Recommend a PDA!

My mother and I are considering getting me a PDA to help me with my schoolwork and homework. Naturally, we would prefer a pricetag of <$100.

Necessary Features:

  1. Word Processor
  2. Calendar of some sort
  3. Calculator
  4. Graffiti program or keyboard

Highly useful Features:

  1. Web browser (probably using Bluetooth)

Desired features:

Thanks for your help, all!

Well, for <$100 you’re probably looking at a very basic entry-level PalmOs based model (Say a Zire21 for $99, or a refurbished Palm IIIxe for around $70). Built-in Bluetooth or WiFi is likely right out, that’s more like $300. I wouldn’t recommend trying to squeeze into a 2MB model, but 8MB is livable.

As well as starting at a lower price, palmOs devices have more freeware/shareware programs available. They all come in with grafiti, a basic calculator, and scheduling (calendar) applications. I’m not sure what you want out of a “word processor”, text editing on pretty much any PDA is a tough assignment, although you can get foldable, close-to-full-size keyboards to help things out. PalmOs comes with a simple text editor that’s useful for writing short notes, however.

If you want, say, Ms-Word compatibility, you’d need something like Documents To Go, which syncs between a word document on your computer and a version of it that’s compressed and viewable on the pda screen. Don’t know how well it runs on a lower-end PDA, though.

There’s a ton of games availabe, freeware, shareware, and commercial. But you won’t have a color screen at that price.


The Palm Zire 21 is one of the best options under US$100, although it has a monochrome screen.

The Treo 270/300 is another option, tagged at US$99 - but it might turn out more expensive when you pay for the phone subscription as well.

Bluetooth is practically out at that range.

Here is a comparison of other Palm models and features:

  1. Word Processor:

  1. Calendar - inbuilt.

  2. Calculator - inbuilt. Complex scientific calculators downloadable.

  3. Graffiti - inbuilt in the Zire 21. Treo 270/300 has Graffiti as well as an inbuilt thumb keyboard.

Web Browser:

Additional software:

Also, Sony has some brilliant products if you’re willing to spend a bit more.

The PEG-TJ27 has a digital camera, 320x320 Hi-Res Color Display, 23MB usable memory, for US$200.