Pre-installed software includes Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player (MP3), Inbox (e-mail), Microsoft Reader (e-boks), and more
iPAQ ¿ the work-horse with options!
iPAQ is the one for those who want expansion options. No others come close. The options are extensive. They range from a cellular phone case, a GPS jacket, to all kinds of wireless solutions, and connectivity packs. The iPAQ's screen has to be the best lit, most brilliant and easily viewable of the entire pocket PC selection.
I didn't think that I would use the Cover Pack that comes with this model, but I was wrong. It is a literal "screen saver". There is even a relatively pricy Rugged Case available that is water and dust resistant. This one also comes with two stylus pens, a USB cradle, a power adapter and some manuals.
I was told by Compaq that there are no differences between this model, the iPAQ 3835, and the iPAQ 3850, other than the name. Both have the same specs.
This seemed to be the best 3800 series model to get if you don't need Bluetooth wireless. This device is a bit less than the 3870 and the only difference that I found was the 3870 has Bluetooth built in. Bluetooth was supposed to take off as a standard way for devices like printers and PDA's to communicate without cables, but I seldom ever see it. If I'm going to network anything wirelessly, I'll use the common infrared, or the 802.11 standard technologies.
Compaq, unfortunately, doesn't currently make a model that has 802.11 wireless technology built in. I suppose they want to keep the different option packs selling. The only Pocket PC that has 802.11 built in, that I'm aware of, is the Toshiba e740.
I like the cradles look, but I don't particularly like the way this iPAQ mounts the cradle. It needs a stronger guide or something.
To save a dime, I picked up a refurbished unit, and it had some random program crashes out of the box which was surprising. Compaq's handheld support was outstanding though, and I got a replacement with no problems.
Overall, I think that the iPAQ is the PDA that is most serious about integrating as many functions as possible, which is my idea of what these handhelds should be about - an all-in-one solution.
Great Job, Compaq, but...
I've used the iPaq 3635, 3765, and now, the 3835. I am quite an iPaq loyalist, and I love their new outing with the product line.
The screen, for a obsessive compulsive like myself, allows for much greater color contrast, and minimizes on the grain when viewing digital images.
I also love their decision to stick with the same form factor as the previous models; it works with previous expansion sleeves, and it still reigns as the BEST handheld. This is the first handheld that I can just hold in my hand, and it feels awesome to hold.
I love their addition of the SD card slot on the top, but I feel somewhat cheated (here's where it lost a star). There are considerably smaller machines that offer the same as Compaq does with this device. I would have expected maybe an integrated CF slot? Integrated Wi-Fi? Although the more expensive model offers bluetooth, I'm sure alot more people would like to see a built in Wi-Fi chipset.
To end on a good note, I've found that the new battery they have used adds a significant amount of battery life. In fact, I have found that my iPaq charges faster, and discharges about 20%-25% slower. Great job, guys. I also like the new software they have built in, allowing for something like 14 different backlight settings, and a percentage viewer for remaining battery life.
I strongly reccomend the iPaq as your next purchase, but with the impending release of Xscale based systems, you might want to save your money for the new HP iPaqs.
Good, but some frustrating moments in store for Palm users
I just bought three iPaq's for my company to replace a fleet of aging laptops (people only used them for Word anyway) and I am actually fairly impressed with the 3835. It is much more affordable than the 3900 series without giving up too many features.
The display is bright and easy to read and Pocket PC's have resisted the Palm urge to shrink the size of the screen. Battery life is above average from some of the other color units I've seen and unlike the Visor Prism, you get an AC adapter right off the bat. Like most of the current PDA's, the 3835 has a SD slot built in for extra storage. This comes in handy almost immediately, as the install CD contains a few megs of ebooks but you will need to buy a bulky sleeve to get a CF slot for expansion purposes. The expanision sleeves makes finding a good carrying case difficult. FYI, the Toshiba e740 comes with a SD and a CF slot built in for almost the same price, so you may want to look in that direction too.
Buying a portable keyboard for the 3800 series is a real pain. Apparently, Compaq changed the bottom connector from the 3700 series and the Targus stowaway keyboard (best one for any PDA) only works with the addition of an small adapter piece that is just begging to be lost. Compaq's own brand of keyboard and the iConcepts one are not nearly as comfortable to use, but do not require the adapter piece.
If you upgrading from a Palm, beware. There is no real easy way to get all of your data out of the Palm Desktop and into Outlook. Contacts move over okay if you are careful with Outlook's import function, but the calendar doesn't move easily at all. Also, if you have never used the Pocket PC OS before, be prepared for some things to be a little less accessible than they used to be.