Satnav, a feature that was once found only in the most expensive cars, is increasingly crammed on to the screens of smartphones and PDAs and hidden beneath the passenger seat of rusty bangers. If we were a GPS unit, we'd want more out of life.

HP clearly feels the same way, if this gorgeously styled, truly portable device is anything to go by. The latest addition to the firm's iPaq line-up runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium, combining navigation assistance with Office applications, contact- and data-management software, media playback, email and web browsing. It's a simple matter to sync data with a PC, and images are easily sent directly to print.

Although some features are dependent on accessibility to a wireless network, the main features are not. And by configuring the BT Phone Manager, you can tap into your mobile's internet connection using the built-in Bluetooth receiver. It’s here that the iPaq's ability to switch between horizontal and vertical displays really impresses.

With TomTom Navigator 6.0 European maps preinstalled, postcode navigation, various points of interest and access to TomTom Plus services, the iPaq is all you need to find your way. That said, it suffers some delay around corners, which can be confusing when one turn leads immediately to another. And we still haven't found a GPS capable of quickly finding a signal at startup in remote locations.

Importantly, the HP features password protection. And reassurances continue abroad. While it has an exhaustive collection of EU (European Union) maps, iPaq Choice points allow you to download more - along with additional games and software. Meanwhile, WorldMate keeps you clued-up with differing time zones, currencies and whatever else may have you confused.

For reviews of the very latest GPS systems and satnav kit, plus invaluable buying advice, click here.

HP iPaq rx5700 Travel Companion: Specs

  • 400MHz Samsung SC32442 processor
  • MS Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium Edition
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • SiRFstarIII GPS receiver
  • TomTom Navigator 6.0
  • WorldMate Standard Edition
  • HP Photosmart Mobile
  • 3.5in TFT QVGA
  • 1GB flash memory
  • Bluetooth
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • SD card slot
  • mains charger
  • one-year collect-and-return warranty
  • 76x16x12mm
  • 149g
  • 400MHz Samsung SC32442 processor
  • MS Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium Edition
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • SiRFstarIII GPS receiver
  • TomTom Navigator 6.0
  • WorldMate Standard Edition
  • HP Photosmart Mobile
  • 3.5in TFT QVGA
  • 1GB flash memory
  • Bluetooth
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • SD card slot
  • mains charger
  • one-year collect-and-return warranty
  • 76x16x12mm
  • 149g

OUR VERDICT

The iPaq is a touch slow at times and its lack of a pedestrian mode hasn't gone unnoticed. However, it ticks all our boxes, offering amazing value for money and excellent functionality.

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