PDAs are also referred to as Palms, Palm Pilots or Palm Tops and their most famous brand is Blackberry. A lot of mystery and mystique surrounds PDAs. You may have wondered How do they work? Do I really need one?
Well on this page we reveal the mystery of PDAs in full, explaining what they can do for you. We also include an easy to read guide to five of the top PDAs at Review Centre, voted for by users. Before you read all about five highly recommended PDAs, first of all here is some essential information about buying one of these great little gadgets...
PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant. Basically, its a handheld computer with email, personal organiser and desktop functions.
PDA handhelds are extremely useful pieces of equipment for busy individuals, especially for business use, on account of their state-of-the-art organisers and versatile media functionality.
The best models include the features of a personal organiser, PC, mobile phone, MP3 music player, media/games player and digital camera.
Latest models provide high speed data transfers, full business applications and total network connectivity; including: HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and GPS.
They are first-rate entertainment machines too - compatible with thousands of games and perfect for movies, video, blogging, music, whatever your entertainment needs are on the go!
Other popular brands include Dell, Sony, Palm, HP, Toshiba and Samsung.
The two main Operating Systems for the PDA are the Palm and Pocket PC. Palm PDAs are often lighter while Pocket PCs have more desktop compatibility. But no matter which type you choose, you should find your PDA carries similar essential features. Both types of PDA are very versatile.
The Main PDA features make up the personal organiser. You may wish to consider: does it have a substantial calendar, diary and day planner for meetings, appointments, etc? It should also include to-do list, note pad, contacts/address book. Does it have Internet access? PDAs typically should include e-mail and web support. You should be able to compose email and send on HotSync or wireless. Look out for IrDA, Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility to get the best out of your PDA. Remember, Bluetooth can keep you connected on the go via a compatible mobile phone if you don't have a nearby WiFi hotspot for your web access.
Touch screen is another state-of-the-art function which you may require with your PDA. You can enter data via onscreen touch sensitive keyboard with the sophisticated latest PDA models. These let you type with the touch screen and a stylus. However, some PDAs may have soft-keys, keyboard, directional pad, numeric keypad or otherwise. Other essential PDA features include data storage - memory card slot, USB or otherwise for data back up. A backlight comes with most PDAs and is essential as it ensures you can access info in dim lighting. Handwriting recognition is an amazing feature which lets you handwrite instead of type!
A BlackBerry 8800 makes a statement of exclusivity but exclusivity is also matched by affordability when it comes to the Blackberry 8800. Check current prices with our comparison guides and you will be pleasantly surprised. Voice-activated phone dialing, email, organizer, web browsing and instant messaging combine with GPS and pre-loaded BlackBerry Maps for navigation. There is also a high-capacity battery, media and music player. But that's just for starters. This is a sophisticated toy but one with supreme professional usage for the serious person... with the BlackBerry 8800 you carry the confidence that it can be centrally managed to a company IT department with access to all your vital corporate databases and applications. You can also send, receive, forward and reply to messages, and view attachments in popular file formats while you are mobile. The BlackBerry 8800 expandable memory options also ensure extra application usage when necessary. The 64 MB of built-in memory is backed up by an expandable micro SD memory slot. BlackBerry 8800 also includes a range of advanced security features plus advanced sound technology that cancels out background noise and echo. Dedicated volume and mute keys add to ease of use. Other features include Polyphonic/MIDI ringtones, MP3 ringtones, vibrate mode, LED indicator, email set-up wizard, high-resolution light-sensing screen. The BlackBerry 8800 also comes with USB cable and wall charger. Full QWERTY keyboard offers fast text and email composition. Also, can be used as a wireless modem for your laptop or PC. Check individual user reviews to find out more!
