It’s Monday, July 26th, and I just opened the box for my new iPAQ rz1715. I have refused to read the stories, the hype, the rumors, and the talk that might give me a pre-disposition on the unit. I wanted to look, explore, test and enjoy this new device on my terms. So the following are my first impressions….

Decent packaging, nicely done but boy do I hate opening up those hard plastic wrappings. Generally you have to be a gorilla to tear it open or have a very sharp Exacto knife. I was lucky…it opened easily! Inside the box there was an AC charger, a USB cable for syncing and a shrink-wrapped getting started guide with the companion CD.

As I took the unit out of the packaging, I couldn’t help but notice that the roundness that was a characteristic of previous models had been replaced with a rectangular design. The shape makes sense because if you are operating your device in either landscape or portrait mode, you get the sense that was the mode it was made for. It has a comfortable feeling about it…step one in achieving a perfect design!

The navigation pad and buttons are now black rather than the “chrome” look of previous models. If the whole unit was a black anodized type metal that would have been a better fit. At the top of the unit is the HP logo and just below the screen, the iPAQ name shows. The look is different but the feel of this new iPAQ is very good.

Of course, like many of you, I never read the directions first. I had to turn it on and see how it looked. Inserting the USB cable with the AC Power cord attached into the bottom of the unit, it started as if it was doing a reset then opened with the same initialization screen we have been used to in previous models. After going through the “cut & paste”, time zone setting and the screen alignment; the opening screen appeared. The Today screen had a different and what I think is a cool look! Four icons centered in the screen showing Music, Contacts, Schedule and Photos in a diamond shape. The Start button was in the upper left corner of the screen and the time, sound and connectivity in the upper right.

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