Wyvern Handheld Clients — Comparison

Considering buying a Zaurus or an iPAQ? I own one of each, and they're both really cool. Both of them have strengths and weaknesses, and I've put down some random thoughts and impressions here, on the off chance that it might be helpful.

I've mostly used them for game-playing, with a little bit of productivity stuff mixed in (email, browsing, appointments). About half the stuff here is Wyvern-specific.

The two devices use the Insignia Jeode Java Virtual Machine. The Zaurus runs Linux, and the PocketPC runs Windows CE, so there are some differences in the JVM implementations, and some of them affect the game.

As for model numbers, I have the Sharp Zaurus 5500SL, and the Compaq iPAQ 3835.

Side by Side

The hardware configurations are pretty similar:

Hardware differences:

Overall, I think the Zaurus has nicer hardware, except for the darker screen and the lack of a speaker.

Software differences (just my opinions):

If you could only buy one or the other, it's not going to be an easy choice. They're about the same price, and they each have strong points and weak points.

Sofware/JVM Bugs

And now to the bugs. There are tons of them, but a few of them are worth calling out, because they affect the playability of the game:

So overall, the iPAQ version is more stable, but it's got a slower startup time. We were able to work around most of the Zaurus JVM bugs, so both of them are good Wyvern client platforms.

At the end of the day — I like both of them a lot. I've focused mostly on the negatives, but they're both incredibly cool, and I always have trouble deciding which one I'm going to take with me to work.

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