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 Post subject: Product Review Double Whammy - iPAQ & Nigel Dennis on it
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:24 pm 
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One cannot go without the other so I will be reviewing both products that I bought last weekend.

iPAQ hx4700

The Look

Please note: photo's taken using my camera phone - they do not do the screen justice!:

Image

Image

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.

Functionality

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:
a calender
clock and alarm
task centre
appointment database
battery info
internet explorer
outlook
word
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.

Connections

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
Stylus x1
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

Rating: 9/10

And now to the important stuff:

Nigel Dennis and where to watch game in the Kruger National Park for PDAs'

Image

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 :wink:

In the box

A CD and registration papers.

Installation

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.

The Program

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.

Menu:

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.

Maps: 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.

Viewing Spots: 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.

BIG 5: 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.

Photo Tips: 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!

Rating: 7/10

(The book: 9/10)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:35 pm 
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What a great review Bwana.:D
The software sounds great. I'm sure my little Dell Axim would be happy with it :lol: It's a pity it's only sold in SA. The shipping costs for the books and the software are a bit too high for me.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:43 pm 
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Thank you so much for the very informative and thorough review bwana! I am definitely going to get a setup for myself. I use a Nokia 6220 because I need the modem function on it to access inet/email when out of my office and with the pda you reviewed I can do so without always having to lug my notebook about with me. I do always take my notebook with to Kruger etc tho to store my pics on.

I saw the Nigel Dennis software in Exclusive Books too last week for the same price advertised by Incredible Connection (R399).

If anyone has the Sasol e-birds programme for pda's - it would be great to hear about it too.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:48 am 
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Thanks for the compliment you two.
DB I haven't come across the Sasol bird guide but have seen the Roberts guide which looks comprehensive to say the least. Its almost R700 IIRC for the PDA version. I am sorry to say that I am not that into birds so I probably wont get it for myself. If I come across somebody who has it I'll have a look and pass comment here for you.

regards
bwana

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:18 pm 
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Just ordered the Sasol E-birds for PDA this morning. Will probably take a couple of weeks to arrive but will post a review when it does.

Also just bought a secondhand copy of the Sasol Birds of the KNP video. 90 minutes of video and sound of 250 different species - better than any still pic and phonetic description of bird calls could be! It's cleared up a few questions I had about some of the bird calls you can hear at the restcamps.

Bwana, I used to feel the same as you about bird watching but those quiet days when all you seem to see are grazing impala and wildebeest have taught me that sometimes the birdlife can be far more interesting. It's also nice at places like Letaba when the big game is a long way off to sit and watch the Kingfishers or even the weavers with a nice cold Savannah beside you.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:49 pm 
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I have ordered the HP iPAQ hx4700 directly from a wholesale distributor and have since found out that the price the store bwana bought his from are selling them at a really good (even better) price!!! :evil:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:58 pm 
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DinkyBird wrote:
I have ordered the HP iPAQ hx4700 directly from a wholesale distributor and have since found out that the price the store bwana bought his from are selling them at a really good (even better) price!!! :evil:


DB, like all harware, the pricing is very fickle! :x You can never win because the prices do come down or a newer model comes out. Anyway, good buy!

bwana

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