Evesham Crusader A Celeron based machine with a small form factor case for those situations where you need to make the most of what little space you have. The choice of processors is somewhat limited and the specification generally seems a little less impressive than the Optiplex SX280, which is probably a safer bet. NEC Powermate VL6 A good base specification. NEC will add in whatever additional components that buyers request. Fujitsu Siemens Scenic E300/E620 A small form factor machine which can be fitted with the full range of Intel Pentium and Celeron processors, along with a wide choice of other components. Buyers have a choice of either Intel integrated graphics, or a high end Nvidia Quatro adapter. Fujitsu Siemens[…]

Dell Dimension 2400 – BEST BUY Dell’s ultra-low end desktop offering starts at under £200, but you still get a perfectly serviceable machine for your money. Even the base specification (which includes a 17 inch monitor) is more than adequate for general office work such as word processing and email. Dell Dimension 3000 An extra £40 on the base price gets you a slightly more up to date version of the Dimension 2400, based on a newer version of the Celeron processor and a better (although still relatively low end) graphics subsystem. If budget is your main concern, go for the 2400 but if you want performance, spend a bit more. IBM ThinkCentre A50 A similar specification to the low[…]

HP iPaq Pocket PC H4150 With both Wireless LAN and Bluetooth as standard the H4150 boasts impressive connectivity and also offers a good processor and an ample 64Mb of memory all in a lightweight 132g package. Battery life is also commendable at 12 hours. A slightly larger screen would be nice, particularly since the wireless features mean these devices are more likely to be used for web access. The H4150 comes supplied as standard with file encryption software to help ensure the security of your data. PalmOne Tungsten C The most notable feature of the Tungsten C is its miniature qwerty keyboard for data entry as opposed to the more usual handwriting recognition system. The other strong point from this[…]

PalmOne Zire 21 The Zire 21 is the cheapest, most basic brand name PDA money can buy. If you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive personal information manager then this is the one for you. Alternatively, most modern mobile phones offer a similar level of functionality although, to be fair, few of them will synchronise with your desktop computer like the Zire 21 can. The low resolution grey scale screen is, not to put too fine a point on it, horrible (but serviceable) and the 8Mb of memory is pitifully low by current standards, but the battery life is impressive and the processor is not half bad for the money. It also gives you access to the extensive range of third[…]

Navigation is amongst the most popular of applications for PDA devices, thanks largely to the ready availability of affordable Global Positioning System receivers. There are numerous third party GPS receivers on the market, designed to be plugged directly into PDAs or linked via a Bluetooth connection, and prices currently start at around £100. Used in conjunction with map software such as TomTom Navigator (www.tomtom.com) these systems turn your PDA into a powerful navigation tool, displaying your exact location on a map of the local area and making it virtually impossible to get lost. Delivery drivers, roaming sales reps, service engineers and anybody else who spends a lot of time on the road are likely to make significant time savings using[…]

It would not be fair to say that Windows PDAs integrate with Microsoft based PCs any better than Palm OS devices do since both systems are perfectly good at synchronising with desktop computers. Pocket PC has the advantage when it comes to integrating with MS Outlook and working with MS Office documents, since it’s able to do this straight out of the box. Palm OS can do this too, but depending on what version you are using and your precise requirements you may need to get hold of some additional software for your device in order to do so. One advantage of Pocket PC devices is that they come with a version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Internet Explorer web browser. While[…]

Operating System Most PDAs are based on one of the two leading operating systems for handheld devices. The market is split fairly evenly between Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and PalmSource’s Palm OS. Windows Mobile, also referred to as Pocket PC, is the latest incarnation of what was originally called Windows CE, the MS operating system for handheld devices which came into being in 1996. The operating system comes in three flavours, one for conventional PDAs and two versions for different classes of smart-phones. The current version of Microsoft’s system is Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003. The history of Palm OS dates back to 1996 when Palm released its first PDA, the Palm Pilot 1000. The device and its subsequent replacements enjoyed[…]

It is here that things start to get a little difficult. These days high-end mobile phones often come with the kind of features that you would normally expect to see in a handheld computer. The line between phones and PDAs has become somewhat blurred, prompting some quarters of the IT press to prematurely announce the demise of the PDA. This is perhaps a little extreme – mobile phones are gaining PDA type features and conventional PDAs are gaining wireless data and voice capability, but this does not mean the end of the PDA, just its evolution. This is leading to the kind of technology driven shake-up that the ever changing IT market is notorious for. According to analyst firm IDC,[…]

PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) have been with us in various guises for quite some time, but it’s been hard to convince businesses that they offer any tangible benefits. In the past it’s been quite easy to dismiss them as shiny executive playthings with little practical use but thanks largely to new connectivity options, hand-held devices now have a lot more to offer. With a large menu of new technologies to choose from and diverse user requirements, manufacturers are creating something of a Cambrian explosion with dozens of different models and specifications all attempting to find a profitable niche in the business eco-sphere. As ever, such a wide choice is a double edged sword for business. It is nice to have[…]

Hewlett-Packard this month introduced four new models to its market leading iPaq PDA range. Most notably the company has added its first smart-phone to the line. The iPaq h6340 (#479 inc. VAT) features quad-band GSM/GPRS voice and data capability as well as built in WiFi and Bluetooth, giving it an extremely flexible selection of connectivity options. Users of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 will be able to set up the h6340 to wirelessly synchronise with their email, calendar and contacts. Other additions to the range include the high-end hx4700 (#449 inc. VAT) which features a large four inch screen, fast 624Mhz processor and 135Mb of user available memory as well as a touch pad and cursor navigation system, making browsing of[…]