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Like the h5450, this new model has built in 802.11b and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, as well as fingerprint recognition. The latter works in conjunction with the password system that comes with Pocket PC as standard, to make this probably the most secure PDA you can buy.
The software inside the h5550 is the latest version of Pocket PC, which Microsoft calls Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, but which is generally becoming known by the shorthand term Pocket PC 2003. This incorporates a range of updates from the previous version, including facilities that make it easier to join wireless networks. As you come into the vicinity of a network, a notification bubble opens letting you know, and asking if you'd like to join in.
One feature of the h5550 that its predecessor lacked is a massive 128 MB of RAM. This, along with the Compact Flash and SD card slots make it very well equipped for storing applications and data, and there is 20 MB of ROM space set aside for making backups of key data that you want to be sure will survive a total loss of power. Hewlett Packard reckon you should get about 12 hours of average use from the battery, but this will vary depending on how much you use power-hungry features like wireless networking, of course. The cell is removable so if you buy a spare, you can carry a few extra hours of life for the h5550.
The h5550 has been produced with the corporate user in mind, but home users who want that extra memory, the security features, or wireless networking built-in might find it appealing too. --Sandra Vogel
With broad choice of wireless capabilities--including integrated Bluetooth and WLAN 802.11b--you can access the Internet, email and corporate data wherever you are. Unique biometric fingerprint reader, VPN software, 64-bit and 128-bit WEP, F-Secure FileCrypto Data Encryption and Xcellenet Afaria device management provide enhanced protection for your device, information and wireless connection.
Investment protection is ensured thanks to continuity of the existing platform and support for future expansion packs, plus a broad range of compatible iPAQ accessories. Versatile expansion options and accessories allow you to extend the capabilities of your HP iPAQ Pocket PC or convert it into a unique, tailored handheld device that meets your specific needs.
Easily print your documents, e-mail attachments and pictures directly from your HP iPAQ Pocket PC to an HP printer via Bluetooth connectivity. Removable battery, transflective display, integrated Secure Digital slot, increased memory and Microsoft Windows Pocket PC 2003 Premium Edition give you greater productivity with optimal performance.
If you want a cheap item, look elsewhere. If you want quality and something that has the capacity to do what you want, then buy this PDA.
The old 3850 was built to last for ever, and the 5550 has the same solid, industrial build quality. Only gripe? It doesn't come with the old-style plastic flip-top cover - essential bit of kit that makes it almost indestructable. I bought mine in Tottenham Court Road as they are hard to find on the web.
Summary - essential upgrade. Expensive, but worth every penny.