Is this the “Perfect PDA”?

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HP iPAQ h2200 Pocket PC Handheld computers have been around for more than a decade, but most people agree that we’ve yet to see the “perfect PDA.” Still, handheld enthusiasts are an optimistic lot, and some believe that the upcoming iPAQ h2200 Pocket PC from Hewlett Packard just might be the one. According to documents submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by HP, the h2200 Pocket PC has many of the attributes of the “perfect PDA,” from svelte size to expandability to built-in wireless.

But is it perfect?

While there’s no definitive list of features that comprise the “perfect PDA,” there are some “basics” we can judge the h2200 against.

First, and most importantly, it must be small and lightweight, but still solidly made. The h2200 is said to measure .63″ thick and 2.75″ wide — less than the average man’s wallet and easily pocket-able — and weigh 5.5 ounces — under the magical six ounces mark.

Still, it’s not quite perfect. Palm set the bar several years back with the Palm V (and HP nearly matched it with the iPAQ h1910 Pocket PC), and the h2200 clearly doesn’t match it, let alone exceed it.

Second, it must be highly expandable. With its dual expansion slots — a Compact Flash slot and a Secure Digital slot — the h2200 certainly fits the bill.

Third, it’s got to have a great screen, and the h2200 gets a thumbs-up here. If its high-resolution transflective display is anything like the iPAQ h1910’s, it will be as close to perfect as we’ve seen.

Next, it needs to be fast, with plenty of memory as well. HP will likely use the new-and-improved Intel PXA255 processor in the h2200, and pack in at least 64MB of RAM, if not more.

Finally, it needs integrated wireless. Whether wireless PAN (such as Bluetooth), LAN (namely 802.11b), or WAN (for example, GPRS), a perfect PDA should be perfectly wireless. The h2200 is said to come complete with Bluetooth, leaving the SD or CF slot available for a Wi-Fi card.

OK, we didn’t include price, certainly a key factor. The h2200 is expected to list at around $400, a reasonable price for such a capable unit.

So, what do you think? Is it the “perfect PDA,” or do we have to wait just a bit longer?

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