Since I saved up a lot of money but couldn't think of much to spend it on, I figure a PDA might be a wise investment for my first year in college. After a bit of research, the PDAs that interest me the most are the Axim X30 and the IPaq series, but I've heard several rants from fans of both PDAs about how the other one is unreliable, or has poor costumer service, or whatever. The features most important to me are WiFi access, an easy-to-read screen (I'd like to be able to read an ebook as comfortably as a paperback), and wide software support. All of the more advanced features, like gaming or multimedia, are nice but not a necessity. What confuses me is that the X30 appears to have all the features and specs of the high-end IPaqs and cost less, but the IPaqs seem far more popular. I'd like to spend no more than 350 dollars, but I'm willing to go higher if it's really worthwhile.
I have some other questions as well. I see mp3 and video support flaunted on PDAs, but with limited memory, you can't really store that many songs or movies unless you spring for an expensive memory card. Why is this feature so highly valued?
Also, the college I'm attending has a security system where you can't take advantage of the wireless LAN unless you have an account. If you try to access Internet Explorer on your laptop, you are intercepted with a site that requires you to log in or sign off. I asked the head of IT and he said that Pocket PCs are not directly supported by the school and therefore may or may not work correctly. Is there a huge risk of problems using the WiFi through this kind of security system?
Finally, why is it practically impossible to find Axims in retail outlets?
The X30 is really good, full features and cheap. That's Dell's motto: make them in large quantity and make them cheap. Oh, you asked why you can't find Dell in any store, because Dell does direct sales only (you can only buy online if you are a consumer). They send their sales reps to corporations to sell volumes.
Pocket PC can deal with Wifi security in similar ways as laptops. If you have the wifi network's info like IP addresses and security settings, you should be able to access the wifi just like your laptop (login) with the Dell.