All righty then, well welcome to the first of my weekly features, Wednesday is gadget day!
OK, so a while back I posted a list of gadgets and said that I would be following up with mini reviews of my own personel favourite gadgets, here’s the link to the post.
Anywho, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I’m gonna be doing for the first few of these weekly posts. This week i’m kickin’ it all off with my HP ipaq 6515.
The 6515 is, actually I should say was (a new model has been released), marketed as a mobile communicator, now to be fair it does have a lot of mobile communications type features, but it is primarily a windows based PDA. So it does all the usual PDA type features…
Calendar, Address book, Tasklists, e-mail via sync with outlook or Exchange push, pocket word, pocket excel, adobe acrobat, Media Player (great for podcasts;) some games etc. So before we go any further it’s already a very handy device.
Lets go a little further, there is a camera and GPS receiver built in. The camera is a fairly run of the mill 1.2 mega pixel affair with similar quality to the majority of camera phones available so it’s only really usefull for the odd emergency snap.
The GPS receiver on the other hand is fantastic, it’s just a shame that Hewlett Packard don’t include Ireland when they promise maps for all major western european countries Although to be fair until fairly recently even google couldn’t get good maps for Ireand out of OSI, so lets not be to hard on HP. Anyway, my route planning requirements have been looked after fairly well by “Via Michelin” which draws from the same data as google maps.
Until recently that satisfied my GPS needs but as I’m getting more in to my photo walks I’m gonna need something that gives me a tracklog which is where Megolith comes in. While it won’t do route planning I can use screen shots from google earth as my maps more on that once testing has been completed
News just in thanks to Stalltheball.com it would appear that I should have a look at this new AA Navigator Software, it would appear from what’s been said here that it’s got some great maps for Ireland included.
Okay so I’ve covered the PDA, Camera and GPS. I haven’t mentioned the bluetooth capabilities, I use this for 2 things, firstly my “hands free” connection in the car and secondly I can share my Media Centre’s Internet connection with my PDA enabling me to use the mobile IE app to web surf from anywhere in the house or garden at home (even the smallest room, newspapers are so 20th century) yes, web browsing on a pda can be frustrating as it reformats the page you are looking at in order to make it fit on the 240×240 display, however with things like “news rivers” and “yomoblog” becoming more widespread It’s certainly becoming more useful and less frustrating almost daily.
The last feature of this unit to mention is the GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE connectivity. The GPRS is something I only use occasionally as I’m usually not to far away from a web connection of some sort that I can use to sync to or share. On the other hand if I was using more public transport then that’s a different story, I’m sure it would get more use to pass the time.
The mobile phone feature set is fairly basic it calls people, it receives inbound calls and it sends and recieves text messages, with one exception, the contacts list, it’s synced to your outlook address book so every contact you have is on your phone, if your using Exchange push then you have access to the entire domains contact list, what more could you want from a phone? Well reliability is the only concern I have on that front, now bear in mind I’m not a huge mobile phone user and if you are then I cannot recommend this unit as it has problems about once a month where it simply stops sending or receiving calls and a soft reset is the only way to resolve the problem. Big deal you might think but you’ll only know there’s a problem when you go to make a call, who knows how many calls you might have missed in the meantime.
As for the size/weight well it’s not one for the shirt pocket, jacket pocket yes. A better idea though is to get one of the many beltclip cases that are available, that’s where mine lives quite happily most of the time.
Now for some pictures
Ok the first Picture showsa you the front complete with mini keyboard, which works surprisingly well once you adjust to it. and the othe shows the rear of the unit in it’s case, nice of the case manufacturer to leave openings for the camera and speaker.
The left side of the unit showing (from left to right) it’s IR port, the Camera Shutter/memo recorder button and the volume slider.
The right hand side showing (left to Right) mini-SD card slot and the normal SD card slot, Stuffed with 2Gb card. [homer] mmmmmmmmm Storage [/homer]
And for our final shot some nudity
Just to give you a size comparison but also to show what 12 months of daily use and abuse has done to it. Answer very little apart from the fingerprints