Strictly Business

When it comes to handheld devices, the HP iPAQ hw6925 smartphone eschews the bells and whistles for solid business performance. It couples functionality with an easy-to-handle (if slightly hefty) frame and phone, mobile word processing, and messaging features that are great for the tech-savvy business traveler.

The quad-band device is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPRS/EDGE-capable (and don’t forget infrared); features a 1.3 megapixel camera and mini SD slot; and weighs in at 6.33 ounces.

The device runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 for Pocket PC and lets you check e-mail automatically at increments of minutes or hours, open e-mail attachments, and create handwritten notes. With the exception of an awkwardly designed volume button, navigation couldn’t be easier. Furthermore, the iPAQ is compatible with accessories for earlier models, syncs easily to your desktop, and offers about five hours of battery life. And with GPS capabilities, it has all the markings of a business pro.

But when it comes to downtime, the hw6925 turns into the hall monitor. Feeling the need to feed our entertainment demon, we attempted to download and then play a two-minute video clip using Windows Media Player. One hour later we had our video, sort of. The download dropped battery life from five to three hours, and running the video file on “hi” resolution — although it improved image quality — cut our viewing experience to an annoying one frame per second. And sound quality was nothing to sing about.

That being said, the device provides good business performance. The GPS technology works better in big cities than in smaller towns (we tested it in New York City and while driving from central Virginia to Brooklyn, New York), but high-rise metal structures can interrupt the signal. Additionally, the technology occasionally led us off course in its directions, even for major interstates such as the New Jersey Turnpike.

In the end, while the HP iPAQ hw6925 offers all the resources a weary traveler needs, its multimedia hiccups say it’s strictly a business tool. (www.hp.com; $599.99).

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