Second Impressions


A while ago I write about my then new gadget and gave some impressions to it.

It's been more then two months (time flies) and although I have not used it as extensively as I wanted to, I have some other opinions to share.

I am still somehow disappointed with the device. Not very disappointed but enough to rant (again).

Screen is very good. But it feels not as good as it looks. Even when you get used to it I prefer the feeling of all my previous devices.

The materials are only nice enough (although I like the rubbery back cover very much) but it does not feel sturdy in my hands at all and sounds like cracking plastic when buttons are pressed. And the front cover looks cheap plastic. Pretty low in the wow! factor.

It is sloooow. Although it has a more powerful processor that my old 2003 device the general impression it's not faster at all. As a matter of fact it feels slower. It's true that it performs some computational expensive tasks faster: like calculating the route in a mapping program.

But it is also true that it's the slowest device to boot after a reset I have ever experienced. Well, it's not an operation that you should perform very often, do you? Fact is that even though WM has become more stable, we are not reset free. You might be tempted to blame third party programs. Microsoft do that more often than not. But do not forget that are the very same programs that add value to your platform, so keep your moaning low, Mister. And the programs are running under your hood. It you let them take the complete system over or leave it unstable it's the OS fault. Period.

Even bringing it back from off status takes longer than the fractions of second it used to take in older devices.

Some people say it's Microsoft's fault and their change of philosophy with WM5 and its memory management model with non-volatile memories. They claim devices are slower to respond as the hardware needed to support that new model is simply slower. I do not know for sure, but I had never had a single problem (apart from being completely forgetful on my father's iPaq 3660, wiping out all it content after weeks of non-usage) with a device with a secondary support battery. Not a single data loss even when my battery lid broke and the battery itself went for a walk. Was it necessary then changing the model? Are the new devices sensibly more power-friendly? I doubt it very much.

HP also takes its part of blame with my disappointment. Their support is just a laugh. They just wouldn't acknowledge some of their units had problem with battery draining or low speaker sound level. The publicity for its device that reads (literally from HP's website) "Rely on HP: the planned three-year product life cycle will support your enterprise testing and deployment efforts" crashes against their announcement to not support Windows Mobile 6.1. It's true that nowhere in the documentation they state the commitment to upgrade to another version of the OS. But it is also true they do not state the opposite, just leaving the blurry 3-year-life cycle there. No one says it has to be free (although it well could be ;-p). I might or might not happy to pay for it, but I am not given the chance. Truth is that they have released some fixes, none of them have turned my unit into a better machine.

And to end up, it's not even a device targeted by ROM cookers. I feel healthy envy for people with Dell devices that get home-cooked ROMs for the latest operative systems and experience a good performance increase in the (risky) process.

I dream on the day my official support ends and the wise guys release an stable ROM to flash my device and be happy again with the performance of my little friend.

Oh that would be good...

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