However, if HP has gone to the length of providing stereo speakers, why has the company supplied a headset with a 2.5mm jack with no port for a standard 3.5mm one without investing in a converter?
There is also a question mark over the wireless connectivity. It is great that the triple play of infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi all make an appearance here, though the latter is 802.11b only.
HP has done a good job where device memory is concerned. There is 114MB of free memory for storage of applications and data, which is considerably more than most Pocket PCs in the current range are able to offer. If you want more, the expansion medium of choice is miniSD cards, and thankfully the slot is on the casing – on the top edge to be precise – rather than hidden away under the battery.
There is a two megapixel camera built into the iPAQ rw6815 Personal Messenger and its lens is accompanied by a tiny self portrait mirror – almost too small to be of any use at all. There’s a twin-light LED flash too. Once you’ve activated the camera by pressing the button on the right edge of the casing it is easy to access the various camera controls and options by tapping icons on the screen.
Hewlett Packard adds some software to the Windows Mobile Pocket PC standard fare, including voice control and some software for manipulating images shot with the camera. Compared to what you get with some other Pocket PCs the bundle is rather feeble.
Battery life too was not quite what I would have liked. Continuous MP3 playback from a miniSD card with the screen forced to stay on got me eight and a quarter hours of music. I’ve seen some Windows Mobile Pocket PCs recently approach and even pass ten hours under the same regime, so this is a case of ‘could do better’.
In fact, ‘could do better’ seems like a fair overall judgement on this device. It is a comfortable Pocket PC to use, and not too bulky to carry around. But while it comes up trumps in some areas, most notably built in memory and memory expansion, it lets down in others, such as the lack of ‘g’ Wi-Fi support and slightly less than top notch battery life.