast-moving iPod? I guess it’s a poor-to-middling attempt to stem the tide while the R&D guys work furiously on a sexy HDD-based media player. After all, that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

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