HP iPaq 214 Enterprise
3rd Jun 2008 | 15:27
A great new look for this business handheld makes it even easier to use
In this age of connected devices, there is something almost archaic about the traditional PDA, which has been driven to extinction by the smartphone.
However, HP continues to support it for its business customers and the HP iPaq 214 Enterprise (£225 inc. VAT) is the latest iteration.
You can tell it's for business users, typically the IT manager or platform developer, as there is support for two types of memory card.
You'll find the standard Secure Digital slot for adding more memory, which you'll need to do if you want to use the media functions, as the base unit only comes with 128MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. There is also a CompactFlash slot, which is used for adding plug-in cards, such as a barcode scanner or even fingerprint reader.
The design of PDAs hasn't changed much in recent years, with four function buttons and navigation buttons positioned below the screen. On the sides there is a button for recording voice messages and also a mini-jack socket for headphones.
The device sports a 4-inch screen, which adds to the overall bulk of the unit. Weighing 190g, you're not likely to drop this in your shirt pocket and carry it round with you. The screen has a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, which is rather impressive and we liked how sharp images looked.
There is an ambient light sensor which can alter the screen according to the lighting conditions of your location. This can help save battery life. The screen is a little soft and you'll need to press quite hard for the stylus to register when using the handwriting-recognition software.
Windows Mobile 6
Functionality is great, with wireless LAN connecting quickly and smoothly. Once connected, the larger screen is a bonus as it allows you to access websites a little more freely than a PDA with its smaller display, especially if the website doesn't support resizing for PDAs. Bluetooth is also built-in for connecting to your phone.
When it comes to processing power, there is the Marvell 624MHz PXA310 Processor, which proved a little sluggish to open applications, but it's sufficiently powerful enough to handle Pocket Office tasks, as well as run Windows Media Player.
HP is still using a larger charge connection. Once again, this harks back to the core user, as this connection is compatible with previous generations so business buyers won't complain about the change to a new design.
HP has done a fantastic job of updating the iPaq 214 Enterprise and of modifying Mobile Windows 6 to help the iPaq run as smoothly as possible. While the screen adds to the device's overall bulk, it's a good size to use out in the field.