Last week, it seemed likely that HP's first Pocket PC with a VGA screen, the iPAQ hx4705, would be released tomorrow. Unfortunately, over the weekend the release date was moved back at least another week, and possibly to early October.
When this model was officially announced, HP said it would be available before the end of August. However, the release date has slipped steadily since then.
HPshopping, the company's official web store, will say only that the hx4705 is "Coming This Fall," which means the release of this model could be as late as November.
However, HP lists on its web site for small and medium-sized businesses a shipping date of October 5.
This listing is for the hx4700, not the hx4705, but HP has long had a practice of changing the product numbers for its iPAQs depending on what channel they are being sold through. It seems likely the consumer channel will get this product at the same time the business channel will, although this isn't definite.
Update: A Brighthand reader reports being told by an HP Small Business Representative that the hx4700 he pre-ordered on the first day possible will definitely be shipped to him on September 28. The reason the date listed on the Small Business web site keeps being moved back is it reflects when HP believes a handheld ordered today will ship. Apparently, demand for the hx4700/hx4705 is so high, there's going to be long delay between when orders a placed and when they are fulfilled, even after the product hits the market.
If HP can actually get the hx4705 on the market in early October, it will be the first of a new generation of Pocket PCs with VGA screens to debut in the United States.
The Asus A730W is another VGA Pocket PC, but it won't hit the market until the end of October at the earliest.
Dell is also going to release a model similar to hx4705, but this isn't expected to happen until early November.
Two more VGA Pocket PCs, the Toshiba e830 and the Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720, won't be available in the United States.
Of course, people have the option of getting a Toshiba e800 and upgrading it to the latest version of Windows Mobile, but, unlike all these other models, it lacks Bluetooth.
A comparison of how the iPAQ hx4705 stacks up against all these other models is available in this article.
The hx4705 will be the first iPAQ ever to include a 4-inch VGA display. As this model will use Windows Mobile Second Edition, this screen can be easily switched between portrait and landscape modes.
This device will have a 624 MHz Intel XScale processor. It will also have 64 MB of RAM and 128 MB of ROM. This unusual arrangement, with far more ROM than RAM, will allow the hx4705 to have an 80 MB iPAQ File Store.
The hx4705 will include both 802.11b and Bluetooth 1.2 wireless networking, as well as a CompactFlash slot and an SD/MMC slot that supports SDIO.
This iPAQ won't have a D-pad. Instead, it will have a small touchpad below the screen intended to be used with a fingertip.
The list price for this model is $650.
Much more information on the iPAQ hx4705 is available in this article.
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