iPAQ H5550 or Axim x50?

HP iPAQ H5550 Bought an "almost new" HP iPAQ H5550 Windows Mobile 2003 device this week, via this Deals Direct offer. It got delivered on Tuesday, but I have only managed to charge it up and have a try today. It is my second Pocket PC device.

Hence my issue. With this new iPAQ, I now have 2 working Pocket PCs -- my Dell Axim x50 is still running fine. I am not that organised, but even if I am, I do not think I will need two PDAs to keep track of things happening. I bought the iPAQ for one purpose -- to sell it. However, after playing around with it for a while, the question now becomes -- which one should I get rid of? The Axim, or the iPAQ?

Let me run down the things I like and dislike about my new iPAQ H5550.


  • Wireless! H5550 comes with 802.11b, Bluetooth 1.1 and IrDA. You can't have a computer now days without having it connected, and WiFi will be very useful. VNC and SSH into my other boxes, for example. Blog right from inside my PDA. War-driving in the city. Hmmm.
  • Finger print scanner for security. It works. You no longer needs to use stylus to put in password if you want to lock down your PDA. H5550 comes with thermal finger print reader and it is easy to set it up.
  • 128Mb of RAM. That's plenty. Double of that on my Axim x50.
  • 3.7" LCD. It is quite big. Perfect for watching TV/movies on the road. Still QVGA resolution though.
  • "High-end" PDA. iPAQ H5550 was released as a "high-end" PDA for business users. I am not sure what makes it "high-end" but it's probably the ego thing I think...


  • Old model. Yes. iPAQ H5550 was released as a high-end PDA and retailed for $1000+ -- two years ago. Paying $190 for a new sample today is still cheap, but it just does not feel that "1337" today.
  • Old CPU + OS. iPAQ's 400Mhz wasn't that slow in comparison with Axim's 416Mhz. However I think PXA255 is vast inferior to PXA270. It can't even adjust processor speed on the fly. It is also loaded with WM 2003 (my Axim has WM 2003SE).
  • Bulky and heavy. Around 40g heavier than Axim and bigger in all dimensions. Plus the WiFi antenna sticks out. It's big.
  • Touch screen. Though larger, iPAQ's screen actually doesn't feel that sensitive especially if you write alot (I mainly use block recogniser). I found it difficult to write in comparison with Axim.
  • USB sync slows my computer down when I plugged in to charge via USB. Not really sure the reason yet...

Currently I am more leaning towards selling the iPAQ, except eBay is now populated with many other sellers who tried to sell their cheap H5550 bought from the same place. Might play abit more for a few days first. The only thing that I really want from iPAQ is the wireless (note: want != need), and a CF WiFi dongle would probably cost $80 more.

Update: Wireless on PDA is fun! It connects directly to my home network. I can pull files out from my samba server. I can browse the Internet (though almost all websites suck in 320x240 under IE). I can even chat on Jabber. I am pretty sure there are thousands of other things I can do once getting connected. However WiFi does chew the juice faster and the battery does get a bit warm after a while. Never mind -- winter is coming.

Finger print scanning is also quite interesting. It took me quite a few try to know how to use it, but once you know how to slide your finger across the senser it is very easy to use.

Hmmm... Feel harder to sell it now.

Update 10 April 2006: iPAQ H5550 -- solid on eBay. I am keeping my lovely Axim...