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Which PDA?

by pmpt / January 23, 2006 10:12 AM PST

I've been doing a lot of research on which PDA, Pocket PC or handheld would be best for me. But I just can't quite make a decision on which one I want. I'm a college stugent, and would like something to organize my schedule. Also, I think I like the windows operating system, but Palm's isn't that bad either. I'd like something that I can store music, pictures and games on. Also, something that can handle pdf files. Any suggestions on what works well?

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by John.Wilkinson / January 23, 2006 10:43 AM PST
In reply to: Which PDA?

Most PDAs can handle music, photos, and games, and all have PIM software (calander, address book, to do list, etc) to help keep you organized. Thus, a little more information is necessary to help narrow down the field of search. For instance, what is you max price range? Would you like a VGA screen for high-quality photos and graphics, or would the standard QVGA be ok? Also, would you like the PDA to have built-in WiFi. (If you have a home wireless network, you frequent hotspots, or your college has WiFi, it is a nice feature to have.) With a little more information we'll be able to help you select the PDA designed for you.

Hope this helps,

P.S. No matter which PDA you choose, you may want to consider software designed with the student in mind. While all of the PDAs have built-in calanders, to-do lists, contacts, etc, Handmark's 4.0 Student (Pocket PC and Palm) and Birdsoft's My Dog Ate It (Pocket PC only) are two excellent solutions to keep track of assignments, as well as your grades and current averages. 4.0 Student can be synced with an online database (subscription-based), while My Dog Ate It can sync with a desktop version of the program (sold seperately). The latter earned the Pocket PC Magazine editor's choice award, but both have free trials so you can choose for yourself.

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More Info
by pmpt / January 23, 2006 11:15 PM PST
In reply to: Any...

Thanks for the response. Yes I would prefer a VGA screen, and something that I can access the internet from. As for price, I'd like to keep it under $500 but more around the lines of $300.

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Best bet: Dell Axim X51v...
by John.Wilkinson / January 24, 2006 1:28 AM PST
In reply to: More Info

For a PDA with built-in WiFi and a VGA screen, the Dell Axim X51v is the best available. It runs the latest version of Windows Mobile (which includes an updated 'Pocket Office' and persistent memory), is powered by the fastest processor available (the 624MHz Intel Xscale PXA270), and includes a multimedia accelerator for gaming and videos. It's currently on sale for $424 (regularly $499), so it meets you about half way.

If you would like to keep the price closer to $300, you can pick up the Axim X51 mid for $339 (normally $399). The catch is that it lacks a VGA screen (but still has WiFi) and has milder specs (520MHz processor and half the ROM for storage). Either way, you'll have chosen a great addition to your study group. Happy

Hope this helps,

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Another Question
by pmpt / January 24, 2006 6:07 AM PST

Is there any hand helds out there that can take pictures? I thought I found a HP once that did, but I can't find it anymore. Again thanks for all the help.

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by John.Wilkinson / January 24, 2006 8:07 AM PST
In reply to: Another Question

There aren't many PDAs out there that take photos for multiple reasons:
* Some companies prohibit cameras for security reasons
* Most new cell phones have built-in cameras so the demand for PDAs with cameras is low
* The resolution of a camera such as that is too low to be desirable, for the most part.
* You can now purchase a 5MP+ digital camera that fits in your shirt pocket for a relatively low price.

Dell doesn't do PDA combos, be it camera, phone, or what have you. HP has had a few different models over the years, but currently just one...the hw6515 is a PDA/phone/camera combo for $650. Unfortunately the specs in no way live up to the price tag. (312MHz processor 64MB ROM, QVGA screen, WM2003SE, etc.) There may be hope though...HP just purged their lineup, which indicates they will be releasing a new line in the next couple months.

For the time being, I can point you to the Asus A730W, which has a VGA screen, 1.3MP digital camera, and WiFi. The downside is it still runs WM2003SE, only has a 520MHz processor (compared to the X51v's 624MHz), and half the X51v's ROM for storage. In addition, you'll find it it not widely available, and sells for $550, exceeding your limit. Another option, the Fujitsu-Siemens Loox 720, is in the same price and spec range.

