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  #1  
Old 05-07-2005, 02:05 PM
DoggThang
Neophyte
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6
Default Looking for some PocketPC/PDA advice...

Hi folks,
I'm not having an easy time finding really basic faqs so I thought I'd ask here. I don't have a PocketPC but I'm thinking of getting one and so I'm just trying to find out if they will actually fulfill my needs. I know there seem to be endless amounts of different PocketPCs so even just general opinions or recommendations would be cool.

I do a lot of writing and, as a result, carry notebooks with me all of the time so that I can jot down any ideas or whatever that come into my head. Problem is that I end up with notebooks filled with random thoughts and it's hard to find notes that belong with specific projects. So I suppose the first thing I'd be looking for is an easy way to make and sort thoughts by project. I know that many PocketPCs come with a Notes facility so would I be right in thinking that does pretty much what I'm talking about?

Now, getting a bit more adventurous, with the writing I would often end up with long documents that ideally I'd love to be able to add to or edit on the go. I realise this would be a bit trickier as, firstly, the input would need to be fast - I don't know how good PocketPC's input features are (can I input as fast or close to as fast as typing?). Secondly that would mean I'd need almost a Word/OpenOffice type equivalent that would share filetypes with those programs. Is that possible? I know a laptop would probably be better for that but I'm really looking for something pocket sized.

The third would be something I could send and recieve emails from over wireless if I'm at a hotspot or whatever. I think this would be pretty standard now though?

So they are the main things I would need but I'm not sure that a PocketPC would be suitable for writing on at all. I've been going through a lot of sites over the last few days trying to get info and it seems that the main features of the devices are GPS navigation (which I really would have little use for) and general diary organisation (which I'm not sure I'd use enough to warrant a purchase). So I suppose my main question would be - is a PocketPC for me? And, if so, any recommendations for one that has the quickest, easiest input devices or methods? Are there any specifically tailored for writers or people who would write and edit documents a lot on the go?

Any advice would be really appreciated as there just seems to be so much information and so many different types and yet I'm having a hard time just finding the basics!

TIA
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2005, 02:32 PM
mcmuddle
Pupil
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 18

I am certainly not the brightest bulb on the tree, but there are several neutral advisory sites like myproductadvisor.com that have you rate levels of need and expectations on many features, prices, etc. then offer you a batch of devices that meet your needs. I personally am holding out for the WM2005 OS and the next generation of devices.
 
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2005, 03:00 PM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Welcome to the board

1, entering text: get a decent foldable external keyboard. They are as good as a desktop keyboard, if not better. I've been using the ThinkOutside StowAway keyboard for half a year and am absolutely happy with it.

2, office compatibility: with third-party apps like TextMaker, you can have a very good Word-like app on the PPC.

3, accessing mail while on the go: possible. Again, third-party apps (particularly WebIS Mail) are generally better in this point too than the built-in ones.
 
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2005, 03:22 PM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmuddle
I am certainly not the brightest bulb on the tree, but there are several neutral advisory sites like myproductadvisor.com that have you rate levels of need and expectations on many features, prices, etc. then offer you a batch of devices that meet your needs. I personally am holding out for the WM2005 OS and the next generation of devices.
I would definitely vote against myproductadvisor.com. I've done a lot of testing with it and found it almost useless because it doesn't incmporate any user opinions and common knowledge. For example, it's only at actually playing action games with a PDA that you can find out the quality of the D-Pad. No matter this is why most people over at PocketMatrix has recommended the Asus MyPal A620 for action games. This stuff isn't in the specifications of a device.

If you search for a 'gaming' Pocket PC PDA, what do you get?

1, Axim x50 420 MHz - tolerable for gaming
2, iPAQ RZ1715 - WTF?! A very restricted (good old HP j525 days, memory- and speed-wise...) PIM-centric device for playing?!
3, Toshiba e350/355: why would anyone buy an outdated and not supported device like this, when you can get the in most respects far superior x30 Mid even cheaper?
4, iPAQ 1940: its D-pad is very hard to press and, therefore, is almost useless for gaming. Also: outdated.
5, x30 - tolerable
(some X30/x50, Toshi and HP 31xsx devices follow - there are certainly devices with better D-pad's)
12, Casio Cassiopeia EM-500 - at last a PPC (however much it's outdated) that has a decent D-pad!
13, ASUS MyPal A620BT - that's what the first item should be IMHO
14, Hewlett Packard iPAQ H5450/55 - joking? It's slow (even with the WM2003 upgdare) and its D-pad is just too small for action games.
15, Hewlett Packard iPAQ H2210/15: its D-pad is over-sensitive, useless for gaming. A device that is positioned 3 places after the EM-500 and 2 after the A620...

