Unboxing the HP iPAQ hx5915 Travel Companion

I just received the HP iPAQ rx5915, so let’s open the box together…

Seal is broken, and the quick setup is printed on the hood of the box, which is just what I like to see when I purchase something. Hopefully this will be all the “instruction” needed. 😉

Can anyone tell me how much Tim Burton is getting paid for HP to use his “Nightmare before Christmas” font?

The iPAQ hx5915 wrapped in plastic…

Better not crack the screen…it’s not covered under warranty. 😉

Battery loading instructions…

The 1700 mAh battery…

A?THICK user manual that I hope to never crack…

A boxful of accessories! I don’t remember ever seeing this many come with a single device…without having to pay extra. Oh wait, I did. This thing was $599. 😉

I spy a slip-case…

There are all sorts of charging cables, mounting brackets, an alcohol wipe, sticky pads for mounting…good stuff.

There are several different versions available with either 1 or 2GB memory. Total available memory depends on the part number of the device and the version of preinstalled navigation software.

Mine is the 2GB version, but I only have 500MB free memory. I wonder what I could delete to raise that number. 😉

Box info…

The hx5915’s body is composed of silver painted plastic, not unlike iPAQs of yore. It measures 4.74″ long x 3″ wide x 0.64″ thick, and it weighs 5.9 ounces.

Here is it compared to the HTC Universal; it’s a little bit shorter…

…quite a bit thinner…

…and roughly the same width.

Here’s a start-up screen I haven’t seen in a while!

This is a landscape orientated device, but?the screen can be rotated in any direction with the push of a button.

An interesting selection of feature buttons on the right side: Quick Launch, TomTom GPS, Windows Media, Screen Rotation, and the Power button which glows red while charging and green once done.

The Quick Launch screen…

The more familiar Today Screen…

That’s it for now!

I have a 21 day return period in which to try it and decide if I’ll be keeping it.

Added 11/11: I’m sending the iPAQ back on Monday without posting?a review – Sorry folks!

It’s not often that I will just give up on a device, but the iPAQ has?managed to evoke that reaction from me. Let’s just say that this is a huge difference from the days when I would try an iPAQ and quickly become enamored, and I am feeling the let-down. 🙁

Here’s what I don’t like:

– Limited memory: It has 2GB but only about 1/4 of it is available. Yes, it will accept an SD card, but for $600 I guess I just expected more.

– No soft keys, unintuitive to use and forget one-handed operation – it’s not happening.

– Suffered from several crashes

– Cheap shiny case that grabs fingerprints, is prone to scratches, and is nearly impossible to photograph. grrr.

– Squishy and unresponsive screen that feels like it is being gouged every time I take the stylus to it. I don’t know how?HP geta off calling the finish anti-glare – trust me…it glares!

– GPS software seemed to be “off” quite a bit. It had my location as a full block over from my actual location more than once.

– The 9-way directional pad is all one piece, and therefore it’s?easy to?unintentionally push the wrong?direction – especially when trying to “center-select”.

– Overpriced when compared to similar PDAs or similar GPS devices. It’s price is about what I would expect for a GPS enabled mobile phone, but this does not have mobile phone capabilities.

Here’s what I like about it:

– 3.5″ screen (even if only QVGA). It’s nice that it at least had a decent-sized screen.

– Compact size (it’s not a thick hulking box like some GPS units)

– Built-in WiFi & Bluetooth

– Lots of included accessories for vehicle usage

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

9 Comments on "Unboxing the HP iPAQ hx5915 Travel Companion"

  1. I really don’t get the Nightmare Before Christmas font thing o.O Who decided that it was great design for this cute, simple-looking and sleek silver ppc to have creepy halloween font saying “the computer is personal again”??? Is it personally after you? o.o

    (on a less silly note, I don’t get this device. It’s kinda chubby, toy looking for some reason–and not in the good way. I think I’m biased against silver things–shiny please! which makes me think, I saw the chocolate irl today, and mmm that thing is gorgeous! the online pictures SO don’t do it justice o.o)

    … that was a lot of random stuff 😀

  2. Haven’t finished your unboxing yet, Judie, but I did want to say this as far as what to delete from the device to make room: go ahead and delete everything that isn’t in Texas. After all, remember the words of wisdom from Tex Jarman in Heinlein’s “Space Cadet:” “What difference does it make where you are so long as you aren’t in Texas?”

