PDA queries

  Charence 17:26 05 Sep 2005

Hi, I'm hoping to buy a PDA but have a few things which I'm not too sure about. Can you help please?

USB Host - I've seen that the Acer n30 and n50 PDAs mention this as a feature where you can plug other USB devices such as USB Memory Drives into the PDA like you would do with a computer. However, other manufacturers don't seem to mention this as a feature, do they all do this, or do they only have the function if its mentioned?

Going online - Is it only possible to go online on a PDA via WiFi or via a mobile phone? Would it be possible to go online using bluetooth if a computer had a bluetooth? I ask this because using a mobile phone to go online would cost a lot! Or are there any other methods?

OS - PalmOS or PocketPC? What is Palm OS like? If I choose a PDA with Palm OS would files such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets be compatible? Also PocketPC comes with MSN Messenger, but I don't think PalmOS does, would it be possible to install something similar to MSN messenger on a Palm?

Here are some of the PDAs which I have been looking at. click here , click here , click here , click here and click here

Do you have anything else to recommend?

Thank you,


  bazb 20:35 05 Sep 2005

Hi Charence

I believe that most PDAs have a USB connection, but it should be in the literature for the item.

I connect my PDA (ipaq 1940) via the USB cable connected to the computer, and ActiveSync available from click here also using AvantGo.

I don't know anything about your other questions.

  HXP 21:06 08 Sep 2005

I use a wireless card £24 from ebuyer and use my ipaq to view some websites via my wireless network but the smaller screens of PDA's is limiting.Ok for email - good for streaming MP3 & video but extended use could be a bit of a strain.

I also use a usb lead which charge & sync the iPAQ £10 from various places which is easier than carrying the docking station around. You can't plug USB devices in to it but haven't really found the need up to now as i swap CF / SD cards around between PC & iPAQ.

The PDA really comes in to it's own when used as a GPS device & TOMTOM.

Great for word documents / excel but more to read and refer to than compose - lack of keyboard / small screen size again.( but even when i had a Zaurus with full keyboard it was ok for short notes not typing too many pages.
Often use it to transport files from work to home etc

Also used for playing games on holday, MP3's viewing photo's, address book.

Superb PDA ......

  scotty 10:09 09 Sep 2005

I don't think it is normal for a PDA to take USB peripherals, this may be unique to Acer.

Why would you want to use bluetooth to go on-line? Data rate is low and it only operates over a short distance. If you are that close to pc you will use the pc.

Agree with HXP's assessment of iPAQ. Use a 4150 which has bluetooth & wireless. GPS is really useful when travelling in unknown parts.

iPAQ prices are being pushed up by HP cracking down in grey imports so although they are good devices some alternatives are worth considering. Dell's offerings get good reviews but may be slightly larger. Acer, ASUS and Fujitsu Siemens LOOX are worth considering.

Users of Palm devices claim many advantages (better user interface, longer battery life etc) but I have no experience of these devices.

  bryrach 20:24 09 Sep 2005

I've been using an 02 XDA for over a year now and it's 'a can't do without device' Syncs with a cradle to USB and can tranfer all MS files as well as MP3/Pics/Video etc. As a Mobile its as good as any I've used before. I've also increased the storage by slotting a card in the slot. Masses of wallpaper possibilities, as well as the ability to import direct from your My pictures files. The gimmicks on the XDA is endless.I'm now looking to upgrade to an XDA2. Cost has come down of XDA's. My verion can now be bought for £200+. The XDA2 is about £300+. Trust me. By one. Google it and look for yourself. You won't regret it.

  Charence 10:01 13 Sep 2005

Thanks everyone for your comments.


  reece1705 11:49 17 Sep 2005

I have had a pda for some time now and have found the microsoft os very user friendle. i have the 2002 version and have found that it still sticks up to modern apps. Also it isn't unheard of to be able to huok up to usb devides. i have a toshiba e350 and all that it requires to hook up to almost any type of usb device is a cable, which i think can be bought for about £15-25, and a driver for the device. There are many free software apps for windows pocket pc. Try here click here

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