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View Full Version : Dethroning the King

Jason Dunn
06-13-2002, 03:37 PM
<a href="http://articles.pocketnow.com/content.cgi?db=articles&id=84">http://articles.pocketnow.com/content.cgi?db=articles&id=84</a><br /><br />Nick Tapias, Contributing Editor at pocketnow.com, has put together a column that pulls together a nice history of Pocket PCs and his own views on what the iPAQ needs to become in order to retain its crown. What do you think? Will the iPAQ still be at the top of the heap six months from now?<br /><br />"The advent of XScale in the Pocket PC seems to have spelled the end of the iPAQ. New devices boast nearly double the clock speed of the present Pocket PCs and a number of other features not found on any other PDA. The new Toshiba e740 and Fujistu-Seimens Pocket LOOX combine the speed of a 400 MHz XScale processor with dual expansion slots and the option of integrated WiFi. Recently announced Pocket PC Phone also threatens to remove the almighty iPAQ from its throne by gaining voice capabilities. How, you ask, can the iPAQ ever retain its position as King and prevent the coming coup?"

06-13-2002, 04:30 PM
In my opinion, the Ipaq has already lost its zeal. I had an Ipaq for about a year and a half. I loved it. I now have a Maestro and I am just now realizing how fragile my Ipaq was. I had dust, backlighting problems, the sleeve made it huge. I can't believe how much more I am enjoying my Maestro. If the Ipaq is going to stay king of the hill, they will need to make a few improvements. More expandability built in. No dust. No sleeves. A different design (I like the current one but it's getting old). I have to give credit to the Ipaq though. They were the only strong arm 206 processor for quite some time. A two year old Ipaq is still on par with today's newer models. They sorta set the standard.

Dr. Smooth
06-13-2002, 05:28 PM
The iPaq was cutting edge when it first came out. But it quickly became clear that the device is all flash and no substance when it comes to features for true usability. The expansion sleeve is a horrible concept. Using a PocketPC without CompactFlash or SD for persistent storage is like using a gun without a safety -- you're going to shoot yourself in the foot at some point. So in order to have such expansion support, you have to bulk up your pretty little handheld by 25% or more (have you seen the double expansion slot? talk about a BRICK!)

And how about removable batteries? The Jornada is the only device out there with a removable battery (with the exception of the $800+ ruggedized Casio and the new e740, whenever that is really available! In the enterprise environment, the ability to have spare batteries for PocketPC is critical, given their pitiful battery life.

Don't get me wrong -- I really like PocketPCs, but the manufacturers don't seem to learn from their own (and others') design successes and failures. They just keep designing new devices, never shaking the bugs/flaws out of their existing ones. But I guess that's the way the PocketPC OS works, too. I find it amazing that a bug like the "Do you want to format your Storage Card" message survived through to PocketPC2002...

don dre
06-13-2002, 06:16 PM
the dust under the screen thing is fixed. i had mine fixed by the guys at linear logix. anyways, i have the ipaq 3630 with upgraded memory and OS and it is just as functional as many of the newer ones. I do wish I had a built in slot for the microdrive though not to mention built-in Wifi for my home network. the CF+ sleeve solves a lot of problems but not enough. The Loox has my eye though I read here that HP is coming out with a comparable device with a removable battery. The question is timing. Compaq was notoriously slow and we can;t wait forever, the mistake HP made with their 768? model. Oh well, that's life. Nobody misses kerosene lanterns or the first cell phones...pioneers though they were.

06-14-2002, 01:19 AM
I returned my H3875 in April - just way too bulky (and that's *without* the CF sleeve) to carry regularly, and isn't that the point? The build quality wasn't up to par either. Unless there's a revolutionary new design coming down the pipe, the iPAQ will probably join the list of the old Casios and Ninos as "former king of the heap".

I now have an e570 and find it a far superior device - dual slots and almost as small as my old Palm IIIc. I wish it had integrated Bluetooth (or even support for Toshiba's BT SDIO card, or even ANY @#$%# support -- sorry, that's a different rant), and the battery life of PalmOS devices, but overall the best PPC device currently available IMHO. Oh, and I saw the new Sony NR70 480x320 screen this week - I would LOVE to see that on a PPC!

Looking down the road, I'm very concerned about reports that MicroSoft doesn't have the WinCE kernel optimized for the new crop of XScale devices and may not have until possibly 2004?!! When the LOOX *finally* comes out it may not have the performance boost that everyone is hoping for. This is a serious concern!

'K enough bitching - gotta go try the new version of Pocket DivX Player :-)

06-14-2002, 04:03 AM
I just had to correct Dr. Smooth's post--my E-125 (and all Casio models for that matter) have replaceable batteries, as well as that second backup battery. Just one of the great things about the Casio Pocket PCs, in my opinion :wink:

Will T Smith
06-14-2002, 05:52 AM

Long live the new king.

Seriously, iPaq has one foot in the grave. Yes, they've sold the most devices to date. However, they are quickly falling behind in terms of features, form-factor, practicality, and most notably reliability.

HP claims 70% market share now. However, they're market share will quickly degrade this year in the Hewlett-Paq-ard fiasco merger.