Back in May, we first told you about the upcoming iPAQ 5000 family of handhelds in our article titled What’s next for the iPAQ? Some of you thought we were kidding (or at least dreaming) when we mentioned things like a removeable battery, integrated wireless and, most of all, biometric security. But by September, as pictures leaked out confirming our scoop, the doubters became believers.
Now we’re ready to bring you more information about the soon-to-be-released iPAQ models, including a few pictures and screenshots.
The first picture (see photo, left) is of one of the new h5400 Series iPAQs that includes both Bluetooth and 802.11b, as well as a biometric fingerprint reader (more about that later). You’ll also notice that you can clearly see a microphone to the left of the fingerprint reader. And, according to our sources, it is compatible with existing iPAQ Expansion Packs.
And, for the first time, we see the HP logo, rather than the familiar Compaq logo, at the top. So it appears that HP will likely not use the Compaq name as a sub-brand for the iPAQ, as some had expected.
During the merger process, HP said it would carry-over some Jornada features to the iPAQ line. One of those things is a user-replaceable rechargeable battery. As you can see in the picture to the right, there’s a removeable door (removed in the picture) on the back of the iPAQ 5400 that doubles as a flat lithium-ion battery. So now you can charge up a couple of these and not have to worry as much that you’ll be caught out of power.
The iPAQ Pocket PC h5400 Series has a transflective color TFT display (likely the same one used in its 3900 series) capable of supporting 64K colors. It is the Pocket PC standard 320×240 pixels screen with .24 dot pitch. The h5400 has an Intel PXA250 processor running at 400MHz, and is backed by 64MB of RAM. It comes with 32MB or greater of ROM and up to 20MB of iPAQ File Store.
As far as size and weight, the h5400 tips the scales at 7.26 ounces and measures 5.43″ x 3.3″ x 0.63″.
A cool new software product called Nevo enables the h5400 to become an excellent Universal Remote Control for your other electronic entertainment devices.
Still, the most ground-breaking new addition is the thermal swipe technology used in its fingerprint reader. HP now allows you to secure your device in a variety of ways, from a password to a PIN to a fingerprint, or any combination of the three. To use a fingerprint, you must first “enroll” your fingerprint by training the iPAQ to recognize it.
If you wonder whether HP got rid of the flashing blue light for the built-in Bluetooth, it didn’t. In fact, you’ve now got green to deal with as well. The built-in 802.11b radio uses a green flashing light when a wireless LAN connection is made (or flashing amber when there is no link).
The h5400 series is just one of at least three series of iPAQs that HP will release. According to its product registration page, HP plans two models (the h5110/h5115 and the h5130/h5135) in its new h5100 series, one model (the h5450/h5455) in its new h5400 series, and two models (the h5650/h5655 and the h5610/h5615) in its new h5600 series. There’s no mention yet of an ultra-thin iPAQ, rumored to be called the 2200, on the site.
HP has yet to announce pricing or a release date for its new iPAQs (although the h5400 series is rumored to be available in early December and the h5600 series should arrive by late-Spring or early-Summer 2003), but you can be sure we’ll keep you informed as soon as we know.