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Windows Mobile (soon to be Android), and other toys aka gadgets

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Sunday, February 17, 2008
  First Impression of the HP210 - Nice!!!

Just received the 210, first impression is I like it a lot. This is about my 12th Win Mobile device (yeah, I'm a gadget geek). The screen is excellent overall - great color reproduction, bright, and excellent contrast. However, I have found the screen sensitivity a little too low for my liking. I frequently navigate using my finger only, and one hand. I hold the device in the palm of my hand, and select menus, type on virtual keyboard, use navigation pad, etc. with the thumb (or thumbnail when the spacing between items is tight) on the same hand I am holding the device with. I'm sure I will get used to the 210's sensitivity, but the x51v, e830, and PPC-6700 require a lot less pressure to select items, etc. Contrary to the hype, the i devices are not the first devices that could be used without a stylus. I have used finger navigation on my WM, and Palm devices for years.

The WiFi, and bluetooth have all worked fine. I always use Bluetooth sync, and the 210 paired/syn'd with no problems. I installed all my usual 3rd party apps, (some dating back to PPC 2002), and all have worked fine with WM6. I know we are supposed to want the full internet on our mobile device (can you go a day without the Cupertino company telling you so in their ubiquitous commercials ;-) ), but I prefer the mobile internet in most cases when using a mobile device due to the small screen real estate. I know scrolling, and panning are supposed to impress the coffee shop crowd, but panning is just another word for the dreaded horizontal scrolling. PIE does a nice job with the mobile internet. On all my mobile devices, I use the mobile internet 90% of the time. If I need a full internet site, opera-mini (free) running within the IBM micro JVM does an excellent job displaying full internet pages. I also always have the latest version of NetFront installed. Contrary to the hype, the i devices are not the first to display full internet pages.

The speed of the 210 is nice, but it does feel a bit sluggish at times. It reminds me of how my x51v, and e830 feel when the processor power setting is on auto. I always manually set those devices to use the highest speed at all times, and the increase in speed is impressive. I have not seen a similar setting on the 210 (not under power where it is on the other devices). If a setting for maximum speed at all times is not there, I hope to find a utility, or reg hack that will do the trick.

Thank you HP for being the rare WM supplier who actually supplies enough storage, and program memory on the device. Even with all my normal apps installed, and multi-tasking many apps, there is plenty of memory still available for both storage, and program execution.

CorePlayer 1.1.3 runs great, and looks fantastic on the beautiful 4" screen. I frequently stream video from NAS drives to my mobile devices, and the 210 handles that task fine.

Since the 210 is new, there are not many accessories available. Hopefully, that will change. One accessory that I use on the e830, and x51v is the VGA out which allows you to mirror your display, and presentation to a video projector. I sometimes give presentations/demos at the local PDA user group, and it is nice to do a presentation about PDA's from a PDA.

One very minor complaint - the 210 has the most difficult battery cover to remove that I ever encountered.

Overall, I like the 210 a lot. It has plenty of memory, 2 expansion slots, a great VGA screen, good battery life, and a nice feel to it. I am also happy that a stand alone PDA is still being offered by a major brand.
I was a Palm OS champion for years, but switched to the Windows Mobile platform in 2005. My experiences using my Windows Mobile devices, and other electronic devices will be detailed in this blog. The posts reflect what I like, and do not like about a device, or application. Your needs, and opinion may be different.

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