HP Jornada 720: The First Handheld PC 2000
By Todd Ogasawara
Windows CE Forum Manager

The HP Jornada 720 Handheld PC 2000.

September 2000--HP has released the Jornada 720, the first Handheld PC 2000 device. The PC 2000 designation marks the third generation of handheld computers that run on Windows CE.

Initial impressions
These are the words that come to mind after using this half-VGA (640 x 240 LCD display), 206MHz, StrongArm-based handheld PC 2000: fast, great screen, surprisingly good small keyboard, fun to use.

The CompactFlash slot is on the bottom of the unit.

This is the first handheld PC that I have felt is truly usable as an Internet appliance. The fast StrongARM microprocessor, bright screen, Internet Explorer 4-based Web browser, and good performance from the built-in 56K modem gives you a satisfying Web-surfing experience. I also plugged in a Proxim RangeLAN2 Windows CE Wireless LAN Adapter PC Card and found that the built-in LAN drivers let me surf the Web at broadband speed.

Unique HP Jornada 720 ROM-based Applications

HP Jornada Viewer (calendar, contacts, tasks)
HP Backup
HP Dialup
HP Quick Pad
HP ChaiVM (Java Virtual Machine)
HP Hot Keys
HP Security
HP Settings
Landware OmniSolve (business calculator)
Yahoo Messenger (instant messaging)

I was happy to find that applications that run on the older HP Jornada 820 Handheld PC Professional ran without modifications on the new HP Jornada 720 Handheld PC 2000. This means that you do not have to wait for a software application base to be developed for this new computer system.

The HP Jornada 720 and its predecessors the HP320LX and HP620LX.

The HP Jornada 720 is another design milestone in a string of design achievements in HP Handheld PC design. Their first generation HP320LX Handheld PC was the first to feature a 640 x 240 screen when other units had 480 x 240 screens. The HP620LX was one of the first Handheld PCs with a color display. The HP Jornada 820 set a standard for other Handheld PC Professional systems with a full VGA display (640 x 480) and excellent battery life.

The HP Jornada 720 dwarfed by the HP Jornada 820.

Thin Internet client
In addition to the Internet Explorer 4 browser, the HP Jornada 720 also has drivers for a number of wired and wireless LAN adapters in its ROM (Read Only Memory). This means that you can use LAN cards from Aironet (owned by Cisco), Proxim, Socket Communications, and others a few minutes after you plug the LAN card into the HP Jornada 720.

All Handheld PC 2000 computers have a Terminal Server Client built into ROM. This means that you can use applications residing on a Windows 2000 Server if the Terminal Server component is active. This lets you run programs like those in Microsoft Office 2000 over the LAN or dial-up connection.

  HP Jornada 720 Specifications

  Microprocessor206MHz StrongARM SA1110
  DisplayLCD 6.5 inches (16.7 cm)
65536 colors
640 x 240 pixels (half-VGA)
  Keyboard Pitch 15 mm (compared to 20 mm full-size keyboard)
  Modem 56K V.90 integrated modem
  Ports/Card Slots PC Card (PCMCIA) Type II slot CompactFlash Type I slot
Smart Card slot
RS232C Serial port
IrDA (infrared) port
  AudioBuilt-in microphone Speaker
Stereo audio (miniplug) jack
  Size7.44 x 3.74 x 1.34 inches (189 x 95 x 34 mm)
  Weight1.1 lbs. (520 g)
  Battery9 hours on standard battery
24 hours on extended battery

The HP Jornada 720 is a great handheld PC. It has speed, a surprisingly good keyboard, fast Internet access, and the great Microsoft Pocket Office suite of applications. And all these features are available in a 1.1-pound package that you donít mind carrying everywhere you go. You can even use comfortably in a cramped airline coach seat.

The relative high price ($999) probably puts it out of the reach of many consumers. However, if your work demands a high performance, instant-on computer in an ultra-portable package, you should definitely consider Jornada 720.

  • Docking cradle USB connector works with standard A-B USB cable
  • Spare serial cable easy to find. It uses the same cable use by previous HP Handheld PCs (300, 600, and 800 series).
  • External audio buttons to control Windows Media Player
  • It is possible to touch-type even though the keyboard is very small.
  • Compatible with software that runs on the previous generation HP Jornada 820 Handheld PC Professional
  • USB connection requires a docking cradle
  • VGA output requires optional PC Card
  • No built-in fax software
  • Expensive

For more information
Visit the Windows CE Forum's Handheld PC messageboard to discuss the HP Jornada 720 and other Handheld PC 2000 systems.

Other Handheld PC 2000 Web sites
HP Jornada 720 Home Page
Microsoft Handheld PC Home Page

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