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Last Minute Holiday Shopping Ideas: the best PDAs of 2005

December 18, 2005

You've got the week ahead of you: it's not too late to find that perfect gadget for someone you love or just like plenty. There's enough time to order from your favorite online retailer or hit the stores to get something in time for Christmas. Here are a few suggestions for PDAs and PDA accessories. We've broken up the PDAs into 3 price groups and provided links with stock status for some of the lowest priced vendors on the Net.

Starter PDA: Palm Z22

Just the basics but with a few nice touches, the Palm Z22 has a color display, can hold lots and lots of calendar items and addresses, syncs easily to both Macs and PCs and can even play a few games. $99

Palm Z22 PDA

Read our review of the Z22 at: /


Entry to Mid-level PDA: Palm Tungsten E2 and HP rx1950

The Palm Tungsten E2 packs a lot of features into a compact and reasonably priced PDA. It runs Palm OS, has a 320 x 320 color display, Bluetooth, an MP3 player and can read and edit MS Word and Excel documents. $199

Palm Tungsten E2

Read our review of the Palm Tungsten E2 at:

The E2, like all Palm brand PDAs, syncs to both Windows and Mac.

The HP rx1950 is a compact Pocket PC running the latest Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. It has a bright and colorful color display, WiFi 802.11b networking and Pocket versions of Internet Explorer, Excel, Word and a PowerPoint viewer. The rx1950 is very attractive and has an SD slot for expansion.

HP rx1950

Read our review of the HP iPaq rx1950 at:

High End PDAs for the power user: Palm LifeDrive and the Dell Axim X51v

The Palm LifeDrive Mobile Manager is the first US PDA to have an internal 4 gig hard drive. That's a huge amount of space for MP3s, videos, photos and documents. The LifeDrive runs on a fast CPU and has both Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11b. It's large 320 x 480 display works in both landscape and portrait modes and it has an SD slot, as do all current PDAs. $499


Read our review of the Palm LifeDrive at:



The Dell Axim X51v was the first VGA Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 5.0 to come to the market, and in fact it's still the only one in the US! The X51v's lovely VGA display works in both portrait and landscape modes and makes photo viewing, movie watching, web surfing and working with MS Office documents a pleasure. The Axim has both an SD and CF slot and a huge 256 megs of RAM. It's running on a 624 MHz processor, currently the top speed for PDAs. It's available direct from Dell's web site, though if you need it in time for Christmas, one of the e-tailers listed below will probably get it to you quicker. $399

Dell Axim X51v

Read our review of the Dell Axim X51v at:


PDA Accessories

Cases are always a good bet! They're attractive and protect that precious piece of electronics gear. Check out our case reviews to get an idea of looks, brands and pricing.



The ThinkOutside Universal Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard works with just about any PDA and even some phones (Series 60 and UIQ/Sony Ericsson P800/P900/P910) that have Bluetooth. It's easy to setup and use, packs down small yet folds open for a full-sized typing experience. $149

Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard

Read our review of the ThinkOutside Bluetooth keyboard at:



ThinkOutside also makes an IR keyboard for those that don't have Bluetooth (all PDAs and PDA phones have IR except the E-TEN M600 Pocket PC phone). It's a great choice for someone in need of a folding keyboard that's easy on carrying weight but big on typing. $69.99

ThinkOutside IR keyboard

Read our review of the ThinkOutside Stowaway IR Keyboard at:


Memory Cards

Everyone who's been using a PDA for a while wants more memory. Most all PDAs use SD cards and a few Pocket PCs can also use CF cards. Check out our review of memory cards here.

Check out this link to find the best deals on CF memory cards.

Check out this link to find the best deals on SD cards.


Happy Holidays to all!


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