Best Mac compatible PDA?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by iostream.h, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. iostream.h macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    I have used my Newton almost everyday since I got it as a gift from my dad in 1993 (when I was 7 years old), but I'm afraid I need more. I would like the PDA to match the following conditions:

    • Wi-fi enabled
    • Really nice mail client
    • Nice little browser that can handle normal pages (w/ flash, java, qt, etc..)
    • iCal-ish organizer (first or 3rd party)
    • Nice media player (music and movies)
    • Able to read word files and such (hopefully a native feature)
    • Color display
    • High-res
    • Bluetooth
  2. Montserrat macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2004
    I'm using Tungsten T2 with Missing Sync. Seems to run smoothly enough, with iCal type thing and Documents to Go giving basic Office readability. Doesn't have WiFi, although Tungsten C does (maybe Tungsten T3?). Not as bad as Windows, but noticably worse than an Apple product. I would pay double for an Apple PDA, but they've scrapped that idea :(
    Missing Sync is essential to get decent usability out of the PDA
  3. iostream.h thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    I've heard good things about the T2, but I heard that the Tungsten C was poorly manufactured. And as much as my carpel tunnel syndrome tightens up my fingers to stop typing it, how are the HP iPaqs?
  4. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2004
    I Come From A Land Down Under
    The iPaqs run mobile windows, but if you don't see that as a good reason not to buy one, they use volatile memory, meaning that if you drain the battery you loose all of your stored information. I have a Palm Tungsten E, and with the bundled software it works exceptionally. I would recommend it over anything else on the market. The quality is very good, and as it is made of aluminum, it matches my PowerBook perfectly.
  5. Lincoln macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2003
    Tungsten T3

    I have a Tungsten T3, it is better than the T2 (which a work collegue has) but doesn't have WiFi (Airport). Pa1mOne is meant to be releasing a WiFi SD card later this year. Also they are releasing a new handheld (T4?) later this year which (according to rumours) will either have WiFi built in or dual SD slots - on which will be SDIO compliant (fur card such as WiFi, etc) and one stndar one which can only SD or MMC memory cards. So it may be worth waiting (seems like a lot of on this form does that for various things :rolleyes: )

    As for the difference between the T2 and T3 they are as follows:
    Memory: T2 has 32MB; T3 has 64MB
    Screen: T2 has a 320x320 screen with dedicated grafiti area; T3 has a 320x480 with a "virtual" grafitti area (area hidden by slider on both models)
    T3 also has a slightly newer OS and a dedicated "button" bar that allows quick access to alrams, bluetooth, battery levels, hid/unhide the virtual grafitti area and (nearly forgot this) a button to turn landscape mode on/off.
    Fianlly T3 has a slightly poorer battery life than the T3 (thanks to the screen), however I have never had a problem with this - I charge it at work and at home when its not in use.
    Both have bluetooth

    There may be some other minor differences, but I cannot remember them at the moment. However if you can get a good deal on the T2 then it is still a good Palm handheld.

    I have not yet tested my T3 with a Mac yet (its on order though) so I can not comment on how well its synchronizes yet. It does come with a Mac version of Palm Desktop and can also sych with Ical/Address book, Palm Desktop and Office Vx and Office 2004. However this is the last Palm that will come with Mac software in the box so products like missing sync will be essential with the new Tunsten Tx?

    Finally, I have used Pocket PC's and have never been impressed with them, always seem a bit slow, a bir crash prone and are also more likely to duplicate data. They also need 3rd party software to synchronize with Macs. But lots of new models are just coming out that are faster and most (including current) models have WiFi and bluetooth.

    Hopefully someone who has a PocketPC can give feedback on their experiences.

    One question for Montserrat, how does Missing Sync deal with categories?
  6. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    I also have the T3 (hardly use it but it is there). I recently linked to PB and it works well.
    As for WiFi SD card...there are those available in the market. I saw one for $150 about a month ago. Don't feel like searching for it right now.
    My wife has Tungsten E and I think that is best value for the money. But with prices dropping like crazy, T3 is a way to go for Mac with bluetooth capability.
  7. iostream.h thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    Yeah, the Tungstens look very nice, but I'm going to a college next semester where the entire campus is smothered in Wi-Fi, and I thought I better take advantage of it. Anyone have comments on the Tungsten C?
  8. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Sony TH55: maybe the best Palm OS PDA

    How do you feel about products that are no longer supported? The Sony Clie TH55 looks awesome but Sony recently announced that they were dropping PDAs, or at least re-evaluating the handheld market.

    The TH55 has a large LCD, camera, WiFi and a unique set of apps called Clie Organizer. Some people love these apps and others don't think it lives up to the hype. They provide for drag and drop and allow you to write directly onto your calendar. The first time I saw these in a Flash demo I immediately thought of the Newton and that this is what the Newt always promised.

