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(Pocket-lint) - While the iPAQ h1910 is small and dainty, neither of these words can be used for the iPAQ h5450. Half the size of a DVD when you put its protective case on, you'll know when you've got this device about you. That said, it offers plenty to the ardent traveller making this a useful, if not cumbersome partner to take on business.

The key features to this product are in the connectivity stakes and it is here that the h5450 shines, offering both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. With Wireless LAN becoming ever present in the office and the coffee shops of this country, the h5450 allows you to benefit and connect to any wireless network without the need of cables. For the travelling exec this means that you can role into an office, coffee shop or anywhere else there happens to be a connection and use the internet, collect your email or even share files with other users on the network. The benefit over the traditional modem operated calls is that it's a whole lot faster and when time is money what could be better.

The device also offers Bluetooth allowing this device to connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices within a 10m radius. This becomes useful if your mobile phone is bluetooth enabled making connection to the internet via this system quick and efficient.

But it's not all about connecting to other people or devices and the h5450 offers plenty of other elements to keep you busy. On the outside, you are presented with a bright large screen offering 65,000 colours 240 x 320 pixel in size and measuring 3.8” diagonally. There is a SD card slot meaning storage of music, transferring files or expanding the devices options is all possible and the h5450 comes with a 3.5mm Stereo/Microphone headphone jack to listen to or record voice files.

If that wasn't enough the h5450 also offers added security with a fingerprint scanner to lock your iPAQ from unwanted visitors and adding to the longevity of the device, you can expand further via the Pocket PC jacket system.

Inside and you've just as many options; the system is powered by an Intel (XSCALE) 400-Mhz Processor. Memory is a standard 64Mb and it does struggle occasionally when everything is running and the Wireless LAN is connected.

The iPAQ h5450 comes bundled in the box with software preloaded and these include the Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Voice Recorder, Notes, Pocket Word (with spellchecker), Pocket Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player 8 (MP3, audio and video streaming), Calculator, Solitaire, Inbox (with Spell Checker for email), Microsoft Reader (eBooks), File Explorer, MSN Messenger, VPN Client, Terminal Services Client, Infrared Beaming, Clock, Align Screen, File Explorer, Memory, Volume control - giving you a great head start.

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Like the 3790, this version also supports the infra-red universal remote and like other iPAQs in the range, you can turn this device into yours, or anyone else's remote control. This makes great use of the technology in your house, but great fun in other peoples as you happily freak the hell out of them as their television starts changing channel left, right and centre.


While this device packs more into it that a man realising he's at an all you can eat restaurant, the h5450 does suffer in certain areas.

The main one that you'll notice is the battery power. Even after sufficient charging this beast will gobble it up with ease. In fact we left it untouched for 2 1/2 days and the battery had been drained. When you come to use it on a full time basis it really is a case of don't travel without a charger. Couple that with its size, and you've got a product that is more akin to a laptop than a PDA.

There is no doubt thought that this is a good device, offering plenty to the user with unlimited expansion options as their needs change. The connectivity options do shine through and if you need to stay connected this certainly allows you to do just that. Just remember though; never leave home without the charger and never expect to be able to put this in your pocket comfortably.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 12 November 2003.