The iPAQ is a high-end, corporate class PDA. It is manufactured and marketed by HP (Hewlett Packard) ever since its original manufacturer, Compaq, was acquired by HP. The iPAQ, which runs on the familiar Windows operating system for Pocket PCs, provides a wide range of multimedia capabilities. It’s a highly up-gradable device and offers extra functionalities like card reader, GPS support and extra batteries. More than a dozen iPAQ models have been released in the market since it first appeared.
The first iPAQ to hit the market was part of the Compaq iPAQ 3600 series. This PDA had a 12-bit color display screen and supported 64 MB of RAM. Originally these PDAs ran on Microsoft Pocket PC 2000 OS but later on they could be upgraded to Pocket PC 2002 OS. The various models in this series were 3630, 3635, 3650 and the 3670. The Compaq iPAQ 3700 series had pretty much similar features although it boasted a 16-bit color screen.
The next major technology to be integrated with the iPAQs was Bluetooth. It was first seen in the H3800 series. The units also had a 240x320 TFT screen which was powered by 206MHz StrongArm CPU. The H3900 series saw a shift to the Intel XScale processors and the use of Transreflective displays.
The H1900 series was launched after HP acquired Compaq. It was meant for the price conscious customers, and allowed the use of extra swappable batteries. However, it was limited by the fact that it did not support several existing iPAQ accessories.
The arrival of WiFi saw the launch of the H5400 series. This series also saw enhanced Bluetooth support and for the first time a Biometric Scanner for the security-obsessed users. The next series, H5500, had 128MB RAM and ran on Pocket PC 2003 OS.
The H2200 series was for the general customers. It had 64MB RAM and ran on Pocket PC 2003 OS. Some also had IR ports. Using Nevo software for the iPAQ they could be converted into Universal remote Controls. It had Bluetooth and extended support for iPAQ accessories. The H4300 series was just an extension of the H2200 and was aimed at the corporate users. This series also provided Wi-Fi connectivity.
The iPAQ hx4700 series was a designer edition. It was encased in a Magnesium alloy casing and had a bright and vibrant VGA screen. It ran on an extremely fast 624 MHz processor on Windows Mobile 2003. It also had inherent encryption software which was sorely missed in the H5400 series.
The iPAQ rx3100, rx3400 and rx3700 series brought in the additional advantage of a 1.2 megapixels camera. These were Mobile Media companions and ran Windows Mobile 2003 SE on Samsung ARM processors. They all had the by now standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. GPS was introduced in iPAQ Mobile Messenger h6500 series.