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Suggestions on good PDA or PDA like device

by Ms.Gadgettes / February 19, 2009 4:55 AM PST

I'm looking to get a good device to use as a PDA. I don't need anything top of the line or overly advanced, just something with pretty simple features (or at least I think simple) I want a really good calendar app, a checklist and if possible a notepad (but I'd prefer the checklist over a notepad) Any other features are icing on the cake.

I currently have a Blackberry, but don't really use the PDA side of its features, it is really only used for phone, internet and e-mail on the go. My original plan was to get another cell phone that would have the features I need, but one I would only use when I wouldn't be using my Blackberry (i.e mostly on weekends and such). I was originally planning to get the LG EnV2, but after playing with it in the Verizon store I realized the phone really doesn't have enough to make it a good PDA like phone. So I started looking at some of the other options and the phone that really caught my eye and seemed to be able to handle what I want was the Samsung Ominia, I was ready to purchase this phone and add another line when I was informed Verizon's policy changed and all smartphones made after November (or something around that point) would require a data plan. I don't want or need a data plan on this line so it pretty much cancelled out this idea.

A month or so ago I was looking into getting a regular PDA but had a really hard time finding one (I asked a sales associate in an office store and she basically looked at me as if I had lost my mind and kind of laughed as she said "no, we don't carry PDAs") I've looked online and the options seem to be quite limited here as well. It seems like the more basic PDAs are quite bland, while the better PDAs are more than I really need and not really what I'm looking for either.

I really liked the idea of getting a phone to use as a PDA, but since that is most likely out of the question now, I'm looking for other suggestions for a good device to try. I'm really interested in the iPod Touch, but having not used one much, I'm not really sure if this will be able to handle what I need as well.

Thanks so much!

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Too many options...
by John.Wilkinson / February 20, 2009 7:49 AM PST

Although it may not seem like it, there are actually too many options given the few requirements. The iPod Touch would fulfill those three requirements, though you would need to pick up a free to do list application to add the checklist feature. On the other hand, you could pick up a used Palm TX or even the older Palm m100 (circa 2000) on eBay for under $50. Or for that matter, why not use your BlackBerry's PDA functionality?

Bottom line: Tell us why your BlackBerry is insufficient for the task.


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Thanks for your reply
by Ms.Gadgettes / February 21, 2009 9:55 AM PST
In reply to: Too many options...

I definitely don't want to go the used route, I really want something up-to-date and modern and most importantly, new.

As far as my Blackberry, it isn't really that it is insufficient for what I need, however, I'm looking for something to stay organized when I'm not using my Blackberry. The Blackberry works great as a PDA, but I don't carry it with me on weekends and things like that, so more than anything I'm just looking for something that I can use as a PDA when I don't have my Blackberry with me. Since the things being scheduled will be completely different between the devices, it isn't important that I be able to sync them or anything like that.

Thanks again for your reply!

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Ah. In that case...
by John.Wilkinson / February 21, 2009 2:28 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply

PDAs aren't that prevalent anymore, and those left cost about the same as an iPod Touch but are more geared towards business use. Thus, I would suggest the iPod Touch given its internet and multimedia capabilities, as well as its large software selection, which includes games, and the basic PDA functionality you desire.


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That's kind of what I was thinking
by Ms.Gadgettes / March 4, 2009 1:31 AM PST
In reply to: Ah. In that case...

Thanks for letting me know. I guess the iPod Touch will be a good choice after all. I was just thinking I was missing something.

Thanks again!

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Buy a nokia tablet
by wirelesscaller / January 19, 2010 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks for your reply

n770, n800, or the n810 could do those duties as well. You can also buy an unlocked ms pda pocket pc phone from newegg or tigerdirect to serve this function as well pretty cheap. You don't even have to activate service on it and just put sim card in the gsm ones and you can use it as a pda.

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Recommended PDA
by v8ornot2v8 / March 2, 2009 11:57 AM PST

I know it may sound silly, but I used a Palm m130 for years! Then in 2005, it was stolen out of my purse. I was lost without it. (Fortunately I had synched the handheld with my computer that same week.) I had tried a couple of different PDA's including Blackberry and a few others, only to find that I didn't like any of them as much as my m130.

Then two months ago I found one posted on Craigslist - $30 - imagine my luck! I picked it up and it was just like a glove! So, I know it's an older PDA, but it's got everything you need and it's fabulous. So, my advice is that if you want a good PDA, I wouldn't be so worried about all the newest, latest and greatest gadgets with big names - the Palm Pilot really is a great product.

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Thanks for the recommendation
by Ms.Gadgettes / March 4, 2009 1:38 AM PST
In reply to: Recommended PDA

I've also used Palms before in the past and they were really great devices. And I know exactly how you feel getting the device back that you know and love. Sometimes you can try and try to find something to replace something, but if you were happy with it start with, it is hard to find something good enough to replace it.

