The iPAQ is a Pocket PC and personal digital assistant, first unveiled by Compaq in April 2000; the name was borrowed from Compaq's earlier iPAQ Desktop Personal Computers. Since Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Compaq, the product has been marketed by HP. The devices use a Windows Mobile interface. In addition to this, there are several Linux distributions that will also operate on some of these devices. Earlier units were modular. "Sleeve" accessories, technically called jackets, which slide around the unit and add functionality such as a card reader, wireless networking, GPS, and even extra batteries were used. Later versions of iPAQs have most of these features integrated into the base device itself, some including GPRS mobile-telephony (sim-card slot and radio).

HP's line-up of iPAQ devices includes PDA-devices, smartphones and GPS-navigators. A substantial number of current and past devices are outsourced from Taiwanese HTC corporation.


The iPAQ was developed by Compaq based on the SA-1110 "Assabet" and SA-1111 "Neponset" reference boards that were engineered by a StrongARM development group located at Digital Equipment Corporation's Hudson Massachusetts facility. At the time when these boards were in development, this facility was acquired by Intel. When the "Assabet" board is combined with the "Neponset" companion processor board they provide support for 32 megabytes of SDRAM in addition to CompactFlash and PCMCIA slots along with an I2S or AC-Link serial audio bus, PS/2 mouse and trackpad interfaces, a USB host controller and 18 additional GPIO pins. Software drivers for a CompactFlash ethernet device, IDE storage devices such as the IBM Microdrive and the Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE 802.11 Wifi device were also available. An earlier StrongARM SA-1100 based research handheld device call the "Itsy" had been developed at Digital Equipment Corporation's Western Research Laboratory (later to become the Compaq Western Research Laboratory). With the acquisition of Compaq by Hewlett-Packard, HP discontinued the Jornada line of Microsoft Windows powered Pocket PCs, moving development and marketing of Pocket PCs to the iPAQ line.

A feature in Linux Magazine in 2001, described the iPAQ 3630 as a "highly promising platform" and depicted it running Pocket Linux,[1] shown in summer 2000.[2] The first iPAQ to be released was the H3100. It had a four-bit grayscale display, running on Pocket PC 2000. The H3100 was succeeded by the similarly-designed H3600. Changes included a colour display and a chrome coloured directional pad compared to the monochrome display and gunmetal grey d-pad of its predecessor. The H3600 was succeeded by the H3800 and H3900, which retained the same form factor, but had a different button layout.

In June 2003, HP retired the h3xxx line of iPAQs and introduced the h1xxx line of iPAQs targeted at price conscious buyers, the h2xxx consumer line, and the h5xxx line, targeted at business customers. They were sold pre-installed with the Windows Mobile for Pocket PC 2003 Operating System. The h63xx series of iPAQs running the Phone Edition of Windows Mobile 2003, the hx47xx series and the rz17xx series, both running the Second Edition of Windows Mobile 2003 were introduced in August 2004.

In August 2004, HP released the rz17xx and rx3xxx series of Mobile Media Companions. These devices were aimed at consumers, rather than the traditional corporate audience. Emphasis was placed on media features, like NEVO TV Remote and Mobile Media. They ran on Windows Mobile 2003SE.

In February 2005, the iPAQ Mobile Messenger hw6500 series was introduced to selected media at the 3GSM conference in Cannes, France. It was replaced a year later by the hw6900 series, running on Windows Mobile 5.

In 2007, the iPAQ rx4000 Mobile Media Companion PDA/media devices and rx5000 Travel Companion PDA/GPS devices were released. Both series of iPAQs work on the Windows Mobile 5 Operating System (WM5), as do the hx2000 and hw6900 series. The first HP Windows Mobile 6 device, the iPAQ 500 Series Voice Messenger, with the Windows Mobile 6 Standard Operating System (WM6), and numeric pad, was released in the same year.

The entire iPAQ line was completely revamped by the introduction of five new iPAQ series to complement the introduction of the iPAQ 500 Series Voice Messenger earlier in the year. The models announced were the 100 Series Classic Handheld, the 200 Series Enterprise Handheld, the 300 Series Travel Companion, the 600 Series Business Navigator and the 900 Series Business Messenger. The 100 and 200 Series are regular touchscreen PDAs without phone functionality running WM6. The 300 Series Travel Companion is not a PDA; marketed as a Personal Navigation Device, it is a handheld GPS unit operating on the Windows CE 5.0 core Operating System with a custom user interface. The 600 and 900 series are phones with integrated GPS and 3G capabilities, running the WM6 Professional. The 600 series possesses a numeric pad and the 900 series features a full QWERTY keyboard.

