The iPAQ rx1950: HP's Answer to PDA Gaming Community?

Hewlett Packard's latest contribution to the Pocket PC arena (and let's face it-- to the PDA gaming community) is the iPAQ rx1950.

High-end PDA gamers may wish to set their sights elsewhere.

Its 300-Mhz Samsung processor is touted as XScale compatible, but this unit would choke on involved action sequences on some newer games.

Even worse, video playback on the rx1950 has been panned by a few forum lurkers. They're saying that folks who like their PDA gaming served with a side of DVD viewing will find performance hampered in the latter.

My XScale 400-Mhz iPAQ 4150 still serves me quite well, with virtually no DVD to Pocket PC based hiccups.

To compound the issue, games like Age of Empires for Pocket PC contain full-motion video sequences.

rx1950A stuttering frame rate is really not what you want adoring, geeky Pocket PC or Palm fans to witness. I personally find people most entranced by PDA games or Pocket PC video.

I choose to impress them on both fronts.

It sure beats telling folks that your device is best served by reminders. It's so much more than that.

Blindly joining in the MP3 device mania, I purchased a Zen Micro unit at a huge discount fairly recently, saving some $125 CDN in the process.

I then purchased an iRiver FM transmitter from Best Buy that plugs into my cigarette lighter, so I could have a permanent MP3 shuffle when en route to work.

I then realized what a complete waste of money this endeavour was when I plugged connected my iPAQ to the iRiver and set Pocket Media Player on shuffle.

The answer had lain with my awesome, versatile Pocket PC all the time. I had failed to see it.

All I had to do was cram a one gigabyte SD card full of MP3s and let her rip.

I'd been blinded by too much PDA gaming and not enough MP3 playing.

As it turns out, I already have an MP3 player, as well as an arcade gaming platform, several gaming console Pocket PC emulators, a DVD movie viewer, etc.

It's all right here in the case on my belt.

I've taken to plugging the FM tramsmitter in my iPAQ and turning up my radio volume to hear pins knock in Ultimate Bowling Fighter over car audio, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife.

She always assumes an expression on her face indicating that she'd rather not be in the vicinity when I resort to geeky, shameful PDA activity.

Still, on the rx1950 the beloved D-pad is still in place, eschewing the bizarre rx4700 touchpad for some good old
comfortable button-mashing.

So on the Pocket PC game directional control front, everything's copasetic.

If you really want something that provides more than middling performance in some aspects, you may want to look elsewhere for your Pocket PC game fix instead of ponying up the cash for the rx1950.

The rx1950 is an introductory level device, but I can't wait for Hewlett Packard to roll up its sleeves and produce a device that's really worthy of the PDA gaming community.


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