Please help me select the right PDA

I consider myself to be computer savvy, so I was surprised at how quickly I got overwhelmed and confused by the myriad of PDA choices out there. Bluetooth and/or 802.11b, MS Win. vs. Palm OS, and I have zero idea which platform will offer me the programs I want to run.

I do know what I need a PDA for, so here’s a some must haves: Powerpoint and Adobe presentation capability, very preferably with means to connect to an InFocus projector. Compatibility with my DeLorme GPS, or at least another GPS program and the DeLorme [serial port] antenna. IR send and receive. Contact management, and at this point we hit the more mundane uses that are pretty much understood.

I also have some things on my ‘want but don’t need’ list that would be great to have, but not if they are going to double the price: A slot for smartmedia/mmc cards and the ability to view photos stored on them from a digital camera. MP3 player. Ability to function as a universal remote. Multimedia player. Ability to link to wireless web access points such as my home wireless network.

I recently saw one of the VPs of Palm give a presentation to several hundred people with just a projector and his PDA. I’ve been green with envy ever since. Thanks for any help!

Pretty much any color Palm will do it.

Yeah, since posting this, I’ve been leaning towards the Palm Tungsten T. With attachments and software, it looks like I can do everything I wanted. My biggest confusion has been, and is still, comparing a Pocket PC like the iPaq 3700 or Toshiba 355 with a Palm. It’s just not an apples to apples comparison.

Just a note about the remote thing: most PDAs have a very weak IR transmitter compared to remote controls. You may find that using a PDA as a remote provides unacceptably short range.

My first PDA was a Palm Vx wich I loved. In my opinons the best of the Palms to date and even a bit after, even of the ones with the color screens. It was functional as well a work of art. I dropped it just before Thanksgiving and it unfortuantely if did not survive. Clumsy me and I’d always been so careful with it.

I researched the PDA options at the time and was not impressed with the new Palms especially the Tungsten sliders. Very, very unimpressed with those after handling them in the store.

The Friday after Thanksgiving I bought a Sony Clie NX60. Beautiful big color High Res+ screen, clamshell design, built in MP3 player and keyboard, memory card option that I didn’t have with the Palm Vx. Didn’t see the need for the NX70 with the built in camera. My sister also bought the NX60 that day as her first PDA and she took to it right away.

Sony is coming out with a couple of newer models again but I don’t see anything new that I need so I’m sticking with the NX60.

Have you looked at this site?

I have a Sony Clie SJ33. It’s been great. If you are leaning towards the Palm OS over the Windows platform, I’d say check out the Sony line. Compared to the Palms they seem to be better in features.

Having said that, if you have an Apple computer I would consider the Palm hardware. Sony has been known to have issues connecting to Apples.

Am I the only one who thinks “Public Display of Affection” when he reads “PDA?” I was going to suggest Waverly try making out in an Italian restaurant, that’s a classic.

I used Palms since almost literally day one. Then about a year ago, Pocket PCs really passed them by, and I switched over to an HP Ipaq. Really love it. You can do all the things requested in the OP.

As mentioned above, using the IR for remote control isn’t the best generally for any PDA, but I’ve been happy with mine for everything that is within maybe 15 feet.

I’ve got to counterargue the Pocket PC. Still a bit too wobbily, they keep revising the OS in strange and unusual ways… which only matters if you want to keep using your apps, and the processor demands are much higher. Which means they run hotter, have less battery life, and tend to lag a bit more.

Still very useful, though, they’re a bit more expensive.

Well, Waverly, it’s all in the options. How much do you want to spend? Do you want wireless? Do you want one of those PDA-Phones? Any PDA can do your base requests…

Thanks for the help, everyone.

I had wanted to spend about US$300 (for the unit itself). I managed to find the Tungsten T for $260, so I decided to go for it. I think it still lists for $350. I was almost swayed by the Toshiba to go with their Pocket PC, but the TT just seemed like more bang for the buck.

I really wanted to like the Sony Clie, but it just left me flat. I didn’t like the design or the controls, though I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews.

I could still use some post decision help. Both my laptop and the TT have Bluetooth, but is there an easier way to bridge into my WiFi home network than using the laptop as a server? Similar question on the GPS antenna. There is a cable adaptor, but is it possible to make a wireless connection without buying new GPS? It would require some sort of wireless COM port, if such an animal exists.