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Reged: 11/21/04
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PDA as Mini-Tablet PC?
      #17517 - 11/21/04 07:19 AM

Hey all,

I'm a student looking into getting a PDA to use to take notes (and drawings of graphs and diagrams) and do homework like essays and letters on the go (in line for something, in a car, etc). A little e-mail and chat on the side is something I'd like to do with it, too. Essentially, to use as a mini-Tablet PC. Is a PDA a practical device for this kind of work?

I'm looking into the Palm Tungsten C for this. I like the built-in thumb-board for doing things on the go (I'm not looking forward to writing much of anything in Graffiti), the Wi-Fi and the Documents to Go (which I understand works far better than Pocket Word). But is a thumb-board or Wi-Fi on a PDA practical for anything I'd imagine myself to be doing? Would I be better off saving a few hundred and just getting a Tungsten E or Zire 72, and a separate folding keyboard?

I'm also honestly not sure whether or not to get a Palm over a Pocket PC; specifically, I'm debating between the T|C, an Axim (for if I realize that a thumb-board is worthless) and the iPAQ H4355 (the one with the thumb-board). It seems to me that Palms in general have more out-of-the-box usability (what with Documents to Go bundled with nearly every model), but that PPC's have more growth potential in terms of programs and add-ons - but that you pay through the nose for expansion in either system. I don't want to spend much more than I do on the device itself..

I have no idea what a POP3 or an IMAP is, except that they are some way to grab email on a mobile device, and that they don't work at all with the "free" e-mail services (Hotmail and Yahoo) that I use.. Is there some way for me to check mail on accounts like those with a Wi-Fi PDA?

I'm also interested in doing free-hand notes, diagrams and graphs with a PDA; is there any program that would allow me to do this on a PDA?

That's a lot of questions, I know, but thanks for any answers!

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Reged: 06/26/02
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Re: PDA as Mini-Tablet PC? [Re: maniladude]
      #17634 - 11/25/04 10:46 PM

The input method is often personal preference. I hate using Grafitti and only use either thumb keyboard or external keyboard. You can check out this list for external keyboard options:

If you get a device with WiFi, BT or GPRS built-in, then you save the expansion slot for storage. So there is an advantage there.

If you buy a PalmOne device that bundles the Docs To Go, then you are all set for any document viewing/editing needs. If you buy a Pocket PC, then you are either going to use Pocket Word and Excel, or buy 3rd party software that can do better job at editing these files. For software selection, do a search on, you should find most of the apps you will need. There are drawing programs for both platforms. You can do a search on handango as well.

Here are some of the software we've picked out and reviewed:

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