HP iPaq 914c review: HP iPaq 914c

The Good Voice commander; performance; Wi-Fi/3G HSDPA; GPS.

The Bad Design; screen; no front-facing video camera/TV-Out; camera.

The Bottom Line With HP being the Godfather of business PDAs you would expect the 914c to offer an ideal platform to handle any of your business requirements. Generally it does, but its design is not perfect and there are a few missing features that would benefit the modern working professional, such as a front-facing video camera, a TV-out function and a larger screen

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7.5 Overall

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With manufactures like HTC, Nokia and Blackberry all splashing out on various interface and cosmetic design tweaks to improve their ranges, the 914c remains relatively fixed in its traditional business overcoat. But with features such as 3G HSDPA, dual Wi-Fi, GPS, front-mounted Qwerty keyboard and a large battery on-board, the HP iPaq 914c provides you with a solid foundation to perform most business tasks. The 914c is available now from Clove and other online retailers for £375.

Although the device is on the larger side in order to accommodate its Qwerty keyboard, the HP 914c does provide a soft finish at the back for handling comfort. You will also find various shortcut buttons, a navigation wheel and a microSDHC card slot on the sides.

The 64mm (2.5-inch) QVGA screen is not what we would call the largest, but it's still vibrant and responsive to stylus inputs. The front-mounted Qwerty keyboard is directly below it, providing easy access for writing emails or documents.

With Windows 6.1 Professional installed you have the added benefits of threaded SMS support, custom domain email setup (as well as Exchange) and a task manger. Additional software is not what you'd call overflowing, but you will find a handy voice commander option for speaking commands such as "call contact" or "speed dial (number)".

Performance was good, considering HP used a 416Mhz CPU, which was boosted by 74Mb of free system memory to ensure smooth operation. You also have access to 3G HSDPA 7.2MBPS download speeds (if your SIM card supports it) and there is dual Wi-Fi available for connecting to hotspots or corporate networks.

An internal GPS receiver is onboard, alongside an external GPS port at the top of the casing, though you will need to buy your own navigation software as you'll only find Google maps installed. When using this GPS software we found the receiver could maintain our position pretty well -- but the supplied data utility was required to speed up location acquisition.

With a large 1940mAh battery deployed we managed to get just short of a full working day out of the device with high usage.

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