Hope this helps,

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Look at the PalmOne LifeDrive
by Steves1030 / January 24, 2006 8:58 AM PST
In reply to: Which PDA?

You might want to check out the palmone lifedrive it has a 4gb internal HD and slot fot sd card. Has lots of great features and you can search the internet for a good price. I got mine at for under $400.00

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I got the Axim X51V- Software questions
by pmpt / January 30, 2006 11:52 AM PST
In reply to: Which PDA?

I just thought I'd let everyone know I got the Axim X51V from Dell. I bought it directly from Dell for $325 with shipping. Dell had an awesome price on it. I couldn't find it anywhere for cheaper than that.

Now my question is, what software is good. I'm wanting something to help out with school. I've been looking at the 4.0student for help with class mangement. I'm also looking for something like a budget mangement. I'm liking quickens, but wondering if anything is good out there. Any information would be useful.

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by John.Wilkinson / January 30, 2006 12:12 PM PST

First and foremost, wrap your new Dell Axim X51v up and mail it to John Wilkinson...that's W-i-l-k-i-n-s-o-n. Grin

Next, I'll note that the two best student planners are 4.0 Student and My Dog Ate It, so I'd try the free trials of both and see which one you like.

Finally, I'd like suggest Microsoft Pocket Money 2005 as a decent free money-management program. If you would like something more advanced and compatible with the PC versions of both MS Money and Quicken, I'd recommend taking a look at SPB Finance. After trying the others, I felt that one was truly the superior program.

Hope this helps,

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Virus Protection?
by pmpt / January 31, 2006 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: Suggestions...

First of all, don't hold your breath John! Happy

Okay as for my question, I'm wondering about virus proctection for my new pocket pc. Is there a need for it? How likely is it that I'll get something? Also, if a computer is infected with a virus, can it spread it to my pocket pc through the cradle? Thanks for all the help.


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Yes, it's a mild concern...
by John.Wilkinson / January 31, 2006 1:58 AM PST
In reply to: Virus Protection?

Hey Danny,

There aren't many (perhaps a couple dozen, mostly low-risk) viri out there that target the PocketPC, but such creatures do exist. Thus, it's best to install firewall and antivirus software to protect yourself from the possibility of infection. I use the firewall, antivirus, and encryption utilities from AirScanner Mobile because they are pretty good a doing what they do (as the awards indicate), and are completely free. (I've used the McAfee and other paid PDA protection and didn't see much of a difference.) I keep my firewall running in the background and run an AV scan once a month, just to be safe.

As to syncing with your computer, there are several issues:
* Your PDA is pretty much immune to standard computer viri, but can be a carried of the disease and spread it on your computer/network.
* Most PC-based firewall/AV combos will scan for malware when syncing with your PDA, reducing the chances of casual spreading. However, they don't scan your PDA.
* While your PC's security sweeps should pick up malware that targets your PPC, it may not get it all, and you're vulnerable when you use a public hotspot, connect via Bluetooth, beam data, etc, which is why PPC-based protection is a smart idea.

Give a shout back if you have any other questions, would like software recommendations, or change your mind. Happy


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by pmpt / January 31, 2006 5:54 AM PST

Thanks for the recommendation. Where can I download that firewall? I really like the price.

Thanks for the help!


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Ah, my bad...
by John.Wilkinson / January 31, 2006 7:18 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks!

I linked you to the AV page instead of the main products page...clicking here will let you download all three utilities.


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for software....
by ackmondual / February 9, 2006 7:43 AM PST Can't go wrong with freeware. If you don't like it or feel u want more features/functions, try out shareware. Well it's possible freeware can cause 'rebooting' and even force you to hard reset your device, loosing everything you have, but that extreme situation is rare. Besides, you should be syncing and backing important data anyways on a regular basis. Furthermore, while shareware by nature is better quality software, these can also do horrors as well.

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