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HP Rolls Out New iPaqs

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Thinking back, 'iPAQ' was the generic industry term for 'smartphone' before the market exploded and with a rash of handsets announced over the last year is clear HP would like this ubiquity back...

To this end the company has splurged upon us today its latest pair of iPAQs, the 'Voice Messenger' (VM) and 'Data Messenger' (DM) - the former a slim line candybar with BlackBerry-esque rocker Qwerty keypad and the latter a full on touchscreen, Qwerty slider. Perhaps unsurprisingly, HP dubs them 'Beauty and The Beast'.

Outward styling makes for a pretty compelling argument for this too with the devices' clean lines certainly appealing and their shared 7.2Mbit HSDPA, GPS, WiFi and 3MP cameras should do more than enough to sway the business crowd about their internals as well.

Where they differ - quite obviously - are the VM's 2.4in and DM's 2.8in QVGA displays (a slightly low resolution for the DM in this day and age, perhaps?), but the duo are also linked in few downsides too: their shared microSD slots are compatible with up to 8GB (so the new 16GB microSD HC cards are off the menu), while 128MB SDRAM doesn't really excite anymore, nor do the 2.5mm headphone connectors (HP - what did you really gain from that saved 1mm?!).

Still, with a release launch next month on Vodafone, the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger and HP iPAQ Data Messenger should make worthy market additions for those not enticed by BlackBerry, Apple or Microsoft's horrendous Windows Mobile OS. Furthermore while subsidised pricing is as yet unknown, they are expected to retail for approx £330 and £399 respectively sim free, figures that could have many a corporate finance department smiling...

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