For me it is not so much that I have to have the latest and greatest devices, though that is always a plus, but the main thing is that I don't buy things used. I just don't like buying things and not really knowing what I'm getting into, I feel there is a big risk of just buying the other persons problems when buying things used. Also, since I'm a germa-phobe, used is definitely something that doesn't appeal to me.

Thanks again for the recommendation, if this was a new device I would definitely consider it, but having to buy something used just isn't something that interests me.

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Palm not a good choice if you have a 64-bit PC
by ddriscoll225 / December 7, 2009 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Recommended PDA

Sure, it's a great PDA but Palm have left their users in the lurch by not upgrading their replication program to work on 64-bit PCs. And they apparently have no plans to upgrade. I wouldn't buy another product from Palm for fear of being abandoned in the future.

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64-bit is supported...
by John.Wilkinson / December 8, 2009 8:09 AM PST
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Similar Situation ... I Might Be Going Back to Pen and Paper
by tonyny77 / January 24, 2010 11:06 PM PST

Ms. Gadgettes -- I just wanted to mention that I seem to be in a very similar situation. I use my cell phone for only five minutes each month (sometimes less), so that's why I went to TracFone. Therefore, getting a phone or phone plan just to obtain a suitable PDA would make no sense for me.

However, I have an old HandSpring PDA that still works PERFECTLY, but once Vista came along, I found my options for the Palm Desktop software became very limited. In fact, although the program works well on Vista, trying to sync with my HandSpring PDA gives me a BSOD more than half the time. I've researched this, but none of the fixes seems to work. So now, although I enjoy being able to maintain my PDA data on my computer, I haven't been able to get much use out of the PDA.

I'd be even willing to purchase a new Palm PDA in order to become compatible with Vista or Windows 7, but PDA-only units seem to have fallen out of favor.

So, if someone's got a suggestion for a new PDA, I'd like to hear it. If not, then I just wanted Ms. Gadgettes to know she's not alone.

Tony M.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 27, 2010 3:46 AM PST

I've developed for that for over a decade and here the hotsync worked fine HOWEVER I used a serial link for some units and USB on a few others but not a visor. But 2010 is the year we closed down all PalmOS work so what did we do? We went to Windows Mobile. My major apps have been re-written (that's what I do) and I have 5 WM machines here I could comment on. Here's the list. HTC Touch Pro 2, Pharos m619, iPaq 210, iPaq rx3115 and a Treo 700w.

The Pharos is over at Dell, unlocked and is a very interesting machine. For 179 unlocked you don't have to enable the phone. The Windows Mobile runs fine, the bluetooth is fine and the GPS works but I have yet to install any GPS apps. The mini-USB is great for charging and sync too.

Some may be upset about Outlook but they get over it.

The iPaq 210 is a fav too. But it's more bucks.

If you have a question, I've tracked this thread.

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If I Understand Bob Correctly ...
by tonyny77 / January 27, 2010 7:37 AM PST
In reply to: PalmOS

Bob ... Thanks for your thorough reply. I'd like to make sure I understand the general idea of your suggestion, please.

Instead of looking for a replacement PDA, it seems you're suggesting one of the five Windows Mobile devices you mentioned, that I'm presuming can run the same (or similar) Palm Desktop Software that I use on my PC. So, instead of having just a PDA, I'd essentially have a mini-PC running a duplicate copy of my Palm Desktop data. Is that about right?

And if I were willing to spend a little more, would a "netbook" be the next type of device to consider? I realize most netbooks are more costly than the Dell Pharos you mentioned.

Thanks in advance for your help with this.

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Keep asking. We'll get there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 27, 2010 9:43 AM PST

About the netbook. Just back from Walmart and 228 gets you the usual 1G XP based netbook with the 250GB HARD DRIVE. It's 10.1 inches so it's one I have on my list.

Ok. I listed the units I have HERE AND NOW. Remember I write apps. So I collect these so I have a wide spectrum of WM PDAs to test against from WM 2003SE to WM 6.1. Soon I'll have some WM 6.5 machine.

Many get UPSET over the change from PalmOS to WM so I would never call it the same. The experience is not the same. It is different.

Hint hint, nod nod. Go find that Pharos m619. It's quite the bargain for what you get.

Remember I've subscribed to this discussion so I'll answer again and again.

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Not Palm Desktop...
by John.Wilkinson / January 28, 2010 2:05 AM PST

WindowsMobile devices cannot use the Palm Desktop, which is designed solely for devices running Palm's own OS. WindowsMobile uses ActiveSync/Windows Mobile Device Center, which syncs your data with other Windows applications. However, there are applications that can bridge the gap, moving you from the Palm ecosystem to Windows'.


P.S. WindowsMobile devices are still PDAs, just like the Palm PDAs you have used in the past, but they run a different operating system and different software, and they are generally far more powerful than Palm PDAs of years past.

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