In September 2004, HP introduced its high-performance, business-class hx4700, wowing us with its large VGA screen, its innovative touch pad and, unfortunately, its eye-popping price tag. Now, the company has released its hx2000 series, offering professionals another mobile business solution.
Not to be outdone by its more powerful sibling, the high-end hx2750 has enough talent to shine on its own. It boasts a biometric fingerprint reader for enhanced security, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and solid performance. At around £350, it's still costly, but if you can forgo the fingerprint reader and make do with a little less memory and a 520MHz processor (as opposed to 624MHz), check out the hx2410 or the hx2110, which has a 312MHz processor and Bluetooth only.
If there's one word to describe the HP iPaq hx2750, it's sturdy. From its appearance to its feel, the PDA has a solid build and could probably withstand some rough treatment. Outfitted in charcoal gray and carrying a similar footprint to the Dell Axim X30, the hx2750 is fairly compact (77 by 119 by 16mm), but it's a bit thick and hefty, at 164g. A nice touch, however, are the rubber sides, which make for a good grip and easy one-handed use.
Another positive design feature is the included plastic flip-screen cover. The detachable, transparent cover pops on to the top of the device, and the durability theme continues here. It's strong and it remained scratch-free during our tests, although it's prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Of course, the whole purpose of this armour is to protect the hx2750's gorgeous 89mm (3.5-inch) TFT screen. While it's only QVGA level (compared to the hx4700's and Dell Axim X50v's high-resolution VGA screens), it displays 64,000 colours, and we were surprised by the vibrant images and sharp text (see 'Performance'). Beneath the display are four programmable shortcut keys -- Appointments, Contacts, Inbox and iTask, by default -- and a four-way navigation toggle with a centre Select button. And like the h5550, the hx2750 features a biometric fingerprint reader for enhanced security.
The rest of the device is standard PDA fare. Finishing out the face of the device are a power button, a speaker, a microphone and two tiny LEDs, which blink orange when the hx2750 is charging, blue for wireless mode and green for alarms. On the left side is a lone voice-record button and you'll find a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, dual expansion slots (CompactFlash and SDIO/MMC) and the stylus holder on top of the device. A small Reset button and a USB connector reside on the bottom, and a battery-release switch is on the back.
HP delivers the hx2750 with just the essential extras, including an AC adapter and a USB desktop-sync cradle. Although you get the plastic screen cover, we were disappointed the device didn't come with a protective leather case. However, if you want to carry a backup power source, a higher-capacity 2,880mAh lithium-ion battery with charger is available.