Handheld Buying Guide

Handheld Buying Guide


Operating System
eMail and Internet
Data Transfer
Expansion & Additional Functionality

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Built-in memory in the handheld stores the data you input, such as phone numbers and addresses. Many handhelds can be expanded to hold more info, and the price of memory has decreased in recent years.

The docking cradle allows your handheld to communicate with your PC. It sits next to your PC after you make the initial onetime connection to the USB port. Then you simply set the handheld into its cradle and use the software to synch up your data, transfer info, or download files.

The display on handhelds is an LCD, a liquid crystal display, the same as that used in notebook computers. The display can be monochrome or colour, and it covers most of the front of the handheld. In most cases, the display is also a touch screen onto which to tap commands and input data with a stylus.

The expansion slot allows you to add memory and connect peripherals to your handheld.

Handwriting recognition software translates the words and letters you write into computer text so that you can quickly and easily take notes and stats.

Infrared data share is a data transfer function that uses an infrared port to communicate among other infrared-enabled devices, such as PCs and other handhelds.

Keyboard entry of data to a handheld can be accomplished by tapping the LCD's virtual keyboard with a stylus or touch typing on a portable keyboard connected to the handheld.

A modem gives you the option of getting on the Internet and sending and receiving email directly to your handheld.

The handheld's operating system runs the programs that make it such a convenient organizational device. Your handheld and your PC do not necessarily have to run on the same OS in order to communicate.

Your PC system requirements will be a minimum amount of RAM and computing power to be able to connect to your handheld, as well as a certain type of port. These requirements will vary depending upon the PC and the handheld.

QWERTY design in a keyboard is modelled after your PC's keyboard so that you can touch type.

Rechargeable batteries are necessary for handhelds with a colour display and allow you to recharge power with the batteries still inside.

Reminder alarms on your handheld can get you to appointments on time or just remind you to feed the goldfish.

Stylus or pen entry of data to your handheld is the most common mode of data entry. It includes choosing commands by tapping out letters on the keypad and even writing letters on the LCD tablet.

When you synch to PC , you can transfer your appointments between your handheld and your PC, so that everyone's on the same page.

Voice recognition software lets you give verbal commands to your handheld.