Active Member
Can some of you provide a "PDA Newbie" with a list of things to look out for when considering a new PDA at the moment?

I'm in the market for one fairly shortly but really don't have a clue where to start - I like the look of the HP "Ipaq" range but don't know how they compare with other brands - good/bad?

Also, as far as functionality is concerned - how have things changed in the last few years (what do you use your's for?!). My only experience is a battered old Psion 3a which I used for 6 months or so before it gave up the ghost so I imagine things have changed a fair bit... :rolleyes:

Any advice greatly received - I need a new toy! ;)



Novice Member
The first basic questions are:

What do you intend to use it for?

Do you want Windows or Palm operating system?
(bit like PC versus Mac here - big debates on the best)

How much do you want to spend.

From my own usage I first bought a Palm 515 but found the display too small and dim. The free applications for Palm were far easier to find than the Windows versions.

I replaced a tatty Filofax which had my contacts, events and notes. I also wanted to stop carrying a laptop for the odd documents I updated on the way to/from work.

The Palm has nice Desktop synch software but on the whole I envied the extra goodies on the Ipaqs, they were of course dearer as Microsoft are involved in deal.

So I bought an Ipaq 3870 for my birthday and haven't looked back. Now have an Ipaq 3970 with latest PocketPC 2003 loaded.

I keep my contacts, events and notes on my work & home PC and synch the Ipaq nearly every day. I've even got into using it for Satellite Nav in my car which is really neat. I listen to the odd mp3 and play the odd game on it on the train. I've even written a few simple programs for it. Being an old fogey who hates text messaging, my thumbs are too slow, I use software to send/receive SMS via Bluetooth as well.

I must admit at first I thought it may get used a little then sit in a draw doing nothing but it's not been the case.

My advice is to buy a cheap or used one first before going out to buy the top of the range HP.

Hope that helps.


Active Member
I think most of them have got to a stage where they are all a bit of a muchness.

I think it essentially comes down to deciding how you will carry it about and use it, rather than what you will do on it.

size - will it go in your shirt pocket, handbag, or will you carry it in a bulky PDA case in a coat or briefcase.

design - a sleek model or a bigger case possibly easier to hold.

expansion and connection- memory cards (compatible with your other devices?) IR port, and other modules - gps, camera, bluetooth and wifi etc. Extra (or replaceable) battery?

I would recommend buying a proper pen/stylus though, if you are going to be using it regularly. www.styluscentral.com

I don't bother with any cases, as it can just slip into a jacket pocket. And trying to protect the casing it seems a waste of time considering the short product lifetime and cost of [better] replacement models.

You can get car chargers and spare desk chargers, so battery life (and bulk) may not be a consideration.

Just remember to back up your PDA data to a PC regularly.

I've transfered all my PDA needs to a Sony Ericsson P900, and now only use the Ipaq for GPS and a work specific program. For document mark up and better PDA functions, I use its big brother - a TabletPC.

You really need to consider what you will do with it, and what you may like to start doing with it, before deciding on any particular model.
I understand that the Dell Axim offers some of the best value available

Oh, and regarding claims of processor speed I don't really see any notable difference in day to day use from my 3 year old model and todays latest processors

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