One cannot go without the other so I will be reviewing both products that I bought last weekend.
Please note: photo's taken using my camera phone - they do not do the screen justice!:
The iPAQ hx4700 is a third quarter 2004 product from Hewlett Packard and it is evident from the new streamlined shape. It is not small but it is reasonably light weight for its size. It looks like a quality product and to the touch feels nice and solid which bodes well for the inevitable knocks and drops it will suffer. The screen is large and being a VGA is exceptional.
Firstly, if you have used Windows you will find navigating the pda as easy as pie. It runs on the popular Microsoft CE platform and everything can be accessed via the start button. It contains all the features of most business pda's. It has the most popular programs installed:
clock and alarm
excel, and a host of others which I haven't used yet.
The VGA screen is incredible and photo's are rendered beautifully. The icons and text are smooth and not pixelated which is great for viewing sites on the internet. The screen is a touch screen, used most effectively with the stylus or if need be your finger. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted manually or by predefined settings for when running off the battery or the cradle. The brains behind the operation is a 624mhz Intel processor which certainly knocked my socks off with its speed. There is no lag when accessing menus etc and less than a second when opening bulky programs like word and excel. Intenet explorer is the same beast as on your pc but just fewer options. Webpages are presented as they are intended and can be squashed into one column so horizontal scrolling is eliminated. Outlook is exactly the same as the pc version and getting your email is simple.
Bluetooth, Infra red, WiFi, Wlan, USB cradle you name it. Setting up the blue tooth connection was easy and within a minute I was browsing the SANParks forums with my pda using my Nokia 6600's gprs function. I have not been to a WiFi hotspot yet but presume it will be just as easy to get going.
Whats in the box
iPAQ 4700 x 1
Battery Li-ion 1500mah x 1
AC battery charger x 1
USB docking cradle x 1
Setup cd with Active Synch and a host of trial programs
Guarantee and product papers
And now to the important stuff:
Nigel Dennis and where to watch game in the Kruger National Park for PDAs'
First off I when I picked it up of the shelf at Incredible Connection I was surprised to see the price at R399 was more expensive than the pc version. Anyway not put off I went to the till and when the cashier rang it up it displayed R199. I saved R200 - score
In the box
A CD and registration papers.
The installation process is done through your pc with your pda in its cradle and plugged into your pc via the provided usb cradle cable. Installation takes about 5 minutes from cd to your pc and then you are prompted to select the folder on your pda where it will be installed. This was my first mistake. I installed it to the pda's built in memory as opposed to the memory card (more about that later). Also on the cd the flash player plug-in is provided which needs to be installed on the pda. After installing flash, the installation is complete.
I started the program and all worked well but I did get low memory warnings on the pda. I then decided to uninstal it and reinstall it to the memory card so as to free up space. It didn't work at all. I emailed Jan at the support desk the following morning and he forwarded the updated version 2 to me which can run off the memory card. Things worked fine after installing version 2.
It starts off with a nice intro of animal photos and then takes you to a menu. The layout is very simple and easy to navigate.
Sightings Check List
:There is a sightings check list where you can tick off what you have seen. Next to each animals name is a button which plays the sound of the animal and another button which can be clicked to show you a photo. Unfortunatly not all the animals have the sound option but a fair amount do. It is a nice touch though. Twiga isolated one mistake in the sounds and that is the Black Rhino and the Bushbaby both play the same sound file.
: The program has all the main camps listed and when you click on a camp it brings up a map of the camp and surrounding area, including roads, dams and viewpoints. The map function is nice, if not a little difficult to scroll, but it is a bit grainy which can be forgiven when taking into account that it is running on a pda.
: This lists all the viewing spots camp by camp and the road number. When clicked you are taken to a map showing the location and surrounding roads and camps.
: This section concentrates solely on the Big 5. Here you get a photo, a sound file and a some informtion about each animal as well as where they can be seen most regularly in the park. The information snippet is quite concise, only being about two paragraphs long.
: This is about 4 pda length pages long, basically touching on the photography in the park. The short exerts are paragraphs taken from the book, with an introductory passage, tips and a page on lighting.
Read the Book
: This is the most exciting part of the program. It seems to contain the whole book from front to back with photo's. I haven't sat down and compared the two word for word but it looks like the pda version has a couple of paragraphs from each subject in the book version. Definately a nice read if in the car or plane on the way to the park!
(The book: 9/10)