HP iPAQ 214 Enterprise PDA Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £224.00

The onward march of smartphone technology has rendered the once potent PDA a sad and forlorn figure. And it’s easy to see why it’s slowly but surely going the way of the dodo. Why would anyone want to carry a separate device for your contacts, email and calendar when everything – and more – can be squeezed into one super-capable, pocketable device?

As the success of the iPhone proves, however, being able to squeeze the fastest technology and the most features into a device is not always, well, everything. Sometimes you don’t need every bell and whistle to make a usable product.

Perhaps that was the thinking behind HP’s latest PDA, the iPAQ 214. Not everyone wants to carry their office email and calendar around with them all the time – especially at the weekend or on holidays – a reminder of the treats in store when they return to the office, so why not split the two features in two? Why not keep the phone a phone and reserve the rest for a separate device?

If that’s the road you want to go down, the iPAQ 214 should certainly be on your short list. This is truly a Rolls-Royce among PDAs: it’s large and very, very wide and at 76 x 126 x 16mm (WxHxD) it’s a good centimetre broader and taller than my TyTN II. It also looks and feels as luxurious to use as one of the famous stately cars, with a rear panel clad in thick, rubber-coated plastic, sides that are wrapped in gunmetal-silver and a front fascia finished in piano black. Like a well-tailored suit, it has an understated, yet very expensive-feel.

Turn it on and the luxury feel continues. The screen measures a huge 4in diagonally and this fills the iPAQ’s ample chassis from edge to edge. It’s bright too, with vibrant colours and has an impressively high resolution of 640 x 480. You can squeeze lots of detail on a screen this big and Google Maps is a joy to look at and use. Hook it up to the Internet via Bluetooth or the iPAQ’s 214 Wi-Fi connection, and even browsing the Internet becomes viable – as long as you download a decent web browser first, that is.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.