I don't mind admitting it, I used to be a huge HP iPAQ fan. A really big fan. But sadly, those days are long gone.
Over the past few years they feel like they've become less of a tool and more of a vehicle to sell me the latest version of Microsoft Windows Mobile. The single thing that really bothers me the most about the iPAQ is how we live in a time where a 4GB USB memory drive costs under $100, yet while HP charges a premium for these handheld devices they still only kit them out with memory measured in megabytes!
I used to use my existing iPAQ for loads of different purposes:
- Note taking (voice and keyboard)
- Browsing the web
- Watching DVDs
- Hooking it up to GPS for navigation
- Taking files and data with me when I'm on the move
- ... lots more besides
All this takes up masses of storage space, yet HP think that around 64MB or 128MB is enough. Yeah, OK, there's some with a bit more storage space but there's nothing in the current range that I could use without having to augment it with storage cards.
"Helloooo! This is the 21st century!"
So, what do I think it so wrong about a storage card? Well, to put it simply, I think they're a pain to use. It's great in the beginning when the iPAQ is blank, but the problems come when you've installed too much on the main machine and then have to start installing applications and saving data files on the card. The card then becomes a permanent fixture on the device and you've lost a slot. From this point on it you’re standing on the slippery slope juggling your data and files between internal storage or expansion cards. Eventually, out of desperation, it's time to add another storage card and now there's no expansion ports.
So that's it for me. HP have had the last dollar they're getting off me for an iPAQ. Until they can come up with an iPAQ that has at least 2GB of storage space then I'm done with them. I like the design, I like the screen, I like the button layout, and I love the expansion port (hang on, I hate the expansion port because it's flimsy and easily damaged) but the current capacities offered by HP are whipped by the current generations of portable video players that pack a lot more features into the box than HP do.
The next question is what to buy next?