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HP iPAQ 912c review: HP iPAQ 912c

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The Good Decent Windows Mobile experience. Good mechanical navigation.

The Bad Unusual battery draining software bug. Processing can be laggy. Handset heavier than its competition.

The Bottom Line HP's latest iPAQ is a no-frills experiment in Windows Mobile 6.1 with unremarkable hardware and a price-point that falls evenly between the cheapest in the market and the most expensive. We've found the 912c passable, but painfully average.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.2 Overall

Review Sections

Design
HP has done its homework. The 912c's pragmatic design is far from revolutionary, but the company has been smart enough to pinch a few good ideas from its competition. In addition to the standard menu navigation keys, there is an OK button used to close active windows, common to Palm smartphones, and on the right side of the handset HP has included a jogwheel reminiscent of the last generation of BlackBerrys. Both of these elements are simple inclusions but certainly make for faster navigation.

The 912c's dimensions (114mm tall, 54mm wide and 15mm deep) seems no bigger than other Windows Mobile (WM) devices we've seen, but its 154g weight is noticeably heavier, due in part to its enormous battery. The 912c also features a reasonably high spec camera compared to most WM smartphones; a 3-megapixel shooter with an LED flash and auto-focus.

The iPAQ 912c makes use of a full QWERTY keyboard for speedy text entry, similar to most other smartphones in the market. The keyboard is comprised of four rows of raised rounded keys. Raising the keys does give each button some definition, but overall we found this keypad hard to navigate at top speed, with two thumbs typing being next to impossible.

Above the QWERTY keyboard the 912c features a 2.4-inch colour TFT touchscreen display. We found that we didn't use the touchscreen much, the menus were often faster to navigate using the five-way nav button, but we do like to have the option to slap at the screen open to us, plus the 912c comes with an excellent telescopic stylus. We don't recommend relying on this display outside under natural light. While the screens on most phones lose clarity under sunlight, the 912c's display becomes completely unreadable.

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