  3. Well, I am afraid I may not have a choice about what to delete! I’ve been playing with it for the last couple of hours, and memory breaks down like this: 70.76MB Storage, 29.30 Program, and 437.19MB in iPAQ File Store. 1.5GB appears to be used by the system and stored GPS goodies – I’ll soon figure out if any is safely deleteable.? 😉

    I honestly did not expect to like this iPAQ very much, but am finding it to be a slick little device. $600 slick? Not sure yet, probably not. But it does have some very nice features.

    Elodie, it is kind of chubby and toy-like. The plum metallic stripe going around two sides greatly reminds me of another strangely colored PPC, the Casio E-200.

    With that said: Having GPS in a Pocket PC is nice…but I already miss having GSM/GPRS capability. And a keyboard. And a VGA screen. And it needs a scroll wheel. And… 😉

  4. Your memory is phenomenal! You remember the E200 😀

  5. Aviv, I actually quite liked the E200 at the time!


    Looking at the E200 pictures, I think HP must have bought Casio’s leftover paint – it looks the same to me! 😉

  6. hmm, it kinda similar with the rx4540. do you have experience with this ipaq? i quoted your review:
    “- Suffered from several crashes

    – Cheap shiny case that grabs fingerprints, is prone to scratches, and is nearly impossible to photograph. grrr.”

    are these new ipaq made to be easily scratched? is it has poorer build than 4150 or previous ipaq in term of body since i’ve read some review out there say these new ipaq feel plastic.
    should i got this one(rx4540) based on you expert opinion? i use ppc usually for reading pdf or pdb and running many software from skyscape.com. do you think 2.8″ is too small for this job. should i get bigger screen…maybe like rx1950 or 2190? i couldn’t get anything else since in my country there’s only few ipaq sold here for the new one. i don’t prefer buy a used one of course.
    i’m sorry if i’m mixing with your review about hx5915…but i need an expert comment…kinda hard to get opinion on these new stand alone ppc. i really apreciate every comment. thanks

  7. hale, I have thought about my description since I wrote it, and I wish I had clarified even further: The finish is such that it is so shiny it almost feels greasy to me…but that is my perception of it. It is very plasticy. That was a good description.

    Build quality was “okay” – I didn’t like that the battery cover was pretty easy to slide off, either.

    Jenneth wrote an excellent review of the rx4540 and I think she didn’t mind its similar finish nearly as much as I did.

    Because you told me you are using your PDA specifically for reading – especially .pdf forms, and because you asked my opinion, I would have to say that I think 2.8 is probably too small for that job. I honestly believe that a 3.5″ screen (minimum) is better for reading – even if it is not always possible to find. The rx1950 & 2190 would be much better choices – since you are looking at stand-alone PDAs. 🙂

    BTW – this is not a Bulletin Board. You can ask what you want and I won’t scold you for getting “off topic”. So no worries!! 🙂

  8. well, i guess i’ll stick with rx4540. 2190 is quite very average for pocket pc….in term of model or performance. meanwhile rx1950 doesn’t have a good value…another 50 $ and you get 4240. hx 4700 and 2750 is super expensive 🙁 maybe i’ll try to take a look at 2.8″ lcd first. well…at least it has landscape mode which will be very helpful when comes to reading. too bad it doesn’t have d-pad which will make many game don’t work….well, i don’t play much but pocket pc game usually use d-pad right? thanks for the great comment judie. really apreciate it 😀

  9. i forgot to ask…which one do you think is faster? rom/ipaq file store or sd card um…let say 150x 2gb sandisk/transcend 150x. i heard some people said the faster means the less reliable. do you have opinion on this? thx before 🙂

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