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junior member

Reged: 05/24/04
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Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Hardwire ethernet, phone modem options and PDA choice for laptop replacement
      #11347 - 05/26/04 06:46 PM

This site is great! Kudos to the organizers and moderators.

I've read the 37 pages of discussion in this forum and found a lot of answers for my question about PDAs. One topic I haven't seen much discussion on is how are people connecting to the Internet via wired LANs (ethernet via category 5 cables). I'm looking for a PDA when I don't need the power of a laptop at meetings, on short business trips, and on vacations. My PDA requirements are listed below. I'm leaning towards PDAs running the Palm OS. My preferences for connecting to the Internet are:

#1. Hardwired ethernet. Most offices, meeting places, and hotel rooms I frequent offer ethernet LAN/WAN connections. What options are there for connecting a PDA (particularly Palm OS units) via a wired connection?

#2. Phone modem, 56K modem preferred, slower acceptable. What PDA offers connection or accessory to connect by phone modem? I see posted elsewhere here info on the ENR IR phone modem for $99US IR 56k dial-up modem. What palm OS devices offer phone dial-up?

#3. A distant third is WiFi. Very few places where I do business or stay have WiFi service. It's not practical for me to duck out of a meeting to find a Starbucks or MacDonald's for a WiFi connection. Also for infrequent use, short term WiFi subscriptions run about $5/hour and up here in Western Canada.

My requirements for a laptop replacement PDA are:
- download & send email with attachments
- open and edit MS-Word, Excel, powerpoint, PDF files (already have Documents to Go 6)
- normal PDA tools: PIM, calendar, tasklist
- connects to full-sized folding keyboard (with Dvorak layout)
- landscape view would be nice (but will keyboard work in landscape)
- voice recorder (though not necessary)
- Connectivity via ethernet and/or phone modem
- WiFi (nice to have if indeed it is the wave of the future)

Not interested in:
- MP3, video, or games (there's a whole world to explore out there! Heads up.)

Indifferent about
- built-in camera

My current top of the list are Sony Clie TH55 and distant 2nd is the Tungsten T3. Price/value is an issue. Both units run $599CDN. I prefer the Palm OS because I use Maximizer for PIM and it synchs with PDAs running palm OS but not PPC. What other Palm OS PDAs should I be considering given my criteria?

My current PDA is a Palm IIIxe with 14.4k modem, ethernet cradle, 8MB memory, Palm keyboard, Eudora EIS for email & web, and Documents to Go 6. Main shortcomings are low screen resolution and limited memory to receive/send native MS-Word and Excel documents.

Thanks reading this long post and for any advice on hardwire connectivity (ethernet or phone modem) and laptop replacing PDAs.

-Tony (Vancouver BC, Canada)

Edited by tonyw (05/26/04 06:53 PM)

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Tong ZhangModerator
Senior Editor

Reged: 06/26/02
Posts: 14897
Loc: Texas
Re: Hardwire ethernet, phone modem options and PDA choice for laptop replacement [Re: tonyw]
      #11625 - 06/01/04 08:58 PM

There are CF ethernet cards for the Pocket PCs, haven't seen one for the Palm OS devices. Example:

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junior member

Reged: 06/09/04
Posts: 1
Re: Hardwire ethernet, phone modem options and PDA choice for laptop replacement [Re: tonyw]
      #11912 - 06/09/04 09:34 PM


I have a similar situation. I have an old Palm Vx and am upgrading. I will use for calendar and contacts and also to take advantage of down time to do work in WordProcessing and Presentation software. I am most interested in the capability to use PDA to drive a VGA projector and run a Powerpoint presentation. I am also looking to send email and do internet research on the go.

Finally, I am a lawyer and use AMICUS ATTORNEY which I have found will only synch well with Palm OS. Otherwise I need to upgrade AMICUS (As does my entire office - untenable).

I have searched the market and looked at 6 devices

Pocket PC's - Toshiba 800e (I think there may be a new one out in the past week or so), HP iPaq 5550, HP iPaq 4150
Palm OS - Sony Clie TH55, Palm TT3, Palm C

My conclusions are that the HP products are superior and are least likely to become obsolete. Lots of power, lots of storage, lots of compatibility and both wireless technologies (BT and WiFi) built in.

The Sony Clie shares some of these attributes but I have read reviews suggesting that it is tricky to use because it lacks the familiar 5 way navigation button. Also the power and storage is a little on the low side so I am concerned about Powerpoint.

The Palm C with built in keyboard is nice because of the built in WiFi but without BT there is no solution for a independant live internet connection (you must find a WiFi network). Also I don't like the keyboard. I think if I need a keyboard I will need a slightly larger attachable one.

The Palm TT3 keeps bringing me back. Having used the Palm OS I find it easy to use and powerful. With it's history in the market it has lots of support. My two reservations are lack of WiFi (there has been an SD expansion card solution 'in the works' for almost a year now and no sign of any breakthrough) and some rumblings about 'digitizer problems with the screen which I gather boils down to the image not lining up properly with the input points so when you push a '5' it reads a '2' (maybe too simplistic).

In the end I think I will buy the Palm TT3 and hope I don't get the digitizer bug or if I do will get good support from Palm and also hope that the WiFi solution arrives in the next few months.

Hope this helps.

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