Hewlett-Packard introduced a smartphone iPAQ Pocket PC that looks like a regular cell phone and has VoIP capability. The series is the HP iPAQ 500 Series Voice Messenger.[3]

In December 2009, HP released the iPAQ Glisten, running on Windows Mobile 6.5.

As of April 2011, no new models have been announced. HP continues to advertise the 111 series and the Glisten on its website, however. As such, the status and fate of the iPAQ line is unclear.

In mid-August 2011, HP announced that they are discontinuing all webOS devices, and possibly mobile devices.[4] It is unclear if this move will affect the iPAQ line, although they are producing several new iPAQs for Nederlandse Spoorwegen as of November 2011 (11/11).

Model list


These older models are compatible with the iPAQ Jacket which can accept 1× CompactFlash, 1× PC Card or 2× PC Card slots.

iPAQ jacket PN 173396-001 PCMCIA (PC port) 1× internal Li-ion battery PN 167648 3.7 V 1500 mAh (upgradable).

Model (variants)RAM (MiB)ROM (MiB)SlotsCPUCPU Clock(MHz)OSWiFiBluetoothIrDAPN 173396-001Special Feature
H3150 (H3130, H3135)1616NoneSA-1110206PPC2000Yes4-bit gray scale display
H3650 (H3630, H3635)3216NoneSA-1110206PPC2000YesYes
H3670 (H3660)6416NoneSA-1110206PPC2000YesYes
H3830 (Rosella)32321SDSA-1110206PPC2002 PremiumYes
H395064321SD/IOPXA250400PPC2002 PremiumYesNEVO TV Remote Software
H397064481SDPXA250400PPC2002 PremiumBT1.1YesYesNEVO TV Remote Software
H515064321SDPXA255400WM2003BT1.1YesYesNEVO TV Remote Software
H540064481SDPXA250400WM2003802.11bBT1.1YesYesNEVO TV Remote Software, Biometric Fingerprint reader
H5500128481SDPXA255400WM2003802.11bBT1.1YesYesBiometric Fingerprint reader

Newer models

ModelRAM (MiB)ROM (MiB)SlotsCPUCPU Clock(MHz)OSWiFiBluetoothMore
H191064161SDPXA250200PPC2002NoNoNo RS232 Support
H191564161SDPXA255200PPC2002NoNoNo RS232 Support
H193064161SDIOS3C2410203WM2003NoNoNo RS232 Support
H194064321SDIOS3C2410266WM2003NoBT1.1No RS232 Support
rx1950 Navigator32641SDIOS3C2442300WM5802.11bNoGPS
H21006464 1CF 1SDIOPXA270312WM2003802.11bNo
H21106464 1CF 1SDIOPXA270312WM2003SENoYes
H2210 or H2215[5]6432 1CF 1SDIOPXA255400WM2003NoBT1.1NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
H435064321SDIOPXA255400WM2003802.11bBT1.1Integrated QWERTY keyboard
hx210064641CF 1SDIOPXA270312WM5NoBTIrDA, USB 2.0
hx211064641CF 1SDIOPXA270312WM2003SENoBT1.2IrDA, USB 1.1
hx2190b641921CF 1SDIOPXA270312WM5NoBT1.2IrDA, USB 2.0
hx220064??1CF 1SDIOPXA250400PPC2003 PremiumYesNo
hx241064641CF 1SDIOPXA270520WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2
hx241564641CF 1SDIO 1MMCPXA270520WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2
hx2490b641921CF 1SDIOPXA270520WM5 Premium802.11bBTIrDA, USB 2.0
hx2490c645121CF 1SDIOPXA270520WM5 Premium802.11bBTIrDA, USB 2.0
hx2495b641921CF 1SDIOPXA270520WM5802.11bBT1.7.1
hx27501281281CF 1SDIOPXA270624WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2
hx2790641921CF 1SDIOPXA270624WM5802.11bBT1.7.1
hx2790b643201CF 1SDIOPXA270624WM5802.11bBT1.7.1
hx2790c645121CF 1SDIOPXA270624WM5802.11bBT1.7.1
hx4700641281CF 1SDIOPXA270624WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2VGA, may be unofficially upgraded to WM 6.5
rz171025??1SDIO 1SD/MMCS3C2410203WM2003SENoNoFull RS 232, IrDA
rx195064321SIO 1SD/MMCSC32442300WM5.0802.11bunknownMay be unofficially upgraded to WM 6.1
rx310064321SDIOS3C2440300WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
rx311564321SDIOS3C2440300WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
rx341564321SDIOS3C2440400WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
rx341764641SDIOS3C2440400WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
rx3715641281SDIOS3C2440400WM2003SE802.11bBT1.2IrDA, 1.2 MP Camera, NEVO TV Remote Software v2.0
h630064641SDIOTI OMAP168WM2003802.11bBT1.1GPRS/Camera
h631064641SDIOTI OMAP 1510168WM2003802.11bBT1.1GPRS
hw650064641SDIO 1miniSDPXA270312WM2003SEBT1.2GPRS/EDGE, GPS
hw6900 (Sable)64641miniSDPXA270416WM5.0802.11bBT1.2GPRS/EDGE, GPS
110642561SDHC/SDIOPXA310624WM6.0802.11b/gBT2.0 w/ EDR
210/211/2141282561CF 1SDHC/SDIOPXA310624WM6.0802.11b/gBT2.0 w/ EDRVGA,USB Host Support
614c1282561SDHC/SDIOPXA270520WM6.0802.11b/gBT2.0 w/ EDRQVGA, GPRS/EDGE/3G, GPS
910c1282561microSDHCPXA270416WM6.1802.11b/gBT2.0 w/ EDRQVGA, GPRS/EDGE/3G, GPS
Glisten2565121microSDHCQualcomm MSM7200A533WM6.5802.11b/gBT2.0 w/ EDRQVGA, GSM/UMTS/HSDPA, aGPS

