Hello! I read through many pages of the posts, trying to get this information but I do not find many others who share the same needs as myself, since mine seem so simple. Please read the following and provide any wisdom/advice as you may... Thank you!
I spend alot of time "in the field" with ornithology, botany and just general naturalizing. I am looking for a PDA that can meet my needs. I need to have a PDA that is easy to read, preferably even in bright sunlight (if possible). It needs to have the capability to store and open etexts, pdfs, txt files, word docs, etc. I will mainly be using the unit to read and cross reference documentation. Long battery life and ease of use for transferring my files are important. Also, the ability to expand RAM is vital, since I would like to ever increase my use of documentation. I am the type of guy who would rather have the ability to expand RAM (or other media storage options) than a color screen. I would like to also have a unit that offers some capability in astronomy. Some basic star charts, etc. would be nice. I have little or no interest in WiFi capabilities currently. I am happy with a modem and phone line with basic email and some light browsing (no graphical browsing required). An internal modem would be ideal, since I would hate to lose memory just to plug in a modem, but perhaps these do not exist. A list of options I would like to have, but are not necessary follows:
Color screen Camera External keyboard
Thank you again for all of your advice! Perhaps I run a hard bargain. I have never used one of these units, don't know what to expect really...
I have a Tungsten T3. The screen is a large screen and it's great to view documents, excel files, database list thanks to the bigger screen real estate. It's very viewable in direct sunlight. It's running Palm OS and can take most of the doc formats: .doc, .txt, rich text, .pdf, ereader formats, etc. There are some Astronomy software available for the Palm OS. Go to palmgear or handango and do a search on the word to see if they offer the ones you like.
It's got a decent amount of RAM for storing documents. But if it's not enough, you can get SD cards, which can get up to 1GB storage capability. There are a couple very nice external keyboards out that will work nicely with this unit. Sorry, no built-in camera. The ONLY downside if the battery. It doesn't have an impressive battery life. You might need to get the extended battery which might kill the deal for some folks because the size the battery adds and the additional cost.
Just in case you want to check it out, here is our review of the T3:
when you say the t3 has a short battery life, what do you mean? like it needs to be recharged everyday or it needs to be charged multiple times per day? i'm wondering bc i will need for it to work on a single charge for at least 24 hours.
I mean shorter than some other PDAs. But you won't need to charge it more than once a day, and that's if you use it for playing videos, games or BT. Power users usually run their battery down faster because they are using networking/GPS and other things that suck up the battery. If someone only uses the PIM apps, some office tools (Word, Excel) and read some ebooks, the battery could last you for at least a couple of days.