Incidentally, this list is almost the same as the one that you get by not touching the 'Gaming' slider. Then, the Motorola Mpx220 comes as the first device - the database doesn't even make a distinction between Pocket PC's and MS Smartphones.

And the list goes on like this...

Therefore, I don't think anyone should base their decisions on myproductadvisor.com. You need to dig into threads like the ones linked from http://discussion.brighthand.com/sho...hreadid=117248 or http://www.pocketmatrix.com/forums/v...ic.php?t=21050 .
 
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2005, 04:23 PM
DoggThang
Neophyte
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6

Great, thanks for those links. I'll have a good browse and see what I find out!
Cheers.
 
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2005, 05:46 AM
jimski
Philosopher
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 544

Good luck with your PPC quest. When you do find a suitable device you may want to consider an application called Journal Pro. The application allows you to create multiple folders and within each folder, multiple projects. Each time you open the app it defaults to the current day for entries but you can toggle back/forward to the last/next entry made within a particular project/folder. They recently added text formatting which is a plus. Journal Pro comes with a desktop companion which syncs up all your folders with the PPC. There is also a pretty robust search function if you are trying to find a particular entry. You can print out an entire project (or entries within a date range) which will display each date entry, back to back.

Based on your planned use, I thought this might be of interest. I believe the current price for PPc/Desktop Versions is $21.95. Well worth it.
 
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2005, 01:22 PM
mcmuddle
Pupil
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 18

Thanks for the hot tip here too. It never crossed my mind to change the variables to something I did NOT want and see if it changed the options! ops:
I will delete that link and use the ones you have offered, and file that strategy away for other purposes :wink:
 
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2005, 04:19 PM
DoggThang
Neophyte
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6

Thanks for the recommendation - that Journal Pro looks good. So I've been looking around and I like the look of the Dell Axim X50v. There's one here. And I've also been looking at the bluetooth keyboard here. The Axim X50v is pretty pricey but my thinking is that I'm probably better going for one that is on the high end of the scale rather than risk wanting to upgrade in the near future. Does that make sense?

Also looking good is the Fujitsu Siemens LOOX 720 here as it seems to have had some great write-ups. There are just so many it's hard to know!

There are more expensive ones still (like some of the iPaqs) but I'm having a hard time figuring out what they offer for the extra cash.

So what do you think? Any further advice?

Edit: One more question - is there anything I need to know in terms of differences between Compact Flash and SD memory? They seem to be about the same price.
 
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2005, 10:32 PM
surur
Mystic
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,734

Between the Dell Axim x50v and the Loox 720 the Loox is certainly the better choice (except for games and video).

It has longer battery life, a nicer screen, a more business-like appearance, 128Mb of memory (which is useful if you load large documents or browse large web pages) and using your 5 Loox points (which you get bundled when you buy the device) you can get Textmaker for 3 points (worth 50) and Vito remote (worth 15) for another two. You can also buy Loox points at a discount to get a wide selection of other software.

You can also easily plug in most small or full-sized USB keyboards for really easy text entry.

This story showed up on Firstloox.org today.


Quote:
VGA Screen Group Test
By Duncan - May 06, 2005

The latest edition of UK magazine PDA Essentials (issue 37) carries a VGA screen group test. All the major VGA Pocket PCs are covered: Asus a730w, Dell Axim X50v, HP iPAQ hx4700 and (of course) the Pocket Loox 720. The four Pocket PCs have gone head-to-head to find the one with the best balance between screen quality and PDA functionality.

Unsurprisingly the Pocket Loox 720 is the winner.

The article describes the Loox as being, arguably, the least likely to stand out from the four yet the best at getting the right balance between price, performance and features. The article concludes: "For simple all round performance, the Loox 720 is seriously hard to beat".
This is just one of the many plaudits the Loox 720 has received. Most people who have bought one don't regret it at all.


Regarding the difference between CF and SD: CF is slightly cheaper, much larger, I believe more reliable and go up to much larger sizes (you can get 8GB CF cards vs 1-2GB SD cards). SD are more portable between devices, in that there are many devices with just a SD slot and not a CF slot, and you can get a SD to CF adaptor, but not the other way around.

Many people these days keep SD for memory, and CF slot free for CF peripherals e.g. CF GPS cards or CF cameras.

Surur
 
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2005, 10:53 AM
DoggThang
Neophyte
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6

Heh, now you've thrown a spanner in the works as I had pretty much decided yesterday to go with the Axim. The comparison found below does make the Loox look good (although it's on a Loox site) -
http://www.firstloox.org/VGAppc.htm

There is a massive difference in RAM. Is that not balanced by the increased ROM and dedicated graphics chip-type thing that the Axim has though? Is RAM upgradable in either the Loox or Axim (or would I even want to)?

Of thanks for the info on the memory - that clears it up for me.

Thanks again for the info and opinions!
 
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