Handhelds-supermobile minicomputers-can squeeze your appointment calendar, address book, email, music and games, and more into their small proportions and still fit in your pocket. No wonder technology aficionados have created such a strong market for the gizmos.
Like PCs, handhelds continue to evolve quickly, with the addition of more features and further refinement of those features you demand. Basic handhelds can keep you organized so that you can get to appointments on time, keep track of names and numbers, and reconcile your expenses. Or you can spring for a little something more serious, a multimedia device for gaming, music, Internet surfing, and video. Your best bet when shopping for a handheld is to be realistic about what you expect from it.
Why a handheld?
Most people want a handheld computer, or personal digital assistant (PDA), for the mobility, convenience, and digital automation. Why jot or type something multiple times when you can input it to your PDA once and download it to your PC, or vice versa? Travellers can keep reams of important info in their breast pocket and students can take pages of notes in the palm of their hand (or on a portable keyboard), without ink. Plus, now PDAs get you on the Internet and allow you to send email, so they are the perfect on-the-move companion to your PC.
What's the best handheld for me?
Getting the handheld you need is a matter of your lifestyle and your work needs. For instance, do you want the smallest, sleekest PDA for just your personal information, or do you need a larger colour screen and more memory for viewing presentations? Will you need to exchange info with a friend via an infrared port or connect with coworkers through a corporate network? Will you be taking notes by hand on your PDA or do you prefer dictation?
It's all here, now. Let's get to the specifications, features, and other amenities of handhelds to help you narrow your search for the perfect one.