Jornada 720 has the right touch

If you're one of those touchy types who can't consider a palmtop without a keyboard, you'll want to take Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Jornada 720 for a spin.

Not everyone can touch-type on the 720, it's true. If your hands are big or your fingers are thick, you'll soon be frustrated by the inordinate number of typos that result. But even those who can't touch-type on the 720 will find it easy to hunt and peck using the 720's nice, undersize keyboard.

The Jornada 720 also offers touch-screen capabilities for many functions, and there's a nicely sized stylus that is easy to extract from the front of the unit to use for point-and-touch operations.

We found that the 720's display is more functional than most palmtops, too. The 6.5-inch-by-2-inch color display is horizontal, which we found to be much more effective for writing and Web browsing than the vertically oriented displays of most other palmtops.

Measuring only 7.4-by-3.7-by-1.3 inches and weighing 1.1 pounds, the Jornada 720 can fit in your shirt pocket, although it would probably be more comfortably carried in your jacket pocket or briefcase.

And the unit comes loaded with capability. Running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows for Handheld PC 2000, the 720 also comes loaded with pocket versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook and Internet Explorer.

We found it simple to synchronize data files and Outlook's e-mail, contact and calendaring data using the bundled Active Sync application. While you're at your desktop, you can plug the 720 into its docking cradle (which is in turn attached to either a serial port or Universal Serial Bus port on your desktop). Once the 720 is in the docking cradle, the Active Sync software will automatically synchronize with the desktop as data is changed or added on either system.

At $899, the Jornada 720 isn't inexpensive, but it packs enough power that it may allow you to avoid the hassle of lugging along a bigger and heavier laptop.

REPORT CARD

HP Jornada 720

Score: A-

Hewlett-Packard Co.
(970) 635-1000
www.hp.com


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