Other goodies include HP’s own help files and tips – an easier to understand collection of support documents than is usually available on Windows Mobile 6 devices – together with a PDF viewer, a photo-viewer, slideshow application, printer tool, and Microsoft’s OneNote Mobile application.
Even the connections have been thoroughly thought out. For audio there’s a full-sized 3.5mm headphone output; you get a mini-USB input for charging and syncing from your desktop PC; and there’s also a docking cable included in the box that enables you to charge via the supplied plugtop power adapter at the same time as maintaining a USB data session – handy if the available USB socket doesn’t supply the requisite amount of juice.
In short, the iPAQ 214 is almost the perfect PDA. It’s usable, relatively light (192g) considering its size, has a fantastic screen, a flexible selection of connections and a host of really useful software extras. It’s powerful, luxuriously designed and, if all you want is an organiser to accompany your phone, there’s nothing to beat it.
Yet the niggling question remains: when a smartphone such as HTC’s TyTN II can do all this, and bring mobile data, a GPS receiver plus a hardware keyboard to the party as well, how many people will really end up buying one? Especially when the price – at a not-inconsiderable £224 – isn’t exactly what you’d call competitive.
Score in detail