PDA recommendations

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by rebelbear, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. rebelbear macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    #1
    Hello all,
    I'm looking for a PDA that has WiFi capabilities (home and work both have access points) and Bluetooth. WiFi doesn't need to be built-in; a card will do just fine. I need to be able to view and edit Word and Excel files. I am hoping that with Panther I will be able to sync iCal with the PDA.
    I suppose I would like it to be able to use Palm OS 5. (I don't know much about the various operating systems). I do not need it to be a digital camera or an MP3 player.
    Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?
    Would a Sony Clie NX-60 be a good value pick?
    Thanks!
     
  2. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #2
    If you can afford a sony clie GET IT! They are the only usable PDA imo, since palm cannot get its head out of its...by staying in the stone age with their offerings. Although a close runner up imo to the CLIE would be the Palm Zire 71, the first 'usable' palm pilot.
     
  3. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #3
    If you're tempted by the siren song of Pocket PC, there is a package called Missing Sync that allows you to sync with it (recent versions only - after all, Pocket PC is from Microsoft).

    Clie's are cool but pricey, and battery replacement could be expensive. You can get a used Palm III for $50 or less, and it does most of what the new ones do, and you can use rechargable NiMHs in it.

    Or you can get a Newton. The Newton's strong point is that everything is on flash - you will never lose any data.

    (edit) I just realized about the WiFi - you mean wireless networking a la Airport? I don't think ANY of the PDAs do that, except for the Newton. You will have to do some googles to find which cards you can use and where to get the drivers.
     
  4. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #4
    A lot of PDAs have bluetooth and wifi. In fact, my year-old toshiba e740 (pocketpc) has it. If you want wifi, the Tungsten C has it built in, as well as the Toshiba e755, 740, the iPAQ 5455, 5555 and some other model numbers that I probably missed. If you want bluetooth, the palm Tungsten T series has built in bluetooth instead of wifi. Personally, I like my pocketpc a lot. I can use the wifi network to stream mp3s from my desktop to it while i'm walking around the house and it's basically having a 120gig ipod in your pocket. In addition, I'm also able to stream divx movies from the hard drive and make phone calls wirelessly over VOIP, not to mention being able to check my email and browse the web (slightly slow).

    <edit>grammatical errors
     
  5. amin macrumors 6502a

    amin

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Palms and Handsprings traditionally have the best Mac support, but there are workarounds for most PDAs at this point.

    The Tungsten C has built-in WiFi but no Bluetooth solution. Palm's own BT card doesn't work with the Tungsten C, though they claim they will release one that does (a third-party is also working on a solution).

    The Tungsten T and T2 have Bluetooth built in, but WiFi is not here just yet. San Disk recently released an SD Wifi card for Pocket PC and has promised drivers for Palms soon.

    The Zire 71 is a great Palm which plays nice with Macs but is not the PDA of choice for someone with BT/Wifi needs such as yourself.

    If you don't mind the twist-and-flip design (which I hate) the NX-60 is a reasonable pick, though WiFi and Bluetooth will cost you extra. The NX-73 may be a better pick for you since you can free up about 15MB of free flash memory for storage using an inexpensive app called JackFlash (available from Brayder.com).

    A very strong CLIE for your needs would be the new UX50 which is hitting stores in a few days and has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. It is expensive though, and people tend to either love or hate the design.

    IMO, Pocket PCs are not the way to go, especially with Macs, unless handheld multimedia (music, video, etc) are imporrtant for you to have on your PDA. I haven't found Pocket PCs to be dependable enough with the little things that are critical to PDA function, like alarms going off when they are supposed to, etc. That said, PPCs have been making ground in usability and snappiness. The HP 5550/5555 has BT and Wifi built-in; but if I were going to get a PPC for wireless, I'd get an HP 2210/2215 (built-in BT) and add a Wifi card using either the SD or CF card slot.

    Palm is slated to release a Tungsten|E, Tungsten|T3, and Zire 21 in the next month or two. Details regarding the rumored specs of these can be found at PalmInfoCenter.com if you are interested.
     
  6. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #6
    One problem with the Sony UX-50 is that the screen is locked in landscape mode so it may have compatibility problems with older palm software. On the bright side, Palm is rumored to release a Tungsten T3 with a 320x480 portrait screen, wifi and a bunch of other goodies that you might want to wait for.
     
  7. KLFloyd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #7
    I too am getting ready to buy a new PDA and while I'm just looking for a very basic model I'll pass along some of the advice I was given.

    Palm announces their new products on Oct. 1. If you can afford to hold off and wait a few weeks you'll probably have more product offerings to choose from and perhaps lower prices.
     
  8. Bluefusion macrumors 6502

    Bluefusion

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #8
    Tungsten T2
    Tungsten T2
    Tungsten T2!!!!!!

    I have a Tungsten T and it's FAR AND AWAY the best PDA I've ever used. Clies are really damn annoying--their Mac support is nonexistent (Missing Sync is the only way...), their styli are horrible, and they seem to be designed for entirely the wrong market. Who wants to play movies on a 4" screen? Not like Palm's devices can't do that, but Sony makes a big deal out of the "multimedia capabilities" and it gets quite annoying.

    The Tungsten T2 (and Tungsten C) have the best screens currently available on PDAs. The T2 has Bluetooth, and SanDisk is shipping a WiFi/SD card this Fall. The TC has wi-fi built in but no BT.

    Get the TT2--small, light, and absolutely beautiful, with what is unquestionably the best built-in stylus ever.

    Oh, and iCal already syncs just fine--no need to wait for Panther!
     
  9. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000

    pimentoLoaf

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    The SimCity Deli
    #9
    Had I known the T2 was imminent, I would've had one of them. But no, I bought an ol' fashioned Tungsten T when I had need for a new one. The transreflective screen on the newest model (you can view everything in broad daylight) is the greatest selling point.
     
  10. Bluefusion macrumors 6502

    Bluefusion

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #10
    I still like my TT (1)... and no, the screen on the T2 is LESS readable in daylight than the TT1. It's far brighter indoors, however.
     
  11. sparky76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    #11
    I have the ipaq 5550 and find it great for both WiFi and Bluetooth. It is quite happy to connect to either my home or work network (both encrypted) or to dial up with Bluetooth.
    For syncing, try www.pocketmac.net - version 3 is due in 2 or 3 weeks.
     
  12. bmull macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    #12
    Tungsten C - Awesome

    I love mine. It does everything you described in your original post except Bluetooth. Hopefully that will be out soon. WIFI on it is great, and I add, edit documents all the time on it. It is a bit pricey, but I think it's worth it for me.
     
  13. rebelbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    #13
    New Palms

    I've been reading about them on-line, but would love to hear from macrumors Palm/PDA experts.

    First of all, did the Sandisk drivers come out? What options do I have as far as obtaining WiFi access? I vaguely remember a hard case that offered WiFi? I may be going nuts, though.

    I'm leaning towards the Tungsten E just because of the lower price point as I will also want to purchase an accessory to enable WiFi.

    Thanks for any comments!
     

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