    The TH55 also uses Sony's unique Handheld Engine which dynamically changes the clock speed of the processor from 8mhz to 125mhz (or around there). Some think this makes this PDA slow when compared to other 200+mhz ARM processors. But this is Palm OS and I'd rather have the excellent battery life that the Handheld Engine gives.

    I don't own one but I'm still interested in the TH55 and if I find one cheap it will be my next PDA.

    You can get a ton of info at
  9. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    My wife has a Tungsten T3 that she uses for work. Very compatible with the Mac. She is able to sync it wirelessly with her 15" PB. It keeps her updated with medical information and calendar of events.
  10. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    my T3 is quite nice, though no wifi, but wifi isn't really worth it on a PDA IMO. you can always get a SD card, though. i feel the T3 is the best all around PDA. can do just about anything. certainly plenty powerful. i haven't been able to get it to sync with isync, but that is probably my fault...
  11. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I have a sony clie tj37 equipted with wireless and digital camera. I like it a lot although connecting it to my PC can be somewhat difficult becuase to beable to send write and send an e-mails you have to set it up to send e-mails via ms outlook. So you have to configure the pda to do that. When i did it then all of a sudden it sends all of my information (address, date, to do, and memos) to outlook and not the palm desktop even though the addresses, dates, to dos, and memos are set to be synched with palm desktop. When you sync it it asks you if you want to make the changes in outlook which is annoying. Also you cannot sync pictures without a memory stick memory card which i do not have to that is frustrating. To work around it i have to spend a long time making e-mails with the attached picture(s), then go through the syncing process, then open the attachment and save it.

    Maybe if you have the Mark Space software for mac it might work better.

  12. Loge macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2004
    I have used Tungsten C for about a year. Mainly because of the built in keyboard; I really can't deal with handwriting recognition. The wifi worked okay but I don't really have a need for it. The battery life seems very good (but then not using wifi much). Synchronise with powerbook works fine using isync (with the additional pieces you need from Palm).

    On the whole, it's a competent product, though not something I get excited about. (I wanted a Psion 5 with a color screen, but they never got round to making that!)
  13. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    You could always try a PocketPC and a third party sync program like MissingSync. Some PocketPCs offer very nice features.
  14. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Pocket PC Info

    Well, I'm not an expert, but the Pocket PC info seems a bit lite, so I'll give it a whirl.

    I have a Dell Axim 30. I first purchased PocketMac software. The goods and the bads:

    Good: great syncing options - including syncing a specified folder and Mail.
    Bad: sporadic recognition that the PocketPC was there - I eventually got it to establish bluetooth connections much of the time, but I never could get it to establish a USB link.

    I ended up switching to Missing Sync because of my constant frustration trying to establish links. The goods and the bads:

    Good: When I plug the PPC in, Missing Sync starts up automatically, shows me the connection, and offers me the option to mount it as a disk.
    Bad: It syncs iCal and Address Book via iSync, but I don't know (yet) of a way to sync files or e-mail. Of course, it could just be that I haven't dug deep enough or gotten the right piece of shareware to do those things. Right now, I'm just thrilled that iCal and AddressBook sync with ease.

    As for PIM software on the Pocket PC, I wasn't happy with PocketWindows calendar. I'm very happy with the shareware called Pocket Informant. You'll spend a half an hour playing with preferences, but you'll have a calendar that's a pleasure to use. It's good looking (with your color choices), it follows Apple's philosophy of keeping the interface simple, and it provides tons of wonderful options like having text in the month view.

    Now, why the Dell? It had Bluetooth and Wifi. It had Landscape mode. It's well built. It's inexpensive compared to similar configs (I'm assuming the price decrease comes from less pre-installed software - but, frankly, I'd rather choose my own software, anyway.)

    The only problem with Dell - you pretty much have to go through them for accessories. All you'll find at the store is Palm, Sony, or HP.

    Why PPC over Palm? Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer, customizable background, 4 types of data entry with the stylus (including Palm's graffiti, an on-screen keyboard, block letters, and the one I use - which lets you write full lines of text directly on the screen and does a fairly good job of reading your writing. I also have 4 CD's worth of music on a SD media card - making it a poor man's iPod.


  15. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    another vote for the T3

    I currrently use a PalmOne T3. Prior to this, I have aalso used a Palm III, a Palm IIIe, and a Palm M515. The T3 is awesome. I was syncing via Palm Desktop Hot Sync, but recently changed to iSync with no problems. My wife sync's her Palm PDA via MS Entourage, so there are plenty of options for syncing. I just ordered an AlPB, and am looking forward to checking out the BT feature with it. I don't really need WiFi in my PDA, but like others have pointed out, there are SD cards out/coming soon if it is critical for you. I would highly reccommend the T3 to anyone looking for a solid PDA. Great screen ,plenty of memory, Docs to Go is great (no Powerpoint for Mac users, though - bummer), and a serviceable mp3 player (won't replace my 4G 20GB iPod anytime soon, though!).

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