The control pad and 4 buttons we have been so used to are gone. Replacing the control pad is the highly anticipated touch pad. It is small but your finger fits nicely on it. Noticeably were four raised dots on the pad, spread around the edge like four points of a compass. These raised dots are sensitive to touch and allow you to navigate around easily. Using an excel spread sheet, I was amazed at how easily I was able to move around. Surrounding the touch pad were the same four icons we have been used to, calendar, contacts, mail and iTask. What was different though was the buttons were not there but rather a raised dot that compressed to activate a mini switch under the plastic; same concept, just a different approach. It was a welcome change from a design that I always felt could have been a dust collector.

The top of the device has an earphone jack, stylus, the power on/off button, and what we all have been crying for…an SD card and CF card slot. Just seeing it brought chills down my spine! Without even trying the device yet, I knew that the versatility it would have in terms of additional memory and future expansion.

The left side had the record button and keeping with the changes that the other iPAQs have had, it was small. Its form will clearly not allow accidental turning on.

The bottom of the device has the IR, power and cradle connector, a locking mechanism for the battery and a slide switch to remove the battery. The battery cover is really quite unique. At first it appears as a cheap plastic cover but the battery slips into it and is firmly secured as you push it in place. The battery inside of the cover gives a different impression than the one I first had. It now gives the feeling of strength about the battery. It is a good design. The battery will now slide into place and will lock it self in as it is pushed to the top. To avoid the battery being inadvertently removed, a lock switch must be engaged otherwise the unit will not start.

The right side has the black plastic matching the overall design of the iPAQ. You can see where the flip cover laps slightly over the side. This is where the tiny magnet is located.

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