With the Palm TX Handheld you can enjoy the features of a top class wireless pocket PC at a very reasonable price. Palm TX Handheld main specification includes Intel 312MHz processor Memory -128MB (100MB available), OS: Palm OS Garnet v5.4, Wi Fi/Bluetooth, USB sync cable and AC adapter. Also comes with stylus, rechargeable lithium battery, speaker and standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. This is a highly recommended PDA device, according to Review Centre reviewers, on account of its value for money with so many top quality features provided. Some of the other selling points with the Palm TX Handheld include a brilliant high resolution 320x480 transflective TFT Screen with support for more than 65,000 colors. The high-res 320 x 480 screen rotates for landscape or portrait viewing. Palm TX Handheld is a flip cover, pocket PC Handheld with web browser plus card slot supports for Multi Media Cards, SD and SDIO cards. Dedicated keys include 5-way navigator, favourites, calendar and contacts. It's very small and light and so it makes it easy to carry your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the go and access web pages, spreadsheets, presentations and photos. Good battery life, fast internet browsing are other features reviewers recommend this product for.[B] [B]
Looking for a cheap, quality pocket PC? Well, the Acer N30 could be the best PDA for you! The Acer N30 handheld is described by Review Centre reviewers as a very useful device which becomes indispensable in a short period of time. One owner says they use it every day for MP3, video and photo. The Acer N30 PDA measures 70 x 110 x 13mm and is only 130 grams to your pocket which is pretty good for a high quality PDA with a range of features. It has been a popular seller for Acer and no wonder when you consider it can do just about anything and can be bought for at least half the price of similar spec models. The Acer N30 s housed in a slim, modern design and provides a high brightness LCD screen offering crystal clear image satisfaction. The Acer N30 is a good choice for someone looking for a cheap, reliable and multi-usage Bluetooth PDA for home or business use. It combines 64 MB ram plus there is plenty of room to expand via its SD/MMC slot. This Acer N30 Bluetooth PDA handheld is 100 per cent recommended by Review Centre reviewers and it scores high overall ratings from reviewers for Screen Quality, Battery Life, and Ease of Use. Other features include touch-screen and stylus, automatic re-routing software (GPS voice recording), USB, headphones with sub-mini phone stereo plug. To find out more check out reviews of the Acer N30 or read user reviews of the N35, another great bargain PDA which is highly recommended by Review Centre reviewers!
HP iPAQ RX1950 is a good PDA which combines a custom made holder with an integrated GPS receiver. It's one of several recommended PDA handhelds at ReviewCentre.Com offering great value. Users rate it especially for screen quality, ease of use and value for money. Thin and light, featuring integrated Wi-Fi and Windows Mobile 5, and with outstanding battery life, HP iPaq RX1950 offers plenty of satisfaction. The HP iPAQ Pocket PC rx1950 Handheld has a bight, large 3.5" TFT active matrix screen and comes with sound card slot, microphone, touch-screen, 5-way navigation button, and stylus. You can move between portrait and landscape by holding down the Calendar button. There are LED indicators either side for alerts, battery and wireless status. Built-in devices include speaker, display and Lithium Ion battery. Interfaces include USB, infrared IrDA, headphone - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, serial, 22 pin docking. Supports Digital Audio Formats: MP3, WMA. The massive bundle of software includes clock, calculator, notes, contacts, file explorer, voice recorder, calendar, solitaire, tasks, Microsoft Outlook, Adobe Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC, Microsoft Pocket Outlook, ActiveSync, Memory, terminal services client, align screen, jawbreaker, pictures, volume control, messaging, Microsoft Excel Mobile, Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile, Microsoft Word Mobile and Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile. With its wide screen it's perfect for games and photos. Users suggest buying a high capacity SD card to enhance the main memory and get the best value from your PDA. Check our price comparison guides for current prices and see what you think!
The Dell Axim X51 is a highly recommended cheap Handheld PDA. Rated highly for its screen quality, ease of use and value for money it's both fast and reliable say users. In fact, according to reviewers, the Dell Axim X51 provides outstanding features at an affordable price. The Dell Axim X51 comes with 64 MB RAM, 3.5 in TFT, IrDA, Bluetooth and Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. Check Review Centre's price comparison guides as there are some great bargains available with this product. Benefits of the Dell Axim X51 are also that you can use Office Mobile - Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile - to enhance your mobile office productivity! You can also listen to MP3s on the go or watch your favourite movie with the built-in Media Player. You can also share video or pictures with your friends and family and enjoy 3D games - at the airport, on a train or anywhere! Dell Axim X51 specification also includes 3.5inch TFT active matrix - transflective screen. Image is 16-bit (64k colours). Display Resolution is 240 x 320. Also includes Intel XScale PXA270 520 MHz Processor, 128 MB ROM Memory and 64 MB SDRAM. Dell Axim X51 features include touch-screen, 5-way navigation button and stylus. Sockets include SD Memory Card, CompactFlash Card - type II, headset - mini-phone 3.5mm, USB, docking / port replicator - 36 pin docking. Also includes Lithium Ion Battery and comes with protective cover. Supported Flash Memory Cards include CompactFlash (type II), SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard. Supported Digital Audio Formats are MP3, WMA. Wireless Connectivity includes IrDA, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11b.Other features include voice recorder, microphone and speakers.
If none of these PDAs fit the bill, we have dozens more PDAs recommended by users at Review Centre including HTC, Psion and Fujitsu models. These include Bluetooth PDAs and WiFi PDAS. Our user reviewers also offer advice on PDA applications and games for PDAs. If none of these are for you, you could also browse our mobile phone reviews which offer hundreds of recommendations of multi-media smart phones, many of which provide similar functionality to the latest PDAs.