PDA/Smartphone for College Student

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  1. #1
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    Default PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Hello everyone!

    I am sorry if this is the wrong place to post. I did not know if I was supposed to post here or in the "Looking for A PDA, Article Links Here" thread. I thought it would be safest to post here...

    Anyway, any help you could give me would be very much appreciated!

    I will be going off to college in about mid-September at the University of Cincinnati and I will be majoring in Chemical engineering. I am looking for a PDA or a smartphone to help me keep track of homework assignments, projects, meetings, chores, etc., but I am not sure of what is the best to get. Here are my answers to the generic questions:

    What operating system do you have on your computer?

    I recently ordered a new laptop for college. I did not order an operating system with it because I can get it far cheaper through the university's licensing program. I expect to most likely get XP Pro SP2 for a while and then upgrade to Vista Ultimate when it is offered (and bugs are worked out!). Also, I got Bluetooth and a good wireless card (A/G/N Card...), is it possible for the PDA/SmartPhone to sync up directly with that w/o a cable?

    What are you looking to use the PDA for? (Be detailed)

    As stated, mostly as an organizer. Homework assignments, projects, family events, appointments, etc. Other nice functions would be word processing, possibly e-mail and internet (though I would probably use my laptop instead). I would like a decent looking screen, but I really want it to be easy to input text quickly so that I actually use it to keep track of appointments. That is probably my major concern. I am not even sure myself what I need. What do you think a Chem.E. student needs in a PDA? (Or what would be helpful?)

    Do you want a SmartPhone (i.e. a PDA with a built in phone -- these tend to be more expensive)?

    I kind of like the idea of a SmartPhone, but it is not a deal breaker. Also, the university recently started a new program where they give basic cell phones and plans for free (instead of an in-room phone). So I will probably have to go through the carrier "Cincinnati Bell." The university does offer some cell phone/SmartPhone options. SmartPhone options include BLACKBERRY 7100g (Price: $299.99), BLACKBERRY 8700g (Price: $399.99), TREO 650 (Price: $519.99), I-MATE K-JAM (Price: $519.00). (But I kind of like the idea of getting the free MOTOROLA BLUE RAZR and just buying a PDA to accompany it).

    Your price range?

    The $520 for the better Smartphones is a little salty... I could do it if that was all I was getting and it provided great functionality, but I would prefer under $500 for a SmartPhone or under $350 for a PDA.

    Do you currently have a PDA? If so, what operating system? Do you want to stay with this operating system?

    No. N/A. N/A.

    Are there any specific programs that you need to be able to run?

    Not really... just basic PDA functions (i.e. Organizer... Word Processor would be nice). I got a really nice laptop (Sager NP2090 w/ Nvidia 8600 GT), so I don't really care about games on my PDA!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Welcome to Brighthand, 07langp

    Your best match would be a Palm T|X. I really don't know if there are many Smartphones with WiFi and definitely know that Treos don't have them.

    Here is some info on the T|X:
    Quote Originally Posted by Palm
    With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® technology, this is the wireless device you've been waiting for. Browse the web and check email from your office, campus, or a home Wi-Fi network and places like airports, cafes, and hotels. Carry your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files and get more done anywhere. Web pages, presentations, spreadsheets, photos, and videos come to life on a large color screen that rotates from landscape to portrait mode. Have time to unwind? The Palm TX handheld even lets you listen to MP3s, Videos, and read eBooks. It's anything but business as usual.
    Gladly its in your budget at $299. If you buy from Palm you can get a free wireless keyboard. I found some really cheap ones at eBay. Just do a search on eBay for "Palm TX".

    Hope you come up with a decision!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    I actually had been looking at Palm's PDA's the most. The only thing that concerns me is compatibility with Windows. I thought I heard recently (though by someone using an old PDA) that you have to convert Word files to work with Palm's text editor, and that it can become a pain to deal with. But upon reading your post I looked at Palm's website (http://www.palm.com/us/products/hand...fficedocs.html) and it looks like there might not really be an issue. Are there really any compatibility issues with a Palm PDA and a Windows Computer?

    (I am sure that there is probably already an article written on this subject. I will attempt to find it . I just wanted to throw this out there as a concern of mine.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Documents to Go that comes preinstalled on the TX allows you to save in Native Office format when saved to SD card. If you save to internal memory the file is converted to a .pdb. It will sync with your computer when Documents to Go Desktop is installed. If you are using Office 2007, there are other issues as this is a newer version of Office and Microsoft has made changes. You can learn more about Documents to Go at DataViz.com.
    DT Lives in SFO...away from flying objects.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Welcome to Brighthand, 07langp.

    As indicated by DT, the TX comes with Documents To Go, which reads native document formats (except for .pdf) and enables you to drag & drop Word docs and load them via Hotsync. However, the method most often used by TX users is to copy the document directly onto your SD card via a card reader, bypassing the often tedious hotsync of Docs2Go.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    I used Windows with my Palms since I had my m500 many many years ago. I do not use Windows any more (switched to Mac) but only because I got sick of Windows and not because I had any compatability issues with Palm.

    Documenst To Go is the best solution for reading Word and Excel files. (IMOP)
    The TX is a very nice unit and I would think would fit your needs as you have described them. Palm does have the TX for $299 plus a free wireless keyboard at their site now. I used the Wireless keyboard with my T5 and it worked very nicely. You will be suprised how quick you can become with Graffiti once you get use to it.

    Unless you already have a cell phone plan, I might stay away from a smartphone becuse of expense right now. The TX screen is bigger and much better for taking notes for a long time. But what do I know! I have probably been out of College longer than you have been alive.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    No longer a PalmOS fan but admittedly out of the box the TX is great for Office Files, easy PIM entry and Wi-Fi syncing. A very valuable Palm feature for the TX.

    If you're look towards Windows Mobile, I reccomend you get either the Acer N311, Sprint Mogul or the HTC Kaiser & buy SoftMaker for Windows Mobile.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Toshiba e800 fairly cheap on ebay now, wifi card cheap (running through your laptop's connection will make connection on pda slower net-wise), and an IR keyboard makes it really handy. But if you go with palm, Grafitti is a PAIN! Until you get to learn it then you'll be writing with pen and paper using grafitti instead of english! Good luck either way.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    you may want take a look at MyPal A626. for around $280 i think it is a solid choice

    Connectivity: SDIO/SD/MMC, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, USB 1.1 for charging/synchronization, Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g), IrDA
    Display: TFT 3.5” (70x52 mm – active zone) with 320x240 pixel resolution, 65 K colors, adjustable backlighting
    Dimensions: 117x70.8x15.7 mm, Weight: 158 g (battery included)
    Battery: detachable 1200 mAh Li-Ion uni
    Last edited by higuy; 07-10-2007 at 02:11 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: PDA/Smartphone for College Student

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx^ View Post
    But if you go with palm, Grafitti is a PAIN! Until you get to learn it then you'll be writing with pen and paper using grafitti instead of english!
    Graffiti2 is slow, I'll grant you. But you can get the speed of Graffiti1 by buying a copy of TealScript - I can write in that almost as fast as with a pen and paper. And it's really not that hard - I didn't start using Palms until I was well into my 30s, so you college kids have no excuse
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    * Word-processor: Alphasmart Dana -> Neo
    * Linux: Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 -> SL-C3000 -> Samsung Q1U -> Eee 900

 

 

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