PDA handheld computers and wireless internet?!

  laura e 23:58 16 Mar 2005


I am interested in buying a hand held pda computer so that I can always have access to the internet and my work!! But I don't know an awful lot about them!! particularly wireless internet!! say if i bought one and i wanted to have 24 hour access to the internet on one then how would I go about this? I don't know about any companies that provide this type of service or how much it costs? and do u have to be within a certain radius of a place for it to work? It's all very confusing for someone who has no idea about them but would like one!! and do they have to be conected to a pc when they r not out and about? and are internet sites on wireless internet just as good as on a desktop pc?
Also how good are they for producing work on? would i be able to manage research, written work and images and slideshows on them? and im thinking of setting up a website so would i be able to access my website on it too?! i also dont suppose they'd b compatible with a mac either would they?
i just dont want to fork out money for one of these things and then find it doesnt do what i want it to do!!
basically my checklist is to have:

24 hour access to internet
be able to produce written documents and keep notes and reminders when im out and about
to be able to organise events n stuff!

can anyone recommend any good ones also? or good places to get one from? i heard that u can get them for as cheap as 50 squids!! but dunno wot they'd b like?!
can u get them for maybe around 100? a semi decent one?

sorry this is a big waffly but i really don't know an awful lot about them!!

hope someone can help!! thanx!!


  ricvic 09:33 17 Mar 2005

Hi Laura,

I use an IPaq 4150 (a year old now). It has wireless networking & bluetooth as standard. At home/office it links to the broadband and wifi kit along with everything else on the network. Broadband is basic NTL and the wifi access point & router is Linksys. When I'm out and about I use it to log on to wifi hotspots and, where there is no suitable hotspot, it connects to my mobile with bluetooth. It does all that while fitting into my pocket.

However I would not dream of using it in place of a desktop or laptop PC. Input is via onscreen keyboard or handwriting recognition and that is just too fiddly in my opinion. The file formats are pocket versions of word, excel etc, with only basic functions compared to the 'real thing'. I've never tried maintaining my website from my pocket pc.

Nor would I have it as my only calendar. It can very occasionally freeze, loose info, need cleaning off. I sync it to a desktop PC.

A mac-mad friend of mine uses palm, and (I think) has similar experiences.

Not all pocket pcs have wifi and bluetooth as standard, so you would need to check the specs.

As to pricing and buying. I would probably go down to PC World or Staples to see what's on offer, then hunt round the web, Watford, Novatech etc, to get the best price.

I hope this is some help. I think I've covered most of your questions. Others will doubtless have other thoughts, experiences and recommendations. Post again if there's anything you need clarified.


  HXP 21:41 17 Mar 2005

iPaq 2210 very similar to comments above - superb PDA but no replaceent for a desktop. Does give you all you neeed on the move and is also a superb GPS if you buy TOM TOM & and an ariel.

Surfing the web on it is pretty dire for long periods as the screen is too small ok for 10 mins to get directory enquiries off the web etc but brilliant for emails etc


  laura e 02:09 18 Mar 2005

thanx for all your help guys!! i'll look into all these suggestions and hopefully find something right for me!!

  PaulCrane 10:53 18 Mar 2005

Bear in mind that it does not have built in WiFi - you'll have to buy and add on card, although I don't think they're too expensive.

Apart from that, I have a 2210 and it's excellent - not the latest and whizziest any more but it does all I want it to do. If you're looking for something bang up to date, I undestand Dell do some very nice handhelds now with all the bells and whistles.

  accord 16:31 18 Mar 2005
  TomJerry 19:52 18 Mar 2005

wireless access net anywhere and anytime can be doen with mobile network (just like mobile phone), but it will cost you £100+ per month.

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