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Which PDA for uses described ?

I would like to buy a PDA (I think!). I have looked at several websites that sell them and I think maybe a few of the HP brand look good, but I am not a really technically savvy person. We (husband and I ) are not yet-retirement-age empty nesters, want to take several lengthy trips by road (in a small RV)through USA and Canada on and off for several months this winter. Normally I keep track of all our household and family matters (banking/bills/birthdays, you name it), plus we have 2 kids in college, and I would like to also be able to use MSN Messenger with them, plus I have personal and off-season business email I would like to check occasionally during these trips. As well I want to keep a detailed travel journal/diary. I ahve not heard of any kind of travel software for the PDAs but would be interested. I want to be able to plan our trip as it happens so I will want to be online checking check news/weather forcasts/maps/and maybe GPS info on the road (using hotspots maybe). I will not likely be using it as a telephone. Currently my very large purse is full little notebooks and papers right now, so hence the suggestion I get a PDA. Any advise as to the right one? Price is not a big concern, I am more concerned with being able to use it for the above purposes, be able to type on it somehow, and that it fit in to a mini backpack or normal size purse. Thanks in advance for any responses! I will be happy to report back on whatever I end up with. -Mrs. J.

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Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

In reply to: Which PDA for uses described ?

There are many ways you can go about this.

If you already have a cell phone with bluetooth, you could get internet service through your cell phone and using the blutooth to get onto the internet. So that means you will need a PDA with bluetooth to to connect to the phone.

Or better, get PDA with a phone capability (through your cellular phone provider?) and ask for the internet package.

It sounds like you like to surf the net, chat, check email, the typical net user. So you may want to invest on a foldable keyboard also.

My advice above where based on the assumption that you would want to access the internet even while in motion.

Other than that, just get PDA with WiFi; therefore, you need to be located nearby an open hotspot to access the internet. Unlikely you would want to have to go to a restaurant or a cafe to chat, you want instant gratification, so getting a PDA phone with internet service would be the most convene way.

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Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

In reply to: Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

Thank you very much for your quick response and those suggestions! It sounds like probably the WiFi is the way to go. I don't really want to have to buy a cell phone subscription ... The reason we don't want to be using a regular plan phone while on the road, because we will be travelling consistently in and out of USA to Canada,( back and forth), but with cellular plans you have to sign up for 2 or 3 years yet it appears that cellullar service plans will not work in both places without being overly expensive for the minutes, when you call in another country from your own number, and worse, the carriers may not all work together at all. I was not clear in my first posting that I think we will be using "hotspots" along the way, and I heard there are even a few RV campgrounds that have a hotspot service. Also I wonder can we pull up our motorhome next to a hotspot, but not have to go in to the premises? Would that be "stealing?"??

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Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

In reply to: Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

For the uses described, a PDA is a terrible choice in my opinion. Get a fully functional older laptop, or better, and a 802.11b card for wireless connection and ethernet/modem (PCMCIA or integrated) for connectivity. Your needs will be far better served, your surfing better and broader, you can either go to an internet cafe or a full service RV park for connectivity; cell access would be ridiculously expensive and PDA web surfing is limited functionally at best -- some sites don't work at all. Your RV's storage & transportation will easily accomodate a laptop. Look for a minimum Pentium 166 and you'll do fine. Of course, the faster the laptop & more memory the faster the surfing, but almost any of them will surpass all but the best PDA and support more web sites and software. Do not be seduced by the tiny size, PDA's are not full function web & application devices.

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Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

In reply to: Re: Which PDA for uses described ?

Thank you for pointing out that a laptop would be a superior choice. I had struggled with that knowledge intially before considering a PDA. In every way but one I would actually prefer a laptop. But the final criteria I mentioned in my original post was that the unit would be transportable in a small backpack or a purse. We plan to be hardly ever inside the RV, just at night so I feel I would want to have it handy with me during the day, when we are sightseeing by foot, or bicycle or out dining or shopping. I love to take lots of notes wherever I go, and plan to journal our trips. Also to support my camera, GPS. I am sort of thinking: either a top of the line Dell Axim50V OR a laptop AND a plain, cheaper PDA for packing along (might the latter scenario be a hassle?). Thank you for trying to help me!

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