HP iPAQ 114 Classic

Summary: If you can do without an integrated phone and a camera, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth equipped iPAQ 114 Classic will represent excellent value for money.

  • Editors' rating:
    7.0
  • User rating:
    0.0
  • RRP:
    GBP £161.00

Pros

  • Large screen
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Carrying case provided
  • SDHC support (for high-capacity SD cards)

Cons

  • No integrated phone
  • No camera
  • No bundled headset

In September 2007, HP announced no fewer than five new iPAQs: the first of these to arrive for review, courtesy of Expansys, is the entry-level iPAQ 114 Classic.

Design
Those who find the screens on today's relatively small handhelds difficult to see may appreciate the iPAQ 114 Classic's 3.5in. display. This does make for a relatively sizeable device at 69mm wide by 117mm tall by 13.6mm thick, although its 115g weight is not excessive. The screen offers the standard 320-by-240-pixel resolution, so text is relatively large and easy to read.

Beneath the screen are the familiar quartet of programmable Windows Mobile buttons and, in the middle, a large 5-way navigation key with a central select button. There are two buttons on the right edge: an on/off switch and one that starts the voice notes software running on a short press — press and hold this button and it records for as long as you have the button depressed.

The silver fascia has a mauve tint to it, which gives this iPAQ a distinctive look; the underside is black and made of a rubberised material. This feels comfortable and helps to keep the device secure in the hand or on a desk. HP provides a slip case for transporting the iPAQ 114 Classic.

Features
The iPAQ 114 Classic runs Windows Mobile 6 Classic, which means that it lacks an integrated phone and wide-area wireless connectivity. This is a real rarity today, although we did recently look at another handheld running Windows Mobile Classic &mash; the Mio P560. However, that device included a GPS receiver and lots of internal storage, both of which are absent here.

The iPAQ 114 Classic has just 64MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM, and our review sample reported 195MB of free storage memory. There is an easily accessible SD card slot on the left edge, and this accepts high-capacity SDHC cards. The processor, a Marvell PXA 310, runs at 624MHz.

Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth (2.0+EDR) are both integrated, and HP is clearly convinced that enough potential buyers will use Bluetooth to hook up to another device, such as a mobile phone, to access wide-area wireless communications. To that end, the company includes a Bluetooth Phone Manager application. This provides automatic settings for a number of mobile phones, and once you're connected the software can be used to connect using the iPAQ's touch screen rather than your mobile phone.

As well as lacking a SIM card slot, this iPAQ lacks another common feature in handhelds — a camera. Because most users are likely to be carrying a mobile phone in addition to the iPAQ 114 Classic, and their phone will doubtless have a camera, we think HP has made a sensible economy in omitting one.

The same can’t be said for the lack of headphones. There is a 2.5mm jack on the upper edge, but if you want to listen to music or any other sounds in private, you'll have to buy a headset — and probably also a 2.5mm-to-3.5mm converter.

Performance & battery life

The iPAQ 114 Classic's 624MHz processor coped well with everything we threw at it, while the device's 3.5in. screen is, as already noted, large and readable.

We tested battery life by asking the device to play music continuously from a full charge with its screen forced to stay on. Under these conditions we got just a shade under eight hours of music. This is very respectable for a Windows Mobile device, especially given that the battery is driving a comparatively large screen.

Conclusion
With neither an integrated phone nor a camera, the iPAQ 114 Classic is unlikely to have wide appeal. However, in some vertical markets a 'standalone' PDA is exactly what's required, in which case this device will represent excellent value for money. We wish HP had bundled a headset, though.

 

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Reviews

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