Alternative operating systems for the iPAQ


The OpenEmbedded distribution is (as of 2016) the only actively maintained Linux distribution for the iPAQ models, by way of the meta-handheld layer.[6]

Familiar Linux

An alternative Linux-based OS available for the iPAQ was Familiar. It stopped being actively maintained in 2007.

It was available with the Opie or GPE GUI environment, or as a base Linux system with no GUI if preferred.

Both Opie and GPE provided the usual PIM suite (calendar, contacts, to do list, and notes) as well as a long list of other applications. Support for handwriting recognition, on-screen keyboard, bluetooth, IrDA and add-on hardware such as keyboards are standard in both environments.

The v0.8.4 (2006-08-20) version supports HP iPAQ H3xxx and H5xxx series of handhelds, and introduced initial support for the HP iPAQ H2200, Hx4700, and H6300 series.[7]

Intimate Linux

On devices with added storage (primarily microdrives) there is a modified port of Debian called Intimate.[8] In addition to a standard X11 desktop, Intimate also offered the Opie, GPE and Qtopia suites. (Qtopia was a QT-based PIM suite with an optional commercial license.)


NetBSD will install and run on iPAQ.

Plan 9 from Bell Labs

Plan 9 from Bell Labs runs on the iPAQ. The nickname of the architecture is "bitsy," after the name of the ARM-based chipsets used in many of the machines.

Ångström distribution

See Ångström distribution


The hx2000 series and some later models are upgradeable to newer versions of Windows Mobile. Upgrades could be purchased from HP. Windows Mobile 2003 could be installed on the H3950, H3970, h5450 and possibly other models of the H3xxx series with sufficient ROM capacity. Other "cooked" (ready to run) roms have been provided by the group known as xda-developers and are available for the hx2000 series, the hx4700 and others. These include Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5.

Internal Li-ion battery

iPAQ models 3100–3700 are fitted with internal Li-ion battery PN 167648 3.7 V 1500 mAh which can be replaced with a 2200 mAh unit. The same battery is used in the iPAQ jacket PN 173396-001 PCMCIA (PC port), which may also be upgraded to a 2200 mAh unit. The 3800/3900 series are fitted with a 1700 mAh cell as standard, also upgradeable to 2200 mAh. Compaq presumably upgraded the battery to cope with the faster CPU's power requirements.

RAM upgrade info

It is possible to have the internal RAM of an iPAQ H3970 and hx4700 upgraded to 128 MB by using a specialist service to replace the surface-mount BGA RAM chips.

See also


  1. Kuhn, Bernhard (2001). "Personal Assistants" (PDF). Linux Magazine (7). p. 51. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  2. Christoffer Andersson (14 March 2002). GPRS and 3G Wireless Applications: Professional Developer's Guide. John Wiley & Sons. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-471-18975-6. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  3. "Filter News Results - HP Newsroom Filter News Results" (PDF). Hp.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  4. "HP gives up on mobile – what next for webOS? - General - Feature - HEXUS.net". Mobile-device.biz. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  5. "REVIEW: HP iPaq h2215 (h2210) Review". Brighthand. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  6. "meta-handheld git repository". Cgit.openembedded.org. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  7. "iPAQ H3900". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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