I've been an Ipaq user almost from Day One when the first StrongARM processor machines rolled out. The advantages then were much faster performance with the 206MHz StrongARM than other offerings. Along the way I upgraded to a newer model, basically identical hardware except bigger memory chips and the newest Pocket PC WinCE operating system.
Since first Ipaq, Intel bought the StrongARM from DEC and created the X-Scale family of processors and buried it into everything from PDA's to network processors. Oh, and that sexy Carly Fiorina bought out Compaq and brought it into the HP fold... but the trend-setting Compaq PDA design is still here.
The iPAQ H2210 integrates all the goodies you really need into one package: Bluetooth, SD card slot, and CompactFlash slot. The great reduction in size is awesome; as someone who has a dual-slot CF expansion jacket, I can tell you the difference is tremendous. The SD slot, now that 512MB and 1GB capacities are available in SD (I got a 512MB when I purchased it), replaces the need for a CF slot for memory expansion. Memory is essential for three big things: Audible.com (what, you're not a member? shame on you! JOIN NOW! It's GREAT!), MP3, and Maps.
Streets & Trips is a bargain and works well with PDAs. With 1GB cards out though, I wish you could install the entire CD-ROM to the PDA with less compaction and contiguous mapping. S&T lets you export pretty large maps to the PDA, but when routing cross-country it's less convenient, and also the maps take longer to read than from a notebook installation. A 400MHz processor should do better than my P166 laptop of a few years back.......
The CF slot gives you WLAN or other peripheral functions. Compare this to the more expensive Ipaq 5xxx series that loses the CF slot for built-in LAN. Fine, but what if I want Wireless-G instead of 802.11b? You're not stuck with the H2210.
The loss of the standard Ipaq sleeve expansion is nil. Bluetooth fills that void because you can use Bluetooth for wireless keyboards, direct connection to Bluetooth-enabled phones, and Bluetooth GPS modules. I can virtually guarantee the peripheral makers will be rushing to Bluetooth now. You might lament the demise of your old GPS as I do (not an expansion port issue there but one of docking connector) but Bluetooth will free you of the cables!!
I think the lack of cables is a good thing, since it frees the Ipaq for navigation on motorcycles-- not friendly to cables!
Don't know if Bluetooth wireless headphones will work with the unit, but I want to find out...
The H2210 has an easily-replaced battery pack with 900mAh rating at 3.7V. The H2210 has some form of internal battery (capacitor? mini Lithium rechargeable cell?) to retain power for about 10 minutes while you change the main battery. On top of that, the operating system allows you to configure active/standby thresholds so you can partition your battery life between active use and memory retention.
What this means is that, say, 1 hour active use = 24 hours of standby time (standby is retaining your RAM contents). Assume about 4 hours active time for the battery (actual life is more than that typically). You can choose to have 1 hour active time and 72 hours standby, or 2 hours active and 48 standby, 3 active/24 standby. I'm fabricating these numbers but that is the general concept. It works. If you have that SD card, though, just run a Backup and don't worry about the standby time!
The display is considerably sharper than prior Ipaqs which always had the milky-whiteness to them. Prior Ipaqs had transflective screens that lighted from the side. I think the milkiness of appearance came from a white-light scattering coating meant to divert the side light to the viewer-oriented direction. The advantage of the side lighting was in allowing reflective operation in direct sun-- competing machines back then looked black in direct sun- the flourescent backlights just couldn't compete with the sun. I haven't tried the H2210 outdoors in the sun yet; indoors, the screen is MUCH crisper- probably the best in the industry.
The H2210 is a bit smaller than prior Ipaqs like my 3765, about 1/2 inch shorter and narrower. Thickness is about the same as the naked 3765. The case of the H2210 is awesome - it has sure-grip rubber sides, extremely smart compared to the greasy-slick 3765 and prior models. Record button is gone (never used that!) but the function can be reassigned if you want to the existing keys. Speaker is now in the rear instead of the joypad, but the joypad has better feel now. Screen is slightly smaller but the same pixel count (wish it were the 320x480 like Sony but alas 320x240 is it!).
I wish the H2210 had the 128MB of program memory of the H5xxx series, or a little more flash. I think my Ipaq 3765 had 48MB Flash/64MB RAM versus 32/64 for the H2210. As a result, the iPAQ file store has a measely 3MB free versus many megs on the 3765. The SD slot, however, makes the filestore of little relevance.
The SD slot can also accommodate SDIO cards, but with CF card slot also present I don't think this will be used -- the SD is needed for memory. You could, however, switch the functions and use CF for memory and SDIO for 802.11b. If you want a 6GB Pretec flash card and have money to burn, that would be fantastic.
Recommend this product?
Now that I've reminded myself, I have several 3GB Pretect CF cards at my disposal at work which I did try in the H2210 to see if the 3GB capacity is recognized (note: 2GB is the limit of FAT16). Yes, indeed, Pocket PC 2003 supports FAT32 filesystems and the full 3GB capacity was visible.