Reviews related to : PDA/Pocket PCs

While HP is no stranger to navigation this is the first of their units I have seen that is dedicated to satellite navigation. The others were iPAQ’s where an SD card provided the facility to the PDA, this is totally different as it’s primarily a navigation device.
Click image to enlarge First the size it's 11x8.5x2cm and although I have used it on a bus there is no pedestrian mode so only designed for in car use and of course all the required fittings are supplied. However the battery gives enough power for around two hours use away from the cars cigar lighter power.
A couple of years ago such a situation would have been hard to fathom - Palm virtually single handedly created the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) market, only to be challenged by the might of Microsoft. So - how is the fruit of this unlikely marriage? We take a look at the Palm Treo 500v.
As an early adopter and fan of the Palm concept I owned one of the very early Palm Pilot products from around 1998 (still in use by my Dad) and still have a Palm V (circa-2000) in daily use.
For those readers of shall we say ‘more mature years’ you will remember Sidekick as perhaps the first PIM (Personal Information Manager) product on the market, here it forms part of a mobile phone offering from T-Mobile.
This is neither small or light - if that's what you want T-Mobile have lots of other units - this is a PIM that allows you easy Internet access and collection of emails oh and just for good measure you can make phone calls and text messages etc. It is 13cm long, 6cm wide and close to 2.
This is a tiny sat nav system but not only is it for cars etc but also for pedestrians and bicycles. When I say small it fits into the palm of my hand and I do not have enormous hands.
It is 9x6x1.5cm and weights less than 100grams. The screen is 4.5x6cm and is fine apart from when the sun is right on it when mounted in a car. As regular readers will know I always take sat nav systems for at least a couple of journeys on a train.
As a prime target for break-in merchants, it does help if your Sat Nav device can be placed in your pocket when away from the car. The Mio P350 certainly qualifies.
Sat Nav products tend to fall into one of two main categories.  There are devices that have been purposely built to provide just the functionality of satellite navigation whether based in a car or used in pedestrian mode.  While a second approach, used by certain companies, involves adding satellite navigation capabilities to a third-party device.
I would call it a personal navigation unit as not only can it be fitted in a car but it has a pedestrian mode that lasts a reasonable time between charges.
The unit is small at 10x6x2cm and weights only around 120grams, it easily fits in the palm on my hand. Doing basic things is easy, however making changes to the defaults is not, the PDF manual may be helpful for those wanting to use it as an MP3 player, Photo viewer or even viewing your Contacts. However for changing settings when in Navigation mode it is not good.
While these devices are no longer the huge sellers they once were they still do a job vital to many and the ability to work with Word and Excel files is an important feature.
The is 11x7x1cm, the thickness is probably nearer to 1.3cm in the centre but only 1cm at the edge. The weight is less than 150grams. It is predominately black with silvered edges and to me - a style dummy - looks smart. The screen is 7.5x5.5cm and works either in portrait or landscape at 640x480. Acer N310 pocketPC The operating system is Windows Mobile 5.01 software for Pocket PC Premium Edition.
Last week (10/2/06) I told you about the Navigation software supplied on this PDA, now as this is a functioning PDA in it’s own right I can tell you about it.
The unit is 12.5x7x2cm and weights close to 200grams. It has a nice solid feel and the screen resolution of 240x320 is clear and sharp. It is a PocketPC 2003 unit and the operating system is WinCE 4.20. You have 27.5MB of available RAM.   I found battery life a little disappointing especially when using the Marco Polo Navigation software (reviewed 10/2/06).
As the advert states “You can’t but them in the shops” yet that has not stopped Dell from becoming a household name with a range of products that include PDAs.
A Pocket PC PDA with navigation from Marco Polo the unit being sold in the UK by Evesham Technologies. As regular readers will know I do not have a great record with PDA navigation.
Regular readers will know I am a keen Palm user. This however is a new departure as it is the first Palm device to have a hard disc.
It makes sense to have a PDA and phone in one unit. However most – until now – have been to say the least bulky.
I remember the early Nokia offerings that looked as though they would make a good cosh. The predecessor to this, the Treo 600 was nearly there now the Treo 650 seems to tick most if not all the boxes. It is 11x5.5x2cm and weights around 150 grams. The 11cm height is increased by 2cm at the left corner by the aerial. A little history, the Treo was developed by Handspring.

Palm Tungsten E2

This unit outwardly looks exactly the same as the original ‘E’ except that the connection on the base for synchronising is different. The other main difference is that this model has Bluetooth something the original ‘E’ did not.
By no means a unique product, however unlike a number of other PDA type packages setting up the unit is, on the face of it, quite simple.
I have looked at numerous PDA’s especially those from Palm, here is something that is more than a little different.
There are many dedicated in car navigation systems. Now there are solutions for Pocket PC and Palm. Here is one involving three companies – in a single box – and a further one that has exclusive rights to sell it.
A colour PDA with excellent screen resolution, lots of inbuilt RAM, additional storage by SD card and just for good measure a 1.2megapixel camera built in, surely now this will satisfy this old git who owns an antiquated Palm 5x?
I recently looked at the Zire21 a monochrome entry level PDA, here it is the Zire31 this is colour, it is backlit and has expansion both of which the Zire21 did not have. The price for these extras is only around another £30.

Palm Zire 21

A handheld unit for considerably less than the psychological £100 price barrier puts this unit almost into the impulse buy sector. Is it a true handheld or simply a toy?
My move over to the Palm platform with Sony's Clie TH55. First Impressions after one week out of the box